Last month courts in both New Zealand and Australia imposed significant penalties on companies and individuals for breaching cartel laws. In imposing the sentences both courts referred to the need to deter possible offenders from engaging in cartel conduct. The large penalties – including jail in the Australia case - are a timely reminder for NZ businesses. This update discusses the cases and a brief recap on New Zealand cartel laws and their penalties.
Jackson Russell is delighted to announce a new partnership with Family Business New Zealand (FBNZ), supporting FBNZ and its community as a National Silver Partner.
Following the end of the two-year transition period on 8 April 2021, it is now a criminal offence to intentionally engage in conduct in breach of the cartel laws in the Commerce Act 1986. The consequences for breach are severe - jail time and/or large fines.
After a long journey through Parliament, the Privacy Act 2020 (the Act) was passed into law on 30 June, and will come into force on 1 December 2020. The Act retains the key privacy principles found in the Privacy Act 1993. It builds on these with additional changes to reflect the major technological developments that have occurred over the last 27 years. Click through to read more about the key changes the Act will introduce and suggest changes your business may need to make to comply with it.
After much lobbying from business groups, the government has recently announced promised changes to leasing laws to provide some relief for small tenants that do not have a rent relief clause in their lease. The changes as announced will benefit far fewer tenants than originally proposed, and many tenants will be left with little relief. Click the link to read a summary of the changes.
As COVID-19 spreads and the number of cases around the world climbs, businesses need to take definitive action now to address what is shaping up to be the most significant challenge for some time.
The Fair Trading Amendment Bill aims to provide more protection for small businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices. It introduces a new prohibition against unconscionable conduct in trade, extends the unfair contract terms provisions to small trade contracts (currently they only apply to consumer contracts), and gives stronger consumer rights to get rid of ‘door knockers’.
After a protracted political process, the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. A transition period is now in place until 31 December 2020, where the current trade rules, tariffs and tariff rate quotas will remain in place for NZ businesses. The current NZ/UK trading relationship will continue as it currently stands, while the countries negotiate their future trading relationship and hopefully finalise a free trade agreement by the end of the transition period.
Following changes to the Takeovers Code in January 2020, the Code no longer applies to widely held unlisted companies unless they are at least "medium sized". As a result of the changes, most SMEs will not be subject to the Code – regardless of how many shareholders they have. Click the link for a summary of the new test and the implications for you and your company.
Moving into the “twenty-twenties” has provided scammers with a unique opportunity to forge documents and potentially defraud businesses. Click the link to read more...
The Privacy Bill is in the final stages of the legislative process, but we do not know yet when it will be in force. Reform of the current Privacy Act 1993 is long overdue, and the changes proposed will affect all organisations doing business in NZ that collect, use or hold information on individuals in NZ. The key changes are…
Online reviews have become an increasingly useful way for consumers to do their due diligence on a product or service before they buy. However, businesses need to be careful in their handling of user reviews to avoid a possible breach of consumer protection legislation. Set out below is a summary of what the law says and some guidance on how businesses can take steps to avoid breaching it.
In December 2018, the Waste Minimisation (Plastic Shopping Bags) Regulations 2018 (Regulations) were approved and publicly announced. The Regulations came into force on 1 July 2019, meaning that businesses in New Zealand are now unable to distribute or sell single-use plastic shopping bags. Click through for more information on these regulations.
On 13 March 2019 the Justice Select Committee released its report on the proposed Privacy Bill which will repeal and replace the Privacy Act 1993. The Privacy Commissioner previously lobbied for a number of changes to the Bill but unfortunately the Committee did not give him everything on his wish list. Below is a summary of the key changes the Select Committee has proposed to the Bill and the changes that did not make the cut.
The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and the Minister for Small Business have today released a discussion paper about whether there is a need for increased protections for businesses and consumers against unfair commercial practices.