News & thinking


Typical 12-month gift card expiry dates may soon be a thing of the past

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The days of gift cards that expire after 12 months may soon be limited after the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee presented its report on the Fair Trading (Gift Card Expiry) Amendment Bill to the House on 1 May, recommending…

Addressing company directors’ right to privacy

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Directors may have an easier pathway to avoid publication of their residential address to protect them from potential harm under a new Bill recently introduced to Parliament. However, doubts remain about the proposed process and there are questions…

Should Fair Trading Act penalties be increased?

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Last week, the chair of the Commerce Commission (Commission), Dr John Small, told a select committee during its annual review process that the potential penalties enforceable under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) are weak and a frustration for…

Employment Court awards record $1.8m in damages for school counsellors’ mental harm

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The Employment Court Cronin-Lampe v The Board of Trustees of Melville High School has recently awarded almost $1.8m in damages, being the highest award of damages in the employment jurisdiction since 1992. Mr and Mrs Cronin-Lampe were employed…

Is 2024 going to be “the insolvency year”?

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Most professionals in the insolvency world would agree that the effects of Covid have been slow to make an impact in our area. Indeed, during the "Covid years" of mid-2020 to -late 2022, New Zealand experienced very low insolvency numbers.…

Anthony Harper wins Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year

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Anthony Harper was named winner of Insolvency and Restructuring Deal of the Year at the 2023 NZ Law Awards, for the liquidation of CBL Insurance Limited. The firm acted for liquidators, McGrathNicol, in a claim against the directors and advisors…

New requirements for incorporated societies now live

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The new Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (Act) and its Regulations came into force on 5 October 2023. This introduces significant changes to the law for incorporated societies, meaning that: Existing incorporated societies are now able…

Managing the fallout from cyberattacks and major business incidents

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The Australian Federal Court has released a decision of considerable interest to businesses investigating incidents and potential wrongdoing. Optus has lost its bid to keep secret the cause of a cyberattack in 2022, which resulted in exposure…

No ability to set off claims in solvent liquidations

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A warning for companies entering solvent liquidation: you may not have a right to set-off unliquidated claims against debts you owe to creditors. That was the finding in a recent High Court decision where the liquidators of HY Tourism Ltd…

What employers can expect under a National-led government

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With the official results for this year's election due tomorrow, New Zealanders have voted for change with a National-led government. While employment law policies have not been a significant feature of National's campaign, we can expect some…

What a new Government means for financial services

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"Cutting financial red tape and unlocking the enormous potential of KiwiSaver is part of National’s broader plan to strengthen the economy so we can reduce the cost of living, lift incomes for all and deliver the public services New Zealanders…

Mainzeal – Supreme Court recognises two “new” causes of action for creditors

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The Supreme Court recently released its decision in relation to the long-running directors' duty case, Yan v Mainzeal Property and Construction Limited (in liquidation) [2023] NZSC 113 (Mainzeal). In the wake of the release, there have been…

Four key points from the Employment Court’s latest decision against Customs

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On 30 June 2023, Chief Judge Inglis of the Employment Court determined that the New Zealand Customs Service (Customs) did not act as a fair and reasonable employer in terminating the employment of a worker (referred to as GF). Inglis said…
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Legal risks associated with the use of AI

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In the span of a few years, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has showcased its potential to revolutionise the way we live, work, and interact. However, for many of us, the concept of AI and what it holds for the future remains a grey area. In…
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AI, privacy and confidentiality

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Many organisations have raised concerns regarding the relationship between AI (particularly public AI), and personal and/or confidential data. Anyone using public AI, such ChatGPT, could potentially breach privacy and/or confidentiality…
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Who owns the copyright for AI-generated content?

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With more companies and users creating content and images using generative AI (GAI), it is unclear however who owns the resulting copyright in these works. Under the Copyright Act 1994 (the Act), computer-generated content (which includes…
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Bias and reliability issues with AI-generated content

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The ability of AI to process complex queries and deliver an articulate response in a matter of seconds can lead to users treating the output as fact. The reality, however, is that AI delivers information and makes decisions based off the…
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Developing a workplace policy for AI use

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The AI landscape continues to evolve with organisations embracing and incorporating this cutting-edge technology into their operations. While AI's potential to provide significant benefits, including increased efficiency and cost savings,…
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Gloriavale – A cautionary tale

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Chief Judge Inglis has made it clear for the second time that "the tail will not wag the dog" when it comes to the employment status of former Gloriavale residents. Last week, she held that six former female Gloriavale residents were employees…

Establishing Customer Data Rights – Have your say on the Customer and Product Data Bill

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MBIE has opened consultation on the exposure draft of the highly anticipated Customer and Product Data Bill. The Bill establishes what has been referred to as a 'Consumer Data Right' (CDR). In practical terms the CDR aims to bolster the rights…

Uber allowed to appeal decision on driver employment status

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The issue of whether gig workers are employees continues to work its way through our Courts. On 8 June 2023, the Court of Appeal granted Uber the right to appeal the Employment Court's landmark case of E Tu inc v Rasier Operations BV determined…
The timeframe for employees to raise a personal grievance regarding sexual harassment is poised to change from 90 days to 12 months

How to prepare for the new sexual harassment law change

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Employers are likely to need to update their employment agreements next month (or shortly afterwards) to comply with changes regarding the timeframes for employees to raise personal grievance claims. The Employment Relations (Extended Time…

Fair Pay Agreements Act will commence on 1 December 2022

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Fair Pay Agreements (FPAs) have long been on the government’s workplace agenda as part of their strategy to protect vulnerable employees. The FPA Bill passed through Parliament last week and the new legislation will be effective from 1 December…

Kaikōura Earthquake insurance claim deadline looms

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On 14 November 2016 at two minutes past midnight, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the Kaikoura region (Kaikōura EQ).  It caused extensive damage in the North Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington Regions. Conservative estimates suggest…

Uber drivers held to be employees

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In a landmark decision issued yesterday, the Employment Court has held that four Uber drivers were employees, not independent contractors. This decision highlights the growing risk that technology platforms and companies using gig workers…

TECNZ Annual Conference 2022 – Key Takeaways

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Last month, Health and Safety Partner, Grant Nicholson and solicitor in the Employment Team, Lauren Dennehy, visited lovely Nelson to present seminars at the Annual Tourism Export Council New Zealand Conference. Grant discussed the current…

Fair Trading Act changes – time for tech companies to review their standard terms

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Recent changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) extend protections for contracting parties by adding 'standard form small trade contracts' to the FTA's existing 'unfair contract terms' regime. Many New Zealand businesses including tech companies…
Finance Law Anthony Harper

On the home straight … long awaited Conduct of Financial Institutions SOP released

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The Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill took a major (and belated) step forward late last week with the release of the long awaited supplementary order paper (SOP) to amend the Bill. This progress comes almost two years…

Combatting modern slavery – proposed new duties across the supply chain

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It is difficult to believe that slavery still exists in today's society, but the unfortunate reality is, it does. Modern slavery and worker exploitation remains in both the domestic and international supply chains and whilst our current laws…

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

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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…

Menopause – what employers need to know

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Menopause has far reaching impacts on the lives of women, and as more stay in paid employment longer, on workplaces, too.  Some employers might jump to risk mitigation first. However, leadership specialist Kate Billing and Anthony Harper…

Are vaccine mandates under threat?

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As we head into the peak of Omicron, vaccine mandates remain highly contentious and the subject of prolonged protests around the country. Rather than joining the protest, three Police and Defence Force workers have convinced the High Court that…

The Government takes on the income protection insurance market

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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?

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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…
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Southern Response decision unlocks $300m more

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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,…
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New law on vaccine requirements in the workplace

The Covid-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Bill was introduced yesterday and is expected to be passed into law later this week.  The Bill sets out the process an employer must follow to terminate an employee’s employment for failing…
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Judgment day

Judgments allow Southern Response to pay $300m compensation directly to Canterbury homeowners.  At Anthony Harper, we support a wide range of businesses, organisations and individuals every day to help them further their goals or solve the…

Your obligations when WorkSafe comes knocking

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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…
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Duties as a PCBU – does a contract matter?

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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…
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COVID-19 vaccination – can you make it mandatory on health and safety grounds?

Organisations have well-known obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers. With public access to the COVID-19 vaccine expected within the coming…
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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…

Reflecting on the 10-year anniversary of the Pike River Mine explosion

Ten years ago the Pike River Mine exploded, killing 29 men working underground.  This tragedy affected not just the victims but also their families, the array of businesses involved in the mine, and the broader West Coast community.  At…

Ship Arrests – How Do They Work?

This article Appeared in the October 2020 issue of The Shipping Gazette The drama surrounding recent ship arrests in New Zealand has captured the attention of the shipping fraternity here, with several readers emailing me to try and grasp…

Climate change – reporting on a sleeper issue

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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…
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Impact of COVID-19 on contractual obligations

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With the widespread disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses will be worried about how this impacts contractual performance. In particular, the first lockdown, and the recent sudden move to Alert Levels 2 and 3 will have…