Articles

Commercial and Consumer Law

Capture and Commercialise - Commercial Exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property is an asset that has the potential to be more valuable to your business than tangible business assets and should be protected as much as possible. A famous trade mark or a market leading patent may be of far greater value to a company than its physical assets.
Read more

The Privacy Act 2020 - Privacy Principle One

The Privacy Act 2020 ("new Act") came into force in 2020, replacing the Privacy Act 1993. The purpose of the new Act was to overhaul New Zealand's existing privacy of personal information regulatory framework and bring it into line with internationally recognised privacy obligations and standards. Section 22 of the new Act sets out 13 information privacy principles ("Privacy Principles"). In this article, we focus on new developments in relation to Privacy Principle 1 ("PP1"), which addresses the purpose of collection of personal information.
Read more

Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act - Prescribed Suitability and Affordability Assessments for Consumer Credit Contracts - Is Your Business Ready?

On 1 October 2021, the long anticipated Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (Lender Inquiries into Suitability and Affordability) Amendment Regulations 2020 ("Regulations") came into effect after being passed into law by the Government in November last year. The changes are well-intentioned, with the purpose being to tackle high-cost consumer loans and minimise borrower hardship that had been well documented in recent Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment inquiries into mobile trading. However, like all regulation, there is a trade-off, and these highly prescribed regulations place a significant compliance burden on responsible lenders, particularly small and medium enterprises.
Read more

New Duty of Due Diligence on Directors and Senior Managers of Lenders

Significant amendments to the Credit Contract and Consumer Finance Act 2003 ("CCCFA"), come into force on 1 October 2021 which sees among other things the imposition of a new duty of due diligence on directors and senior managers of a "lender" (including some mobile traders).
Read more

Brougham v Regan - The Requirements for a Valid Contract of Guarantee

On 30 October 2020 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgment in the context of contracts of guarantee in the case of Brougham v Regan [2020] NZSC 118. A summary of the key facts of the matter and important points in the Court's decision follow.
Read more

High Court Finds Level 4 'Lockdown' Unlawful for First Nine Days, Considers Lawfulness of Non-Essential Business Closures

The High Court has found that the Government's announcement of an Alert Level 4 'Lockdown' for four weeks from 26 March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic was unlawful and potentially unenforceable for the first nine days (Borrowdale v Director-General of Health [2020] NZHC 2090). The Court also reviewed the closure of all non-essential businesses, which is significant for business owners hoping to file civil liability claims for lost revenue during this period.
Read more

Health and Safety Protocols for the Construction Industry - Covid-19 Alert Level 2

There is an important update on the health and safety requirements in the construction sector we wish to share with you if you have not yet been updated. Over the last few weeks, the situation with Covid-19 in New Zealand has noticeably improved. However, it is too soon to celebrate, and there is no room for complacency as we will still be under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, starting this Thursday 14 May 2020. It will remain critical, perhaps more than ever, for everyone in the construction industry to take all necessary steps to keep the virus under control until we are down to Alert Level 1.
Read more

Hardship - Consumer Credit Contracts Under a Covid-19 Related Lockdown

Section 55 of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 ("CCCFA") provides that a person who is unable reasonably, because of illness, injury loss of employment, the end of a relationship, or other reasonable cause, to meet their obligations under a consumer credit contract and who reasonably expects to be able to discharge their obligations if the terms of the contract were changed as provided for under the CCCFA may apply to a creditor to agree to that change. In the present Covid-19 lockdown, we expect these provisions to be tested and both debtors and creditors need to know their rights and responsibilities in these sorts of situations.
Read more

Unfair Contract Terms

A recent decision in the High Court of New Zealand has provided the first instance of the Courts using the Fair Trading Act 1986 ("FTA") to declare specific terms in a standard form consumer contract unfair, and therefore unenforceable. The decision in Commerce Commission v Home Direct Limited1 was made pursuant to sections in the FTA which were introduced in 2013 and give the Commerce Commission power to apply to the District Court or High Court for a declaration that a term in a standard form consumer contract is unfair.
Read more

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Discussion Document - Better Protections for Contractors

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released a discussion document late last year, inviting public consultation on an important subject affecting a large sector of New Zealand's working public: self-employed 'independent contractors', and companies and people who engage the services of such independent contractors, not just in the course of business, but even in some cases individual consumers utilising those services, for example ordinary member of the public using a 'ride sharing' platform. The deadline for members of the public to provide their feedback to MBIE expires at 5.00 pm on 14 February 2020.
Read more