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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 20th February 2020 by Chris Kelly, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

How many people should you name as attorneys?
In previous articles in Trust eSpeaking, we have explained why it is important to have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) and the problems that can be created if you do not have one when the need arises. You should have two EPAs – one for property, and the other for personal care and welfare.

In your EPA, you should also take care to name appropriate people as your attorneys. Ideally you should name two people to manage your property, which also includes your finances and investments.

Published 20th February 2020 by Kimberly Lawrence, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

How much can a disinherited child expect?
The Family Protection Act 1955 allows children to bring claims against the estate of a deceased parent on the basis that their parent did not adequately provide for their ‘proper maintenance and support’. Exactly what constitutes ‘proper maintenance and support’ is the subject of considerable litigation, as well as extensive commentary in the media.

Since a trio of Court of Appeal decisions in the early 2000s, a general understanding has emerged that awards under the family protection legislation can be quantified by referring to a percentage of the relevant estate. It has long been said that a financially-stable adult child might expect to receive between 10%–20% of the estate of their deceased parent, depending on a number of factors including the size of the estate and the position of others under the will or those people who are entitled to make a claim. In many cases, the 10%–20% threshold has become an informal benchmark when assessing the position of a financially-stable adult child making a claim against a modest, but not insignificant, estate.

Published 24th January 2020 by Rebecca Nilsen, Cruickshank Pryde

Rewarding value and increasing engagement
Bringing a key employee or a family member into your business by offering them a shareholding can be a powerful motivator and a significant indicator of how much you value their contributions to your success. However, the process should be done carefully with a robust shareholders’ agreement and company constitution, as there are many facets of the company-shareholder relationship that must be agreed upon to ensure a harmonious future between yourself and the new shareholders.

Published 24th January 2020 by Rebecca Nilsen, Cruickshank Pryde

Consultation is key
New year, new you – new business structure? Restructuring is common in the new year when business owners feel refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge. The process however, is often shrouded in uncertainty (and stress) for employees.

Following the correct procedure for a restructure will allow your employees time to feel heard and to ensure decisions are made in good faith. They need to know your plans so they can ask the right questions and get the required support during a restructuring process.

Published 17th December 2019 by Neil Dent, Gifford Devine

Government’s proposal to clean up waterways
Water quality is no new issue in Aotearoa New Zealand, but it is a growing one. On 31 October 2019, the government closed submissions on the Action Plan for Healthy Waterways. The Plan has since been referred to an independent advisory panel that will consider the public’s submissions and report back to the government. The panel consists of five members with expertise in a range of areas including dairy farming, environmental law, hydrology and water management.

Published 17th December 2019 by Neil Dent, Gifford Devine

Five-year joint action plan launched
On 24 October 2019 the primary sector launched the ‘Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment: He Waka Eke Noa – our future in our hands to manage agricultural emissions.’

He Waka Eke Noa kicks off a collaborative five-year joint action plan between the agriculture sector, the government and iwi with the target of decreasing farming emissions and developing a farm emissions pricing scheme. If the action plan produces satisfactory results, agriculture will not be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) under the proposed Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill.

Published 22nd November 2019 by Tom Sanders, Simpson Western

Avoid common mistakes when employing summer staff
With summer fast approaching, many businesses will be hiring temporary staff to meet their needs over the busy summer months. Taking on temporary staff can throw up some tricky issues. Employers often are uncertain about what employment agreement is appropriate for temporary staff and how their holiday entitlements should be met. We explore the pros and cons of different kinds of agreements for temporary employees and provide guidance on their annual leave and holiday pay entitlements.

In general, there are two types of employment agreements that can be used for temporary employees:
• Fixed-term employment agreements, and
• Casual employment agreements.

Published 22nd November 2019 by John Sheddan, Sheddan Pritchard Law Ltd

Changes to legislation bring huge implications
The rural fires of last summer are a reminder of the risk of fire to our communities. The cause of the blaze in the Nelson region, one of New Zealand’s largest plantation fires, was attributed to a spark caused when farm equipment hit a stone. This leads to the question – who is liable for the cost of fighting a rural fire?

Many rural people are unaware that when the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 (FENZ Act) came into force on 1 July 2017, it significantly moved the fire goalposts. Responsibility changed from what was known as ‘strict liability’ for causing a rural fire to ‘criminalising risky or reckless behaviour’ which results in a fire. It sounds minor, but the implications of this change are huge.

Published 22nd November 2019 by Kimberly Lawrence, Greg Kelly Law Ltd

Comes into force early 2021
The Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Much of the Act updates or restates existing law. However, there are a number of changes about which trustees and people with trusts should be aware.

Published 5th November 2019 by Andrew Bright, RMY Legal

Before you sign the lease
Commercial leases come in varying shapes and sizes. Whether you operate a transport business and need a place to park your trucks, manufacture and sell goods from a warehouse or conduct your trade from a boutique store in the heart of the CBD, your lease agreement will be at the heart of your business.

Before you sign a lease, there are a number of core issues to consider. It is important to do your homework and talk with us before you commit to anything.