News & thinking

Legal Updates:

A significant reform to New Zealand’s labour laws: the Fair Pay Agreements Bill.

, ,
The Government has introduced the Fair Pay Agreements Bill to Parliament this week.  The purpose of the new law will be to provide a framework for collective bargaining for industry or occupation wide Fair Pay Agreements' or 'FPAs' that will…

Easter and Anzac trading restriction – what are retail employers allowed to do?

,
Thinking about the Easter/ANZAC holidays? Which ever way you like to enjoy your Easter, retail employers need to be aware of the special rules that apply to shop trading on these days of special significance. Shops are required be closed all…

COVID-19 Changes announced

, , , , ,
What are the changes and what do these mean for your business? This morning (23 March 2022) the New Zealand Government announced significant amendment to vaccination mandates, the COVID-19 Protection Framework and 'My Vaccine Pass' requirements. Following…

The Government takes on the income protection insurance market

, , , ,
Last week, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced the Government's proposal for a universal income insurance scheme. The "social insurance" would support New Zealanders who lose their job through no fault of their own, or need to stop…

Income insurance in New Zealand – a saving grace or undue burden?

, ,
On 2 February the Government announced the details of a proposed nation-wide Income Insurance Scheme (IIS). The implementation of such a scheme in New Zealand is a significant reform, potentially the largest since the adoption of the ACC…
Action in the courts

Court ends Ross Class Action against Southern Response

,
A High Court Judgment delivered by the Hon Justice Osborne last week (16 December) terminates the Ross Class Action ("RCA") against Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited.  This removes the last hurdle for homeowners to recover their…
Peter Woods

Southern Response decision unlocks $300m more

, , , ,
Southern Response’s decision to accept the Court of Appeal's findings in the Dodds’ case allows at least 3,000 Christchurch policyholders who settled their claims before 1 October 2014 to receive compensation of $100,000 each, on average,…
Calendar with a pin marking a public holiday

To Mondayise or not to Mondayise, that is the festive season question…

, ,
It’s hard to believe it’s almost Christmas again and yet last Christmas feels like an eternity ago. This year Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years and 2nd January public holidays will fall over the weekend and will, in some cases, need to be…
Silhouettes of travellers in an airport walking

Case summary WXN vs. Auckland International Airport

, , ,
Unvaccinated Auckland International Airport employee granted interim reinstatement The Employment Court has granted an employee interim reinstatement after his employment was terminated for refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. His employer,…

Your obligations when WorkSafe comes knocking

, ,
A recent prosecution by WorkSafe provides a timely reminder that individuals and businesses have obligations to assist WorkSafe inspectors carrying out their roles. So, what is your duty and what steps do you need to take to avoid enforcement…
Hands holding a pen writes along paper

Duties as a PCBU – does a contract matter?

, ,
The High Court has provided welcome guidance on the question of whether the absence of a contract between duty holders affects the question of whether a party can be liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). What happened? In…
Styalised image of woman looking toward the camera with a blue filter over top.

Bullying in the workplace

,
This article was originally published on the Legalwise website on 19 November 2020. An employee has recently been awarded $20,000 plus three months' wages as a result of the employer failing to properly address complaints of bullying We…
An areoplane flies across the blue sky

Air Freight liability increase

In a year to forget for international airlines, the hits keep coming. From 28 August, air carrier liability for loss, damage or delay significantly increased. Freight forwarders and others who contract for carriage by air will also be impacted…

Climate change – reporting on a sleeper issue

, ,
Earlier this week, the Government announced that mandatory climate-related financial disclosures will be introduced for large financial services entities. The announcement follows last year's consultation on the issue, and makes New Zealand…
Single house in a row red against the other white houses.

The ability to enforce following lease and mortgage defaults

, , ,
On 15 April, the Government announced further temporary changes to legislation giving some relief to commercial tenants and mortgagors. Particularly, changes to current legislation were introduced extending the timeframes that tenants and…

Update: The new Privacy Act 2020

,
The new Privacy Bill, now the Privacy Act 2020 was passed into law on 30 June and comes into force on 1 December 2020. In this note we briefly summarise the most salient aspects of the reforms. Mandatory notification of harmful privacy breaches …
Union Jack flag flapping in the blue sky

5 Quick Questions: NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement 

,
On 17 June, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) officially announced the start of negotiations on a free trade agreement between New Zealand (NZ) and the United Kingdom (UK), stating that the parties are committed to a bilateral…

Honey Bees takes the sting out of penalty clauses

, ,
The Supreme Court has upheld previous decisions in finding that when it comes to penalty clauses, the measure is no longer whether the penalty is a "genuine pre-estimate of loss". A penalty clause will now be enforceable unless it is "out…

Are you an independent contractor or an employee?

,
The test to determine whether a worker is an employee or a contractor is well established, and it requires a focus on the real nature of the working relationship. In practice, this test assesses the intention of the parties, the level of control…

Property transactions in a time of challenge

, , ,
Our property team has been working through the national state of emergency and lockdown. Below are some questions we have been fielding from our clients and we hope our answers will assist those in a limbo. We assume that the standard form…

Court proceedings under COVID-19 alert level four

, , ,
At midnight on Wednesday 25 March 2020 New Zealand moved into COVID-19 alert level 4, after which, only essential services remain operating.   The Ministry of Justice has advised that the Courts will be closed to the public, and only…

Deductibility of home office expenses and employee reimbursements

,
On 17 March, Government announced their relief package for the financial fallout from COVID-19. This included various business tax concessions. They included: The re-introduction of tax depreciation on commercial and buildings at a diminishing…

Corporate tax residence – setting up business in the New Zealand market and the impact of recent Australian Tax Office rulings

, , , ,
Setting up business in New Zealand may be easy, however not having in place appropriate corporate governance practices can lead to costly tax residence consequences. Doing business in New Zealand We are frequently approached by global…

Privacy Commissioner’s recommendations on workplace bullying information access

, ,
The Privacy Commissioner's office has received several complaints regarding employees being denied access to information about bullying investigations arising out of complaints that they have submitted.    As a result, on 28 January…

Open for consultation – an update to the classification system for hazardous substances

,
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently seeking public submissions on the proposed adoption in New Zealand of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Revision 7 (2017). What's happening? The…

Will the new reforms to the Overseas Investment Act affect you?

, ,
On 19 November 2019, Associate Minister of Finance David Parker announced a raft of broad changes to the Overseas Investment Act as part of a Phase 2 reform of the Act. This followed the announcement, on 16 October 2018, that the Government…

Supreme Court clarifies the law under s292 of the Companies Act

, , ,
The Supreme Court has now issued a judgment in Robt. Jones Holdings Limited v McCullagh and Lawrence in [2019] NZSC 86.  The decision clarifies the test under section 292, giving liquidators and advisors certainty around what must be proven…

Domestic violence legislation undergoes more changes

, ,
The Domestic Violence – Victims' Protection Act 2018, which was enacted on 1 April this year to provide support to employees affected by domestic violence, is already being altered. Key definitions in the Victims' Protection Act that are…

Back on the table – New Incorporated Societies Act to be introduced in late 2019

, ,
On 26 June, MBIE announced that legislation to update the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 (Act) is expected to be introduced to Parliament later this year. Cabinet has approved changes to the Draft Bill following feedback received since it was…

Privacy Bill Update – Act Now!

, ,
The Justice Select Committee recently published its widely anticipated report on the Privacy Bill, having now completed its review. This Bill will repeal and replace New Zealand's 25 year old Privacy Act 1993, an Act in desperate need of a refresh.…

Court of Appeal ruling challenges confidentiality of documents provided to the Financial Markets Authority

, , ,
Court of Appeal ruling challenges confidentiality of documents provided to the Financial Markets Authority The Court of Appeal has issued a much-awaited judgment regarding the ability of the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to disclose to…

Court halts litigation spanning 25 years

, , ,
On 1 March 2017, the Senior Courts Act 2016 (Act) came into force. The Act replaced the Judicature Act 1908 and introduced several changes, including specific provisions restricting vexatious litigants from commencing or continuing proceedings…

Will the financial advice change affect you?

, , ,
The Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee has reported back on the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill (FSLAB). FSLAB will amend New Zealand's financial advice laws, by replacing the current stand-alone Financial…