Our lawyers keep up with the latest trends and issues in New Zealand law and business, and regularly publish articles and reports on current topics.

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When can lessors of a cross-lease withhold consent for renovations?

Written by Mark Sullivan PARTNER; Sarah McNulty ASSOCIATE on June 7th, 2024.    

An issue that commonly arises in the context of cross-leases is that an owner will usually be required, under the terms of their cross-lease, to obtain consent from the “Lessors” to undertake alterations. In other words, even though they wish to undertake alterations to their own house in their own exclusive area, they will usually first need to obtain the agreement of the other owner(s) of the cross-leased land.
Usually the terms of cross-leases include the proviso that consent “shall not be unreasonably withheld”. The Court has recently considered the legal test for what it means for consent to be “unreasonably withheld” - we discuss the resulting change to the law below.

Lifting the lid on NZS 3910:2023

Written by Mark Sullivan PARTNER; Oliver Denny LAWYER on May 9th, 2024.    

The new industry standard for construction contracts has arrived and its name is NZS 3910:2023. This latest evolution aims to lower the number of special conditions, improve understanding of obligations and clarify risk-allocation. Read on for the important changes.

Record fines reinforce importance of compliance with consumer protection laws

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Darryl King PARTNER; Janice Lamont LAWYER on November 30th, 2023.    

Significant penalties are being used by the Courts to ensure businesses both correctly market their goods and services and maintain adequate processes and systems to ensure that promises to customers are carried out. 

In this article we discuss recent cases involving breaches of consumer protection laws. These cases include two where record penalties were imposed by the Court. We also discuss some key learnings for businesses to ensure they comply with consumer protection laws.
Topics: Business

Navigating the Impact of Inflation on Commercial Contracts

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Darryl King PARTNER; Jennifer Paterson SENIOR ASSOCIATE on November 30th, 2023.    

After decades of low inflation, New Zealand finds itself in a high inflation world where rapid price rises have become the new normal and many businesses are suffering from margin compression. Many longer-term contracts have been negotiated with little thought about the possibility of high inflation returning. Some will become difficult or unprofitable to perform. By being proactive, businesses can take steps to protect themselves from the negative effects of inflation and margin compression.
Topics: Business

Controversial ESG directors duties bill passes into law

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Darryl King PARTNER; Janice Lamont LAWYER on November 28th, 2023.    

A bill expressly allowing company directors to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has passed into law despite strong opposition during the select committee process.

New Disclosure Requirements under the new Privacy Amendment Bill

Written by David Alizade PARTNER on November 28th, 2023.    

The Privacy Amendment Bill (Bill) was recently introduced to Parliament at the beginning of September 2023.
The public will have an opportunity to have its say on the Bill by making submissions to the Justice Select Committee in 2024. As proposed, the amendments highlighted in this update will come into force on 1 June 2025. Further information on the Bill can be found in this link.
In this update, we summarise the key amendments proposed under the Bill and what organisations will need to do to comply with the Bill as and when the amendments come into force.
Topics: Business

New Incorporated Societies Regulations published

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Jennifer Paterson SENIOR ASSOCIATE on October 2nd, 2023.    

On 7 September 2023, the new Incorporated Societies Regulations 2022 (Regulations) were published. 
The Regulations will commence on 5 October 2023, the same day on which the Incorporated Societies Act 2022 (New Act) will take effect in full. 
In this update, we summarise the most important provisions of the Regulations and what incorporated societies (societies) need to do to register under the New Act.
Topics: Business

An Overview of the Recent Fair Pay Act and Regulations

Written by Glenn Finnigan PARTNER on July 19th, 2023.    

The Fair Pay Act 2022 (the Act) came into force on 1 December 2022 following the issue of the Fair Pay Agreements Regulations (the Regulations) on 30 November 2022. This article will give a brief overview of the main updates relating to the Act, the Regulations and the process around fair pay agreements (FPAs).
Topics: Employment

A Review of the Regulatory System for Media and Online Platforms

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Darryl King PARTNER; Jennifer Paterson SENIOR ASSOCIATE on July 18th, 2023.    

The New Zealand Government is trying to change the way it regulates media and online platforms to create a safer online environment for New Zealanders – but can it work? 

The New Zealand Government is seeking feedback on its review of the current regulatory system for media and online platforms. The objective of the review is to enhance protection for New Zealanders by reducing their exposure to harmful content, regardless of delivery method.

Topics: Business

Ambush marketing and the FIFA Women's World Cup

Written by Darryl King PARTNER; David Alizade PARTNER; Jennifer Paterson SENIOR ASSOCIATE; on July 12th, 2023.    

A massive global audience is predicted for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Official advertisers and sponsors have paid substantial sums for exposure during the event. Other businesses may be thinking of ways to gain from the exposure that the event receives but without paying. New Zealand has laws stopping this “ambush” marketing and anyone not officially associated with the event will need to avoid falling foul of the laws.

Topics: Business

ESG Directors Duties Bill fails to get Select Committee endorsement

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Darryl King PARTNER; Janice Lamont LAWYER on June 30th, 2023.    

A bill which would have expressly allowed company directors to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has failed to receive select committee endorsement following strong opposition during the select committee process. 

Topics: Business

Using Trade Marks to Protect Your Brand

Written by David Alizade PARTNER; Xanthe Mowat LAWYER on June 26th, 2023.    

A strong, distinctive brand is a valuable asset of your business that will enable you to stand out from your competitors and build loyalty and trust with your customers. It is important to protect that asset and the best way to do this is use trade mark protection for your brand. In this article, we explain what trade marks are and the benefits of using trade mark protection.


Buying a Property "Off the Plans"

Written by Nick Williams, LAWYER on April 5th, 2023.    

You've read the horror stories in the paper, you've seen the reports on the news and you've heard from friends of friends who have done it, but do you know the ins and out of "Buying Off the Plans?"

Topics: Property

Tips for First Home Buyers

Written by Lauren Guy, REGISTERED LEGAL EXECUTIVE on March 15th, 2023.    

We understand that buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be a daunting task. We want to help by giving you some ideas of what to consider when buying your first home.

Topics: Property

Prohibition on unconscionable conduct now in force

Written by David Alizade, PARTNER; Darryl King, PARTNER on September 29th, 2022.    

The Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) was amended last month to ban businesses from engaging in unconscionable conduct. When introducing the legislation at its first reading, Minister David Clark said that it was “necessary to deal with a very small minority of businesses that take advantage of the vulnerabilities and lack of bargaining power of consumers or other businesses”. This update explains the new law, considers some Australian cases where the equivalent law has been applied and suggests some steps businesses can take to avoid breaching the new law.


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