Latest Articles

Enduring Powers of Attorney

Created: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 17:39

Enduring powers of attorney (EPA) may be used to cover situations in which a person does not have the ability to manage his or her own affairs.

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Who do you want to control your Estate?

Created: Wednesday, 29 May 2019 16:54

It is estimated that only about half of New Zealand adults have a will. Even where there is a will in place, it may no longer be valid (a will is revoked on marriage or civil union) or relevant to the will-maker's current circumstances. Our busy lives mean many people delay signing and/or updating their will. The consequences of dying without a valid will are often not appreciated.

Family dynamics are much more complicated in our modern world. Blended families, that is where at least one of the partners has a child not biologically related to the other partner, are common. People are re-partnering later in their lives. These factors result in complicated and more frequent family disputes upon the death of a loved one. These can be minimised where there is a valid will and appropriate estate planning.

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Adequacy of Information for Notification Decisions -Discount Brands, Subsequent Legislative Amendments and Case Law

Created: Monday, 27 May 2019 09:52

The Supreme Court’s decision in Discount Brands Ltd v Westfield (New Zealand) Ltd [2005] NZSC 17 established the standard of information consent authorities require to make notification decisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA). However, subsequent amendments to the notification provisions of the RMA removed the express statutory requirement for consent authorities to have adequate information, and replaced the rebuttable presumption of notification with a discretion to notify, casting doubt on the continued applicability of Discount Brands.

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Welcoming Back the Well-Beings

Created: Thursday, 16 May 2019 12:27

As promised by Hon Nanaia Mahuta at the beginning of her term as Minister for Local Government,  the four well-beings have been restored to the heart of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act).

The Local Government (Community Well-being) Amendment Bill has now been passed reinstating the four aspects of community well-being – social, economic, environmental and cultural into the Act.  This short Bill, whilst harking back to the inception of the  Act, should not be interpreted as restoring the governance of local authorities to 2002 terms.  Much has changed in the interim, and the waves of ‘reform’ applied to the Act by successive Ministers have changed the manner of governance imposed in countless ways. 

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Brookfields Congratulates New Award Recipient 2019

Created: Monday, 06 May 2019 16:34


At the SOLGM Gala Dinner in May Brookfields had the pleasure of presenting the 2019 Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Sandy Lowe, Risk Manager, Tararua District Council. Sandy will travel to the ICMA conference from 20-23 October in Tennessee, USA.

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Relevant Plan Provisions Must Prevail in Determining Whether Adverse Effects Arise

Created: Wednesday, 03 April 2019 15:05

In the recent decision of Liu v Auckland Council [2019] NZEnvC 33 the Environment Court cautioned that personal views as to what constitutes an adverse effect must not outweigh the application of relevant planning provisions. The decision also provides helpful commentary regarding the nature of the abatement notice appeal regime under the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

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