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The Unitary Plan and related reports

Created: Tuesday, 30 August 2016 02:46

Auckland Council released its Decisions on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan on Friday 19 August 2016.  This Plan heralds a new era of planning for the region and its provisions will be of interest to many.  The Plan and related reports  may be viewed here. 

Residential Land Withholding Tax - What it all means

Created: Sunday, 31 July 2016 20:58

There has been a lot of confusion in the market regarding the recent law changes affecting residential land transactions.

There is a level of uncertainly in our foreign communities as to whether or not a non New Zealand tax resident can buy property in New Zealand, and what limitations apply to purchasing residential property.  Added to this are the recent limitations trading banks have put in place.

As to the increased contributions required by investor purchasers in relation to trading bank findings, of themselves those increased thresholds don't prevent acquisitions, only the  manner in which they are funded.

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Resource Management Act changes – New approaches to plan-making

Created: Thursday, 28 July 2016 14:10

First published in Inside Tourism, August 2016

Public hearings of submissions on the Government's "Resource Legislation Amendment Bill" (Bill) have now finished, with a select committee report to Parliament due in September 2016.

The Explanatory Note describes the Bill as comprising "over 40 proposals aimed at delivering substantive, system-wide improvements to the resource management system".

This brief update focuses on two important changes proposed in the Bill to the way we make resource management plans in New Zealand – that is, the district plans, regional plans and regional policy statements that govern how we can use and develop land and other natural and physical resources. The two initiatives are:

  • A "national planning template" (NPT).
  • Two new alternative plan-making processes for councils.

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Intoxication Offences - Sale and Supply of Alcohol

Created: Thursday, 14 July 2016 04:29

Sections 248, 249 and 252 of Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (SSAA) deal with the sale and supply of alcohol to intoxicated people, allowing people to become intoxicated and allowing intoxication on licensed premises.

An offence under any of these sections is serious and will most likely lead to an application for a suspension/cancellation of the licence. Offences under ss 248 and 249 also constitute a negative holding under s 281 of the SSAA.

The Act introduced a definition of intoxication that was not part of the Sale of Liquor Act 1989 (SOLA). The introduction seems to clarify or formalise how intoxication is to be assessed. Whether this will be achieved is a matter for debate.

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Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Created: Tuesday, 12 July 2016 20:58

By now all business owners and workers will have an awareness of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 which came into force on 4 April 2016.  We have produced a series of guides to assist business owners to understand their obligations and comply with the requirements of the Act.

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Changes to proposed plans beyond the scope of appeals

Created: Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:46

In the course of resolving appeals on the provisions of a proposed plan, it is sometimes necessary to seek the Court's approval of changes to the plan that are beyond the scope of appeals – for instance, to facilitate the 'in scope' aspects of settlements reached with the parties.

Section 293 of the Resource Management Act 1991 provides a discretionary power to the Environment Court – to be exercised cautiously and sparingly – to direct that such changes be made, where there is a live plan appeal on a proposed plan.  A recent decision, Kahuranaki Station Ltd and Greenwood v Hastings District Council, provides a good illustration of the Court applying section 293 in a pragmatic way.

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