The New Trusts Act and How it Will Affect You as a Trustee

As you may be aware, the Trusts Act ("Act") has received Royal Assent and will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Amongst other things the Act codifies the duties of trustees and requires greater transparency with beneficiaries. It will affect your current trust arrangements. You should consider reviewing, updating and making structural changes to your Trust if necessary, in order to future proof your Trust. The following is a summary of the key changes and how they may affect you.
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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.
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Skills Match Reports – The Immigration Fallacy

Skills Match Reports were introduced into Work Visa policy a few years ago. Since then employers, applicants and immigration lawyers all over New Zealand have been the pawns in a game between the Ministry of Social Development and Immigration New Zealand.
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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.
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Breaking Down IAC19/01 Return to the 'Status Quo' For Partnership Based Visitor Visa Applications

The past few months have been eventful in the immigration landscape. Partnership visa applications were a hot topic and the media could not get enough of it. Migrant protests and political boycotts were all over our screens, thanks to the words of our honourable MP, Shane Jones.
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Excessive and Inappropriate Screen Use in Schools - A Legal Ticking Time Bomb?

I’m a father of four primary school age children, and a partner in a large Auckland law firm. I’ve been asked to write this opinion piece to provoke further public discussion and consideration of the issues surrounding the use of screens/technology in schools.
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Enactment of Partnership Law Act 2019

The Partnership Law Bill was introduced to Parliament in May 2019 as a revision bill, subject to the revision powers set out in s 31 of the Legislation Act 2012. Therefore the 2019 Act does not make any substantive policy changes. Nevertheless, re-enactment of the 111 years old Partnership Act 1908 in contemporary language, style and format is intended to make the law more accessible, clarify Parliament's intent, and reconcile inconsistencies within the old Act.
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Update on recent amendments of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 and recent decision of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal

Real estate agents or salespersons seeking to challenge a Complaints Assessments Committee's finding of unsatisfactory conduct need now to be aware of a shortened appeal period.
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Changes to Protection Orders From 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, changes are being made to all Protection Orders, including those made before this date. The Family Violence Act 2018 repeals and replaces the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and modifies the Care of Children Act 2004 as part of ongoing efforts to tackle domestic violence issues in New Zealand with the aim of providing faster, more effective protection for protected persons and increasing accountability and compliance by respondents.
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'Insuring' Your Relationship Property

Section 21 of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 ("the Act") allows for parties to essentially 'contract out' of the Act and determine how the relationship property would be divided on the off-chance that you and your partner separate.
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