Public Sector

Congratulations Freddy Faull

Created: Friday, 19 May 2017 17:26

We are proud to recognise Freddy Faull, the recipient of the Auckland Law School Brookfields Scholarship for 2017.

 

Freddy Faull

Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2)

Created: Friday, 17 June 2016 04:29

In a press release dated 16 March 2016, the Minister of Local Government, Peseta Sam Lotu-liga announced a number of reforms for the local government sector to enable local authorities around the country to deliver better services for ratepayers as part of the "Better Local Services Package".

The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) (the Bill) was introduced to Parliament on 9 June 2016 and had its first reading on 15 June 2016.  The Explanatory Note to the Bill states that the "current legislation provides only limited support for shared and integrated services, which is insufficient to enhance the scale and capability for water, transport, economic development and other activities".  

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Brookfields Emerging Leader Award 2016

Created: Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:36
 
In April Brookfields partners Andrew Green and Matt Allan attended SOLGMs annual Gala Dinner in Wellington.  Brookfields was the sponsor of the newly created Emerging Leader Award won by Nicola Chrisp of the Waikato Regional Council. Read about Nicola and other award winners.
 
 
Award2016
 
 

Latest Catchcry is “Better Local Services”

Created: Tuesday, 22 March 2016 05:29

Minister of Local Government Sam Lotu-Iiga has just announced the next round in the unflagging campaign to improve the performance of Local Government.

Although short on detail as of yet, the Better Local Services package is intended to enable and equip local government to:

  • remain responsive to local preferences;
  • increase the coordination and cost effectiveness of local services and infrastructure;
  • increase support for regional growth and prosperity.

We can expect to see a legislation package introduced to Parliament in June, with the aim of passing legislation by the end of the year so that newly elected Councils can operate under the new provisions early in their 2016 to 2019 term.  The package is intended to address what the Government sees as significant long term challenges, including:

  • demographic changes;
  • economic shifts;
  • environmental pressures;
  • technological innovations.

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"LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE ATTRACTIVE DEFENDANTS"

Created: Wednesday, 19 August 2015 21:21

"LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARE ATTRACTIVE DEFENDANTS"

In Monticello Holdings Ltd v Selwyn District Council the High Court took a good look at negligence in the local authority context, and found in favour of the Council. 

Gendall J has produced one of those wonderfully useful judgements that sum up the law on all of the matters in dispute, including in this case local authority liability in negligence, the production of LIMs and PIMs, and the production of information generally.

The case

Monticellois a land development company, which found part of the land it had purchased for residential development was contaminated by hazardous substances arising from a disused town dump that had been operated by one of the predecessors of the current Council.   Historical information about the disused dump was available in Council archives, but unknown to officers who processed the application for resource consent, or those responsible for the issue of PIMs and LIMs.

Since resource consent to subdivide the land was subject to a condition that should contaminants be found the land had to be rehabilitated, this discovery during earthworks meant that the company incurred considerable additional development costs.  Consequently it brought proceedings alleging the Council owed it a duty of care to keep and maintain accurate and reliable records about the existence of contaminated sites, to disclose that information to it, and that under the circumstances it ought to have refused to grant resource consent to develop the land.

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"It's a Lawyer Jim, But Not As We Know It" - Limitations on claiming Legal Privilege for advice from in-house Counsel

Created: Tuesday, 07 July 2015 02:01

"It's a Lawyer Jim, But Not As We Know It" – Limitations On Claiming Legal Privilege For Advice From In-House Counsel

A recent decision by the Ombudsman on the release of information under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA) is a timely reminder of the limitations on claiming legal privilege for advice from in-house counsel.

In the decision (reference 334056, May 2015), the Ombudsman concluded that advice provided to the Minister from a practising lawyer employed as a public servant was not legally privileged because it could not be demonstrated affirmatively that the public servant was acting in a legal capacity.

The context may be familiar. The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa complained to the Ombudsman about the Overseas Investment Office’s (OIO) decision to refuse a request for information relating to Kim Dotcom’s applications for consent to invest in New Zealand. The OIO sought to withhold two memoranda to Ministers, setting out the OIO’s advice on the applications, to maintain professional legal privilege (section 9(2)(h) of the OIA).

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