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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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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 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.

Published 4th February 2019 by Richard Hearn, Corcoran French

Monday, 6 May 2019 is D-day
Last year saw many changes in the employment law sphere, with the Labour-led government delivering on promises of reform in this area. Of particular significance are the changes incorporated into the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 that was passed late last year. These changes will affect both employers and employees.

Published 30th January 2019 by Simpson Western

High Court provides useful guidance for subcontractors.

The collapse last year of Ebert Construction Limited took many in the construction industry by surprise, particularly its subcontractors who were owed retention moneys

Published 30th January 2019 by Norris Ward McKinnon

Directors have personal liability for company debt in liquidation

A recent decision in the Court of Appeal[1] has made a director liable for almost $500,000 of company debt due to the company’s failure to keep adequate accounting records. The decision highlights the importance for directors to understand their duties under the Companies Act 1993. The Act requires directors to ensure that the company keeps proper financial records.

Published 30th January 2019 by Norris Ward McKinnon

The Tax Working Group (TWG), established by the government to consider the future of tax in New Zealand, intends publishing its recommendations very soon.

This report will follow the TWG’s September 2018 interim report that considered the possible introduction of a capital gains tax (CGT) in New Zealand. The details of how a CGT would work are yet to be clarified, as there are a number of different options that could be taken on implementation and the design detail of such a tax. It is hoped that the TWG’s report will provide further details.