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Bramwell Bate News

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General consequence when bankruptcy is declared It is always a difficult time when you find that you are earning 99c but regularly spending $1.00. If you cannot turn the position around, personal bankruptcy being declared against you looms as a real consequence. Filing for bankruptcy itself is the most serious alternative when you are in financial difficulties, and the whole situation is stressful, so sharing the problem with your lawyer in the first instance can help clarify the best way forward. The general consequences are significant. In brief, any proceedings commenced against you to recover debts are halted, and some are actually cancelled....

How do you enforce land covenants when a neighbour is in breach?

Land covenants place rights and obligations on the land/property you own. It is an instrument that is registered on a record of title for a property that runs with the land, which creates a legal obligation to do, or not to do, something in respect of the land/property. Such restrictions can relate to anything from the colour of your house or what you use the property for; to where you put your rubbish or park your vehicle. These restrictions are commonly found in new suburban subdivisions to maintain the quality of the neighbourhood. If you, or your neighbour, breach one of the...

What is a Calderbank offer, and when it should be used?

A Calderbank offer, otherwise known as a “Without Prejudice Save as to Costs” offer, is a tactic that can be used to settle a dispute for a lower amount and avoid going to a court trial. This tactic is named after a case from 1975 in the English Court of Appeal, between Mr and Mrs Calderbank. A Calderbank offer is an offer made by one party to the other side of a dispute. It puts the other side on notice that if the dispute goes before a court, and the outcome is less favourable to the other side than the Calderbank offer...

Points of interest on drug and alcohol testing in the workplace

Drugs and alcohol can make an employee less effective, struggle to concentrate, careless, unable to make rational decisions, amongst other behaviour changes, but most importantly of all a hazard to themselves and other employees. Employers have an obligation to take reasonable measures to provide a work environment for their employees and others, that minimizes the hazards at work. What is a hazard and what is reasonable?: As defined at clause 16 of The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (“HSW”) a “hazard includes a person’s behaviour where that behaviour has the potential to cause death, injury, or illness to a person...

Overview of Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019 (“RTAA”) was passed on 30 July 2019 and came into effect on 27 August 2019. The RTAA addresses key issues that have implications for both landlord and tenant including: tenant liability for damage, insurance statements, contamination of premises and unlawful residential premises. Tenant liability for damage: The RTAA provides that if tenants or their guests damage a rental property due to their careless behaviour, the tenant will have to pay for the cost of the damage up to (whichever is the lower) a maximum of four weeks’ rent or the landlord’s insurance excess. This amendment aims...

Bramwell Bate News

Snippets

The role of the executor Often when you are asked to be the executor of a will, you accept the role without truly knowing its parameters. While not wishing to deter anyone from accepting the responsibility to carry out this very important role, you must understand what it entails. When a member of the family or a close friend asks you to be the executor of his or her will, you should seek some legal advice before you say yes. Often the words ‘executor and trustee’ of the will are included together. The roles are often combined these days, with the trustee...

Further change to gun laws

Following the amendments to the Arms Act 1983 (“the Act”) that came into force on 11 April 2019, a second tranche of proposed changes, the Arms Legislation Bill (“the Bill”), is currently under review by the Select Committee. This next step in the reform of the Act looks to establish a firearms registry and amend licensing requirements with the intention of reinforcing positive behaviour that is required of firearms owners. Not much is currently known about the firearms in New Zealand in respect of how many there are (legally), who has them, who is buying and selling, and how secure the...

Bringing the Adoption Act into modern times

The New Zealand Adoption Act 1955 (“the Act”) has been widely viewed as being in need of an overhaul to bring it up to date with the modern times. In 2016 the Human Rights Review Tribunal ruled that sections of the Act were discriminatory and outdated. This article will take a closer look at the specifics of the Act that are not in keeping with today’s New Zealand. Surrogacy - The Act sees the natural mother (the woman who births the child) as the legal guardian of the child. The natural mother is named on the birth certificate and her partner,...