Latest Articles

Employee Overpayment - An employer's guide of what not to do

Created: Saturday, 02 June 2012 03:07

The Employment Court has recently considered an employer's ability to reclaim money from an employee who had been substantially overpaid in error. In Foai v Air New Zealand, the Court overturned an earlier ruling of the Employment Relations Authority and declined Air New Zealand's attempt to recover $42,635.40 from Mr Foai. The decision may surprise many employers, and should serve as a warning that it is critical to ensure staff are paid correctly.

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Legislation Update

Created: Saturday, 02 June 2012 03:03


On 1 April 2012 the Minimum Wage Act 1983 was amended to increase the minimum wage from $13.00 to $13.50 per hour.

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Trust Duties - It Pays to Know the Trust Assets

Created: Friday, 01 June 2012 22:06

One of the first duties a trustee has on taking up a trusteeship is to become familiar with the assets of the trust, looking at both what the assets are and their condition or state. It is a duty that may be overlooked when assets owned by the settlor of the trust are transferred to the trustees, sometimes to their detriment.

Trustees are personally liable when acting as a trustee. The exception to this is when trustee liability is specifically limited. Such limitation is normally limited to independent trustees. When entering into contracts or other obligations, trustees must ascertain what obligations and liabilities they are taking on before signing documents. Typically, trustees should take steps to limit their liability under the contract to the assets of the trust.

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Uncertainty on landlords' ability to terminate leases where premises are untenantable

Created: Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:00

The most recent High Court decision on untenantabilty has created uncertainty in relation to termination of leases when premises become untenantable as a result of damage or destruction to the premises or the building of which the premises form part. In such instances, does the lease terminate automatically under clause 26.1(a) of the commonly used ADLS lease form? Or, if the lease does not terminate automatically, can landlords, or only tenants, terminate a lease?

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Clarification of Climate Change Effects on Consent Applications

Created: Thursday, 24 May 2012 01:12

Buller Coal Limited and Solid Energy New Zealand Limited v West Coast ENT Incorporated

The Environment Court has recently issued a declaration on the applicability of climate change considerations to resource consent applications for coal mining. West Coast ENT have argued that the effects on climate change of the carbon emissions resulting from the burning of the coal, even when that coal is used abroad, are relevant considerations for the decision maker.

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New Reporting Requirements for Registered Charities

Created: Wednesday, 16 May 2012 03:39

Registered Charities need to be aware of two important changes to the Charities Act 2005 (Act) which came into effect on 24 February 2012. These relate to their reporting obligations to the Charities Commission (Commission) (shortly to be reconstructed as a board within the Department of Internal Affairs).

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