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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...

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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...

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...

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...

Trading on Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is not a public holiday, yet most businesses used to have to be closed on this particular day. However, changes to the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 (the “Act”) that came into effect in August 2016 mean that all territorial authorities (city and district councils) now have the power to have a local Easter Sunday shop trading policy to permit shops to open on Easter Sunday in areas comprising the whole or part(s) of an authority's district. At...

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Employees-What are we allowed?

When asking Kiwis what their entitlements are when it comes to annual leave, holidays and resignation, the responses are generally vague. Government statistics show that over 50% of working Kiwis have held their current employment position for less than 18 months, therefore, it is imperative for them to be familiar with employment law and employee rights. Resigning An Employment Agreement (“Agreement”) generally allows for employees to resign at any point in employment given they provide notice of resignation (“Notice”). Notice can be...

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Intellectual Property Licensing

Intellectual property (IP) forms a fundamental element of most businesses. It encompasses creativity, innovation and in some instances, education. In certain circumstances, intellectual property rights may be registered, thereby making provision for particular, exclusive rights over an invention, creative expression or brand. Securing protection for intellectual property, may provide for a competitive market place advantage, and facilitate an increase in profit margins and growth. Multiple forms of rights are available for intellectual property. Available rights include, but are not limited to...

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Plant Variety Rights

Grants of Plant Variety Rights (PVR) are available for any plant variety with the exceptions of algae and bacteria. Currently, New Zealand has a noteworthy plant breeding industry. New Zealand growers and breeders take the lion’s share of some of the plant variety registered crops that include kiwifruit, clover and apples. There is a potential for New Zealand to generate significant income not only from the sale of produce but also from obtaining and licensing new varieties from other countries. In...