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As your life changes so should your Will

Created: Wednesday, 14 October 2015 12:28

We all lead busy lives.  Our circumstances, and those of our family, change.  As our lives change our wills and other personal documents also need changing, or at least reviewing. 

A recent case (Sutton & Ors v Public Trust [2015] NZHC 1844 [6 August 2015]) highlights what can happen when your will has not been updated to meet a change in circumstances.  It also highlights that you need to be sure that what your will says is what you want.  Does the person drafting your will know your personal circumstances.  Do they know you? 

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The Harvey Norman Computer Glitch - the legal issues

Created: Wednesday, 07 October 2015 23:21

The recent computer glitch which resulted in 300 Harvey Norman customers purchasing furniture at incorrect prices would have to be an online retailers worst nightmare.  Reports indicate that on 1 October 2015 between the hours of 1am and 8am Harvey Norman’s website offered furniture at heavily discounted prices.  A 3 piece lounge suite was advertised at $103, a 2 piece lounge suite was offered at $95 and a wooden table and chairs were offered at $159.  Harvey Norman has since apologised for the error and at the date of writing this article Harvey Norman has reportedly so far refused to honor the prices electing instead to offer customers a $100 voucher.

So where do the customer and Harvey Norman stand legally? 

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Your guide to the legal aspects of franchising in New Zealand

Created: Wednesday, 07 October 2015 15:03

NO FRANCHISE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

Unlike Australia and other countries such as the USA and Canada, there is no legislation in New Zealand dedicated to franchising. From a legal perspective there are no barriers to entry – no compulsory disclosure documents or registration requirements. There are however a number of general legal requirements which have application to franchising and this guide contains a summary of the main ones.

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Environmental Reporting Act Passes

Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:20

Environment and Statistics Ministers have jointly announced the passing of the Environmental Reporting Act 2015 (the Act).

The Act provides legislative authority for the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to report accurate and objective updates on the state of New Zealand’s environment.  Reports will be released biannually on one of the five domains of air, freshwater, land, marine and atmosphere / climate.  A synthesis report will be released once every three years.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Environment

Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:20

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has had a fair degree of media coverage, both during its seven year negotiation, and since negotiations concluded on October 8 2015. Less has been heard however, on the Environment Chapter of the TPP, and what it might mean (if anything) for New Zealand and our environmental regulations.

What is the TPP?

TPP is a free trade agreement that will liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries: New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darassalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The rationale for an Environment Chapter in any trade agreement is to break down trade barriers that exist under the guise of environmental regulations; to promote higher standards of environmental protection globally; and to reduce trade advantages that one country may have over another because of lower environmental standards.

So, for a country like New Zealand with relatively high standards of environmental regulation, and with a highly trade exposed economy, environmental provisions in a trade agreement are welcomed.

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The new Health and Safety at Work Act - Implications for Franchisors

Created: Monday, 28 September 2015 21:52

The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on 4 April 2016 and carries with it maximum fines of $3,000,000 for non-individuals and up to $600,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years for individuals for the most serious offences.  

The new Act has a much wider reach than the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and has the potential to impose duties on franchisors not just in respect of their own workers or work place.  If a Franchisor directs or influences its franchisee's workers, if it subleases or licences premises to its franchisees or supplies goods or plant or equipment which are used in the work place, then it will have additional duties and obligations under the new Act.

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