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The local alcohol policy predicament - striking a balance

Created: Friday, 27 November 2015 21:27

"The principle under which we have approached this review is that New Zealanders live in a free and democratic society.  They are subject only to such limitation in their freedom as can be justified in such a society.  They have liberty to behave as they choose as long as their actions respect the rights of others and are not contrary to the law.  Public policy decisions that are made to restrict activity have to be justified by strong arguments that it is in the public interest that individuals and corporations do not exercise their freedom in particular ways".

Foreword to the Law Commission Report,  Alcohol in our lives: curbing the harm

The above extract is an appropriate summary of the local alcohol policy (LAP) dilemma we have continuously been exposed to over the last three years. Some territorial authorities claim that the larger commercial alcohol operators are monopolising the LAP process under the current legislation, which ultimately fails to provide communities with greater participation in the process, or , consequently to deliver on the object of the Act.  Alcohol operators on the other hand contend that the lack of empirical evidence produced by territorial authorities in the production of their LAPs means unreasonable restrictions are imposed without justification.

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Government Releases Environmental Law Reforms

Created: Friday, 27 November 2015 03:23

On Thursday morning the Minister for the Environment, Hon. Nick Smith introduced into Parliament the latest round of environmental law reforms.

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Key Licensing Decision for Supermarkets

Created: Tuesday, 17 November 2015 21:00

Christchurch Medical Officer of Health v J & G Vaudrey Limited (& Ors) [2015] NZHC 2749

The High Court has released a decision clarifying the role of District Licensing Committees (DLCs) in describing single area conditions in supermarkets, but aspects of the decision may lead to uncertainty for future applicants.

The Sale and Supply of Liquor Act 2012 (the Act) brought into force a much more comprehensive regime for applications for and renewals of alcohol licences than its predecessor, the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. One of the key changes for supermarkets and grocery stores is that all licence applications and renewals are subject to a 'single-area condition', which limits the display and promotion of alcohol to a certain area or areas within the premises. This new condition was introduced for the purpose set out in section 112(1) of the Act:

"...to limit (so far as is reasonably practicable) the exposure of shoppers in supermarkets and grocery stores to displays and promotions of alcohol, and advertisements for alcohol."

This appeal examined the role played by a DLC in describing the single-area condition in a licence application or renewal.

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Leasing Tips for Franchisors

Created: Monday, 16 November 2015 10:01

At Brookfields our franchise lawyers are regularly asked to review leases on behalf of our clients who are proposing to purchase a franchise business.  The lease will contain significant long term obligations on the franchisee which can last after the have sold the franchise business.  A franchise lawyer will look very carefully at the terms of the lease and the implications for their client.  A badly negotiated lease can make it extremely difficult to sell a franchise and can affect the long term profitability of the franchise business. 

By understanding what a franchise lawyer looks at when reviewing a lease franchisors can tailor their lease negotiations to address these issues where possible. Brookfield's franchise lawyers have prepared this guide to help franchisors understand the issue which they consider when reviewing leases. 

This guide contains a list of some of the issues which a franchise lawyer will consider when reviewing a lease.  However, it is not meant to be a definitive list of all of the issues a franchise lawyer will look at.  There are of course other issues which Brookfields' franchise lawyers will look at depending on the individual circumstances of our franchisee client, the franchise system and the premises. 

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Are your Terms of Trade up to scratch?

Created: Sunday, 15 November 2015 21:30

Your terms of trade (also called your terms and conditions or terms of supply) ("Terms") are one of the most important if not the most important document you give your customers. Well drafted and well thought out terms of trade can be the difference between getting paid in a reasonable amount of time or not or even worse not getting paid at all. They can also effectively limit your liability in certain situations. Brookfields Lawyers regularly help business owners ensure that their terms of trade provide them with the protection they need.

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Unpicking the Unholy Relationship between Local Authorities and their CCOs

Created: Monday, 09 November 2015 14:26

Few relationships in local government come under more stress.  The Controller and Auditor-General has produced a report offering practical guidance on how the principles of good governance apply to setting up, operating and monitoring of council-controlled organisations (CCOs).

Refer to Governance and accountability of council-controlled organisation September 2015.

What is in the report?

Drawing on earlier reports in 1994 and 2001 dealing with public entities and their subsidiaries, and on interviews and case studies of eight of the larger urban local authorities, the Auditor-General has provided updated observations and advice for all local authorities.  The report should also be compulsory reading for those public and media commentators who persistently blur the line between councils and their CCOs.

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