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Your guide to the legal aspects of franchising in New Zealand

Created: Wednesday, 07 October 2015 15:03

NO FRANCHISE SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

Unlike Australia and other countries such as the USA and Canada, there is no legislation in New Zealand dedicated to franchising. From a legal perspective there are no barriers to entry – no compulsory disclosure documents or registration requirements. There are however a number of general legal requirements which have application to franchising and this guide contains a summary of the main ones.

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Environmental Reporting Act Passes

Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:20

Environment and Statistics Ministers have jointly announced the passing of the Environmental Reporting Act 2015 (the Act).

The Act provides legislative authority for the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand to report accurate and objective updates on the state of New Zealand’s environment.  Reports will be released biannually on one of the five domains of air, freshwater, land, marine and atmosphere / climate.  A synthesis report will be released once every three years.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Environment

Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2015 12:20

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has had a fair degree of media coverage, both during its seven year negotiation, and since negotiations concluded on October 8 2015. Less has been heard however, on the Environment Chapter of the TPP, and what it might mean (if anything) for New Zealand and our environmental regulations.

What is the TPP?

TPP is a free trade agreement that will liberalise trade and investment between 12 Pacific-rim countries: New Zealand, Australia, Brunei Darassalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

The rationale for an Environment Chapter in any trade agreement is to break down trade barriers that exist under the guise of environmental regulations; to promote higher standards of environmental protection globally; and to reduce trade advantages that one country may have over another because of lower environmental standards.

So, for a country like New Zealand with relatively high standards of environmental regulation, and with a highly trade exposed economy, environmental provisions in a trade agreement are welcomed.

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The new Health and Safety at Work Act - Implications for Franchisors

Created: Monday, 28 September 2015 21:52

The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on 4 April 2016 and carries with it maximum fines of $3,000,000 for non-individuals and up to $600,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years for individuals for the most serious offences.  

The new Act has a much wider reach than the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and has the potential to impose duties on franchisors not just in respect of their own workers or work place.  If a Franchisor directs or influences its franchisee's workers, if it subleases or licences premises to its franchisees or supplies goods or plant or equipment which are used in the work place, then it will have additional duties and obligations under the new Act.

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Implications for Franchisors under The new Health and Safety at Work Act

Created: Monday, 28 September 2015 21:52

The new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on 4 April 2016 and carries with it maximum fines of $3,000,000 for non-individuals and up to $600,000 or a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years for individuals for the most serious offences.  

The new Act has a much wider reach than the existing Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 and has the potential to impose duties on franchisors not just in respect of their own workers or work place.  If a Franchisor directs or influences its franchisee's workers, if it subleases or licences premises to its franchisees or supplies goods or plant or equipment which are used in the work place, then it will have additional duties and obligations under the new Act.

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Property Taxation Legislation - New Obligations

Created: Friday, 25 September 2015 23:08

New obligations are to be imposed on clients in the majority of residential property transactions pursuant to the Taxation (Land Information and Offshore Persons Information) Act which comes into effect on 1 October 2015.  Buyers and sellers will be required from then to provide additional information for tax compliance purposes.


LINZ will collect additional information when people buy, sell or transfer property. The information will be passed to Inland Revenue, to follow up on those who have property tax obligations – whether they are New Zealanders or from overseas.

Under the new legislation:

  1. Property buyers/sellers must provide their IRD number and other details when transferring property (there will be an exemption for the main home, but this doesn’t apply to offshore persons or trusts);

  2. Those who are tax resident in another jurisdiction to also provide the equivalent of their IRD number in that country (if the person is able to claim the main home exemption they do not need to provide this information);

  3. Offshore persons who need to apply for a New Zealand IRD number will be required to have an operational New Zealand bank account as a pre-requisite.

These requirements apply to contracts entered into on, or after, 1 October. From 2 April 2016, all additional information must be provided regardless of when the contract was entered into.

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