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Who pays the rates?-Selling a property Property Rates are due throughout each respective council’s prescribed rating periods. Payment may be made six monthly, four monthly, three monthly or annually. When selling your property, you are required, at settlement, to pay the rates up to and including the settlement date. In practice, the Vendor will pay the rates to the end of the current rating period and the Purchaser's share of the rates will be apportioned in the settlement statement and paid to the Vendor by the Purchaser. For example: If the second instalment is from 1 October 2017 – 31 December 2017 and settlement...

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Proposed Changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000-What you need to be aware of

During Labour’s election campaign, the Party released a plan which detailed their intentions for their first 100 days in office (“100 Day Plan”). Since the campaign, the Labour-led Government has released the proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (“ERA”) which are predicted to affect New Zealand’s employment landscape significantly. In this regard, it is important to be aware of what changes Labour are proposing and how the changes may affect you. The proposed changes are recorded as: 1. The amendment of the existing 90-day trial period as implemented by the former National Government (“trial period”); 2. The...

An Introduction to Shareholders’ Agreement-Why are they important?

A shareholders' agreement (“Agreement”) records the arrangements between the shareholders and directors of a company regarding the ownership, government and management of the company. Companies are not required to implement an Agreement by law. However, implementing an Agreement is recommended as it is designed to address areas regarding governance and control of business activities, whether external or internal, which a company constitution or the Companies Act 1993 may not specifically address. For example, the Companies Act 1993 may not provide specific guidance regarding the process for shareholders exiting a company. This is where an Agreement can be used by shareholders to...

Alternative Dispute Resolution Series: Arbitration-How can it assist you?

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) methods are an alternative option to going directly to court. Using ADR methods instead of pursuing the matter in court is commonly more cost effective for the parties involved, ADR may also take less time to resolve the dispute. ADR relieves the court of cases which they believe can be resolved without court assistance. This article is the second article in our ADR article series and will focus on arbitration. The arbitration process is governed by the Arbitration Act 1996 and the Arbitration Amendment Act 2007. Arbitration is a formal dispute resolution process whereby two or more...

Changing Immigration Policies

New Zealand’s immigration landscape has been changing over the last year. New policies were implemented by the former National Government, and now the Labour-led Government (“Labour”) is set to implement its campaign policies in the coming months. The Former National Government Changes In April 2017, the National Government announced proposed changes to the Skilled Migrant Category (“SMC”) and the Essential Skill Work Visa (“ESWV”) for migrant visas. This was implemented on 28 August 2017. The SMC With a record number of migrants migrating to New Zealand, the SMC’s criteria seeks to ensure that New Zealand (“NZ”) facilitates and recognizes migrants who provide greater economic...

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Christmas Snippets

Trading hours over Christmas As Christmas day is less than two months away, we think that now is a good time to give you a reminder about where you can purchase your festive booze on the day. Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, only premises holding an on-licence can sell you liquor as they would on any ordinary day, if you are residing on the premises (as in a hotel situation) and dining in. In terms of the dining times, you are allowed to be served alcohol up to an hour before and an hour after your meal. Restaurants...

Mediation in Employment Disputes

Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) methods are alternatives to going directly to court. Using ADR methods instead of pursuing the matter in court is usually more cost effective for all the parties involved, takes less time to resolve the dispute, and also relieves the court of cases they believe can be resolved between the parties without court assistance. This particular article will focus on mediation in the context of employment law and form a part of our ADR article series which will include articles on formal/informal negotiation and arbitration over the next two newsletters. Mediation is essentially a voluntary process where an...

Reforms in Trust Law-what it means for your trust

Family trusts are a practical structure for holding assets, particularly in New Zealand where there are approximately 300,000 to 500,000 trusts operating today. Currently, the Trustee Act 1956 and the Perpetuities Act 1964 contain provisions which need to be read in conjunction with case law regarding their operation, and do not keep up with present-day trust practices. Therefore, the updates regarding trust law under the current Trusts Bill (“Bill”) are long overdue, being the first significant reform for at least 60 years. The Bill will replace these Acts, clarify core trust concepts and create more practical trust legislation. Overview of proposed...