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Knowledge

Trusts, Gifting and the Rest Home Subsidy

Thursday 23 November, 2017

The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) administers the Social Security Act 1964. The Act includes a residential care subsidy regime which concerns the cost of rest home care (commonly called the rest home subsidy).

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Forest and Bird decision

Thursday 23 November, 2017

The recent Supreme Court decision in Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Co Ltd v Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society of New Zealand Inc [2017] NZSC 106 is a timely reminder for local authorities and other parties exercising statutory decision making powers to be fully aware of all relevant factors when exercising such powers.

In addition, the d...

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Slippery slopes: local authority liability for landslips

Thursday 23 November, 2017

Councils owe various different potential duties in relation to damage caused by landslips. In this Legal brief, we comment on a recent case where a Council was held liable for damage caused by a landslip. While the slip itself was triggered by natural causes, the underlying instability was the result of earthworks carried out by the Council more ...

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Responding to a workplace accident

Thursday 23 November, 2017

It is important to have a plan in place outlining how you will respond to a workplace accident in order to balance the need to satisfy your responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (‘the Act’) and the need to protect your interests in the event of a prosecution.

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New Statutory requirements for consent conditions

Thursday 23 November, 2017

Section 108AA of the Resource Management Act 1991 (“the RMA”) was inserted as part of the recent resource legislation amendments and came into effect on 18 October 2017. The new section introduces restrictions which limit the scope of conditions that may be imposed on a resource consent, in addition to the requirements of sections 108 and 220.

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Actual and reasonable costs principles

Thursday 23 November, 2017

Local authorities when levying additional charges pursuant to Section 36 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) must ensure that those charges reflect the actual and reasonable costs in relation to the activity. We review a recent High Court decision – Porirua City Council v Ellis [2017] NZHC 784 – where the Court upheld an Environment Court dec...

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Minister to reverse new non-notification law

Thursday 23 November, 2017

Environment Minister David Parker has indicated that the Government will attempt to reform the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) which was amended in April this year through the Resource Legislation Amendment Act 2017 (RLAA).

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Defamation update

Friday 15 September, 2017

Local body authorities and politicians need to be particularly mindful of defamation law. In our defamation update we outline recent developments in defamation law and set out ways that local bodies can manage their defamation risk.

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Local Authorities owe a duty of care to their neighbours - High Court decision

Friday 15 September, 2017

Local authorities owe the same duty of care to their neighbours as any other owners or occupiers of land. We review a recent High Court decision - Double J Smallwoods Ltd v Gisborne District Council [2017] NZHC 1284 - which held a local authority negligent for fire damage to a neighbouring sawmill operation, as a result of its failure to reduce the...

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Local Authorities' decision-making requirements - Court of Appeal decision

Friday 15 September, 2017

In the recent Court of Appeal decision of Wellington City Council v Minotaur Custodians Limited [2017] NZCA 302 (Brown, Simon France and Williams JJ), the Court overturned the decision of the High Court, holding that Part 6 of the Local Government Act 2002 gives local authorities a broad discretion as to how to meet their statutory decision-making ...

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Tendering pitfalls: the importance of "no process contract" clauses

Friday 15 September, 2017

In The Rintoul Group Limited v Far North District Council [2017] NZHC 1132, the Council was found to have breached a tender “process contract” and potentially liable for significant damages to an unsuccessful tenderer. We comment on the case and explain how the outcome could have been avoided.

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New Bill extends enforcement powers under the LGA

Friday 15 September, 2017

A Member’s Bill from The Honourable Jonathan Young (National MP), the Local Government (Freedom of Access) Amendment Bill, was recently introduced to Parliament. The Bill proposes to widen the scope of enforcement officer powers to remove property (such as structures and tents) from council land – a power which will no doubt be welcomed by councils...

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LGOIMA Update - Ombudsman's dedicated webpage for councils

Friday 15 September, 2017

The Office of the Ombudsman is taking proactive steps to provide advice and guidance to agencies (including local authorities). In earlier Legal Briefs we have referred you to the guide, ‘The LGOIMA for local government agencies’ and summarised the Ombudsman’s new approach to ‘delay complaints’. In this edition, we summarise a recent addition to th...

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Health and Safety - Part 3

Friday 15 September, 2017

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 imposes a new duty on local authorities, as “persons conducting a business or undertaking” (PCBUs), to consult, co-operate and co-ordinate activities, so far as is reasonably practicable, with all other PCBUs who share health and safety responsibilities in relation to particular work.

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Bribery of a public official

Thursday 13 July, 2017

The high profile prosecution of a former public official and a private roading contractor in R v Borlase and Noone [2016] NZHC 2970 raises interesting issues as to what constitutes acceptable gifts, entertainment and hospitality when engaging with the public sector in the context of New Zealand’s bribery and corruption laws.

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The Ombudsman's new approach to 'delay' complaints

Thursday 13 July, 2017

The Office of the Ombudsman has just announced that, from 1 July 2017, it will be taking a new approach to how it responds to complaints about delays in making and communicating decisions on requests for official information within the maximum statutory timeframe (i.e. 20 working days).

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Requiring authority status for irrigation scheme operators

Thursday 13 July, 2017

Ministerial approval of private entities as requiring authorities under section 167 of the RMA is, after the initial rush following commencement of the Act in October 1991, comparatively infrequent these days. There was no corresponding Ministerial power in the former Town and Country Planning Act, so the emergence of private entities able to desi...

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Update on RJ Davidson Family Trust

Thursday 13 July, 2017

In our last Legal Brief we discussed the implications of the High Court’s decision in RJ Davidson Family Trust v Marlborough District Council [2016] NZEnvC 81 to resource consent applications. The High Court held that the King Salmon principles regarding the application of Part 2 of the RMA to the preparation of plans, also apply to resource consen...

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Clarity for supermarkets or not?

Thursday 13 July, 2017

The Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority has recently provided clarity on a supermarkets ability to display and promote alcohol within single alcohol areas. ARLA’s decision has been appealed to the High Court.

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Relief for grocery stores

Thursday 13 July, 2017

The Government are making changes to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act to enable grocery stores to continue to sell alcohol.

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Duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Thursday 13 July, 2017

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 imposes different health and safety duties on different people, depending on their role in the workplace. Local authorities need to be aware of these duties and adopt a cautious approach in reducing the risk of a workplace accident.

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Increased Compensation available under the Public Works Act

Monday 12 June, 2017

With the Government’s recent budget announcement of $32.5 billion infrastructure spending over the next four years, it is anticipated that the use of compulsory acquisition powers under Public Works Act 1981 (“PWA”) may be necessary to ensure that such projects can be completed. Recent changes to the PWA have been introduced with the intention to ...

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King Salmon applies to resource consents

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

Following the Supreme Court’s finding in EDS v NZ King Salmon [2014] NZSC 38, that there is generally no need (or ability) to refer back to the purpose and principles in Part 2 of the Resource Management Act 1991 (which was in the context of a plan change), there was some uncertainty as toits application in respect of resource consent applications ...

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High Court determines property arrangement is not a "subdivision"

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

Clearspan Property Assets Ltd v Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd [2017] NZHC 277 is a recent decision of the High Court which deals with the nexus between the law of property rights and the law regulating the use of land. The High Court overturned the unanimous decision of two Judges of the Environment Court in Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd [2016] NZ...

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Case review: Invercargill City Council v Southland

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

This case looks at the obligations a Council may have when issuing Code Compliance Certificates, particularly in relation to the extent of any duty of care that may be owed to property owners.

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Health and Safety at Work Act 2015

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

New Zealand’s poor health and safety record in the workplace has led to significant reforms in the law and the organisations governing this area.

In June 2012, the Minister of Labour established the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety to research and critically evaluate New Zealand’s workplace health and safety system and to rec...

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Your Periodic Discovery Reminder

Wednesday 17 May, 2017

This periodic reminder comments on two particular issues that can pose challenges to organisations dealing with litigation: the duty to preserve documents, and the application of privilege to reports prepared internally or externally in the course of seeking legal advice or preparing for apprehended or actual proceedings.

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Key changes to limitations for civil claims

Monday 13 March, 2017

Limitation regimes are designed to protect defendants from stale claims. Claims that are brought many years after the relevant events are problematic for defendants (and their insurers), who may no longer have access to the evidence and witnesses they need to adequately defend themselves.

From 1 January 2011 the Limitation Act 2010 replaced the ...

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Plan Change 1 to the Waikato Regional Plan – “Healthy Rivers” Update

Submissions on proposed Plan Change 1 close on 8 March 2017 at 5pm. The submission process provides opportunity for those affected by PPC1 to have their say about its provisions. It gives a submitter the right to participate in the hearing process and influence outcomes. If you would like any assistance to complete your submission or wish to dis...

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Farming Directorships - A due diligence guide

This guide was developed between the Institute of Directors, its Waikato Branch and DairyNZ, with input from Tompkins Wake and BDO

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Conscious Uncoupling - an alternative approach to separation

When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin announced they were splitting after ten years of marriage, they did not use the word “divorce”, but “conscious uncoupling”.
New Zealand's family justice system aims for civilised separations to be the rule, particularly where children are involved.

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