Legal articles & publications

Take 19 – another Resource Management Amendment Act

By: Michelle Mehlhopt, Alyssa Langford

Last week the Minister for the Environment, Hon David Parker, introduced the Resource Management Amendment Bill (Bill) to the house. The Bill proposes to repeal a number of the changes to the RMA that were introduced by the previous coalition Government in the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA) and otherwise includes some easy ‘wins’ for this Government.

Your business brand – a steal?

By: Charlene Sell

Whether you are running a small local business or a large multi-national organisation, your brand will often be your most important asset. A distinctive brand is an important way to target and maintain a connection with your chosen market. By protecting your brand, you can ensure that it remains unique to your business and contributes to strong and consistent brand awareness amongst both your existing customers and your wider target market.

Plan making post King Salmon: the approach is clearer, not necessarily easier

By: Jesse Aimer

In a recent High Court decision Auckland Council v Cabra Rural Developments Ltd [2019] NZHC 1892, the Court provided guidance on a range of fundamental issues in plan making. This note outlines the Environment Court and High Court decisions and sets out three key takeaways that anyone involved in plan-making processes should bear in mind.

Diversity for goodness sake?

By: Anthony Drake, Chelsea Wiggill

Diversity is generally defined as acknowledging, understanding, accepting and valuing the differences among people regarding age, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental disability, race, sexual orientation, and religious or political beliefs. Regardless, discrimination on any of those grounds would be unlawful under the Human Rights Act 1993.

Prenups – not just for the rich and famous

By: Andrew Watkins

A prenup, or to use its technical term “Contracting Out Agreement”, may be one of the most important documents you’ll ever sign. Approximately 10 per cent of couples have them, and they are becoming increasingly popular.

Fresh plans for freshwater – Government proposes reform

By: Kirstie Wyss, Lucy de Latour

Freshwater management has been a long-standing political hot potato. Regional councils around the country have been busy ensuring they fulfil their functions in relation to water quality and water quantity, and implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM) (in its various forms) since its introduction in 2011. On 5 September 2019, the Government released its “Action for Healthy Waterways” discussion document for consultation.

What employers need to know about synthetic drugs

By: Sophie Carter

In recent times, New Zealand has seen an influx of synthetic drugs come on to the market. While an employer may be diligent in carrying out on-site drug testing, a frightening reality is that a traditional on-site drug test may not pick up synthetic drugs.

The amenability of private school decisions to judicial review

By: James Anson-Holland

The question of whether private school decisions are amenable to judicial review has yet to be answered in New Zealand. James Anson-Holland’s recent article The Amenability of Private School Decisions to Judicial Review published in the Public Law Review (2019) 30 PLR 106 discusses the conflicting judicial and academic debate within the Commonwealth in order to conclude that private education is sufficiently public to attract judicial review.

Workplace bullying - employer fined

By: Anthony Drake

Most employers are committed to providing a safe and productive working environment free from all forms of physical, emotional and verbal abuse. However, from time-to-time a case comes before the courts which is noteworthy.

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

By: Emily Walton

Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2) in July 2019 see landlords having more protection over accidental damage caused by their tenants. Tenants are now unable to rely on their landlord’s insurance for damage they cause to the rental property.

Planning for successful cities – a proposed National Policy Statement on Urban Development

By: Michelle Mehlhopt, Imogen Edwards

The Government has announced consultation on a new National Policy Statement on Urban Development, intended to replace the National Policy Statement on Urban Development Capacity 2016.

Sustainable growth: Government announces protections for highly productive land

By: Kirstie Wyss, Jesse Aimer

The Government has recently announced a proposal to protect highly productive land and ensure it is maintained for future primary production through the introduction of a proposed National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land.

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