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Fine Print

Published three times a year. Fineprint is NZ LAW's flagship publication with wide-ranging articles.

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Commercial eSpeaking

Covering in-depth business law issues, this newsletter is distributed three times a year to member firms' commercial clients.

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Trust eSpeaking

Published two times a year. Covers stories of interest to trustees and professionals advising on asset protection and trusts.

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Property Speaking

Published three times a year. Keeping property investors and owners abreast of current property issues.

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Rural eSpeaking

Covers stories of interest to farmers and those working in the rural sector, in matters relating to New Zealand's heartland.

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Find a Law Firm

If you would to talk with a lawyer on any of the topics covered in any five of our client newsletters.

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Articles

Published 9th April 2019 by Tanya Surrey, Mactodd

The seven year itch
The Clean Slate Act or clean slate scheme, more formally and correctly known as the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, became law almost 15 years ago. The rationale behind the legislation was to enable people who had certain convictions to put their past behind them without the stigma of a permanent conviction. Having a criminal record can have far-reaching consequences for employment, immigration, voluntary work and various other matters.

Published 9th April 2019 by Sarah White, Malley & Co

For better, for worse?
The law governing the division of property when a relationship ends is, after more than 40 years, set to change following the Law Commission’s comprehensive review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA).

The Law Commission has identified changes that it believes should be made to ensure the regime better reflects the reasonable expectations of New Zealanders. We set out some of the proposals that may be relevant to you or your family.

Published 22nd March 2019 by Neil Dent, Gifford Devine

What is the government proposing?
The Minister for Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, announced on 17 February this year that the ‘tenure review’ of Crown pastoral land under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 (CPLA) would end. She introduced a discussion document entitled ‘Enduring Stewardship of Crown Pastoral Land’ that sets out a number of proposals in relation to Crown pastoral land. Public feedback is sought on:

• The implications of ending the tenure review
• The outcomes the Crown is seeking for Crown pastoral land, and
• What changes should be made to the Crown Pastoral Land regulatory system to achieve those outcomes.

Submissions should be made by 5pm on Friday 12 April 2019.

Published 22nd March 2019 by Neil Dent, Gifford Devine

Review due in May
The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) were first proposed in 2010. Following a period of consultation, the Standards came into effect on 1 May 2018, with a review due in 12 months after that (May 2019) to ascertain whether or not they are being successfully implemented.

Ironically, the NES-PF came into effect a month before torrential rain north of Gisborne in the Tolaga Bay area in June 2018. This storm caused flooding which led to tonnes of forestry debris being strewn across farms and blocking rivers. The cleanup was expected to cost around $10 million and to take up to a year to complete. The cost and responsibility for this cleanup is still being determined.

Published 22nd March 2019 by Sarah Heald, Dorrington Poole

The government reviews the minimum wage each year.

On 1 April 2019 the adult minimum wage will increase from $16.50/hour to $17.70/hour. The starting out and training minimum wage will increase from $13.20/hour to $14.16/hour. The government has also set indicative rates of $18.90/hour from 1 April 2020 and to $20.00/hour from 1 April 2021. These rates will be subject to each year’s annual review

We recommend you review all wage and salary structures to ensure your employees are paid at least the minimum wage at all times for hours worked.

Published 22nd March 2019 by Sarah Heald, Dorrington Poole

Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018:

From 1 April 2019 this legislation will impose new obligations on employers under three pieces of employment legislation and the Human Rights Act 1993.

Employers will be required to pay up to 10 days/year of paid domestic violence leave. Employees may take this leave as needed in order to deal with the effects of domestic violence – similar to existing sick and bereavement leave provisions. 

Published 25th February 2019 by Chris Kelly, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

It’s a time-consuming and expensive process if you don’t have an EPA
Most people are now aware of the importance of having an enduring power of attorney (EPA). If you are unable to make decisions for yourself at any stage (either temporarily or longer term) it is important there is someone in place to act on your behalf. What happens to you, and your family situation, if you have no EPA?

Ensuring you have EPAs (for property and for your health and welfare) is a very important part of keeping your personal affairs in order. An EPA can be used if you are out of the country for a long time and you need someone to keep an eye on your financial affairs, or if you become mentally incapacitated and cannot look after your property or yourself.

Published 25th February 2019 by www.nsaTax.co.nz

The much-anticipated final report of the Tax Working Group (TWG) was released on 21 February and, unsurprisingly, recommended the introduction of a broad-based, realised capital gains tax regime. The Final Report is substantial at two volumes and 206 pages, 94 of which are dedicated to a discussion on a capital gains tax (CGT) regime.

Whilst there are some changes from the Interim Report released last September, the recommendations are substantially the same as those contained in that report. Interestingly, only eight out of eleven of the TWG members support the introduction of a comprehensive CGT regime.

Published 25th February 2019 by Colette Mackenzie, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

Helping your children – with care
Contributions by family members to the purchase of a property and how this is recorded can affect property ownership. We discuss how you can help your children and, at the same time, lessen the risks to you as parents.

New Zealand houses have never been more unaffordable: in the 1950s to 1980s a house cost two to three times the average household income. In the 1990s it was four times the average, and by the 2000s it was up to six times the average household income. When you add in the fact that households are now far more likely to have two incomes (compared with the single income norm of the 1950s), housing looks even less affordable.

Published 25th February 2019 by Kimberly Lawrence, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

What the future may hold for separating couples with a trust

When a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship breaks down, the couple will usually divide their property according to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA). However, these two people often hold property in a trust rather than personally. 

The PRA has limited remedies to access property which has been put in a trust, and this can result in unfairness when a couple separates if there are no assets that they own personally. 
The Law Commission has undertaken a review of the PRA and proposed that the legislation be changed to make it easier to access trust property when a couple separates.