Latest Articles


Created: Thursday, 14 May 2015 13:11

This comment from Building & Housing Minister, Nick Smith, in a speech announcing the Government's revised earthquakestrengthening policy, referring to the 34% code compliance standard for earthquake prone buildings: Minister's speech.

The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill, which is due to be reported back to the House on 30 July 2015, caused a flurry of concern from insurers and building owners when it was introduced at the end of 2013. The Bill proposed seismic assessments of all buildings within 5 years, and required work resulting from the assessment to be completed within15 years, with an extension of 10 years available for some heritage buildings – see our commentary on Bill here.

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Fencing: "..There is no dispute more unpleasant than one between Neighbours.."

Created: Tuesday, 14 April 2015 12:00

The recent decision in Gosney v Ngai Tahu Property Limited was an appeal from a district court decision granting Ngai Tahu an interim injunction which prevented the Gosneys from interfering with Ngai Tahu constructing a fence on the boundary of the Gosney property and associated orders.

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Proposed Environmental Legislation not Limited to RMA

Created: Friday, 10 April 2015 02:07

While the fate of RMA reform hangs in the balance following the Northland by-election, other environmental legislative proposals are worth keeping an eye on.

Environmental Reporting Bill Makes Progress

In March 2014 we discussed the introduction of the Environmental Reporting Bill. As this Bill has now been reported back to the House of Representatives by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee it is a good time to recap on what it seeks to achieve, and what changes the Select Committee have proposed.

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Accessing Capital in Your Home

Created: Wednesday, 08 April 2015 10:11

Funding Options for the Over 60s - Issues for Estates/Remarriages

It is common for those in retirement years to find themselves asset rich but cash poor. This problem is highlighted when the unexpected large bill arrives and funds must be found. There are a number of options available for accessing funds but each must be considered in light of the particular circumstances.

For example, a couple, Mr and Mrs Brown, have been married for 50 years, and have three adult children. They are living in their own home which has a value of $550,000 and is mortgage free. They have just discovered they have to repair the roof which will cost $30,000. They have no cash reserves to fund this repair. What can they do?

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Minor Law Changes Not To Be Overlooked

Created: Wednesday, 01 April 2015 03:14

The Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4) brings with it important changes to a range of legislation affecting local government.

Omnibus Bills such as the above, which was passed on 24 March 2015, are often overlooked but can introduce significant changes to the law. This Bill amends a number of Acts that come within the every day operating sphere of local government. We have identified those of most relevance.

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Misleading Website Headlines

Created: Friday, 27 March 2015 12:54

In August this year the Court of Appeal gave some important guidance on the use of advertising headlines with qualifiers.  "Headlines" with "qualifiers" is where an advertisement makes a grand claim about a product  or service (the "headline") and then qualifies that claim by adding conditions, exceptions etc. (the "qualifiers") often by referring the potential customer to other material or another part of the website.

The decision was Godfrey Hirst NZ Limited v Cavalier Bremworth Limited and the Court of Appeal looked at whether certain headlines amounted to "misleading and deceptive conduct" or "false or misleading representations" in breach of sections 9 or 13 of the Fair Trading Act when one took into account the qualifiers.

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