The Bright-line Test

In 2015, the government introduced the “bright-line test”, a method which attempts to tighten the property investment rules. The bright-line test states that (subject to exemptions) any gain from disposing of residential land within two years of acquiring it will be taxable. The test only applies to residential land. Residential land is land that has a dwelling on it or could have a dwelling on it and does not include farms or business premises. The bright-line test applies where a person’s “first interest” in residential land is acquired on or after 1 October 2015. Generally, a person acquires their “first
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Changes coming for Unit Title property

Townhouse and apartment living has become more prevalent in New Zealand in recent years, particularly in the larger cities of Auckland and Wellington, with multi-unit developments comprising 40 per cent of new builds in 2016. Growth in this area has put the existing legislation, which governs the ownership and management of Unit Titles, to the test. The outcome of this has been growing discontent with some aspects of the existing legislation. The rules relating to Unit Titles are now under review and look likely to change in the near future. The owner of a Unit Title owns part of a
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Pre-nup Agreements

Starting a new relationship positively while still protecting your own assets Prior to the commencement of a new relationship, parties may have obtained significant assets or monetary funds which they would like to be recognised as their own. This does not mean preparing for a divorce and instead can be an exercise of trust. Contracting-out agreements do not leave one party with nothing and are instead a tool to make things fair. Entering into a contracting-out agreement is a way of recognising a new relationship with the intent of making that relationship work. Motivation for signing a contracting-out agreement need
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Are you considering moving to a retirement village?

Many people who are nearing, or who have reached retirement, make a lifestyle choice to live in a retirement village. A retirement village offers a good balance between living independently and having access to support if necessary. The Retirement Villages Act 2003 (the Act) was introduced particularly to protect the interests of residents and intending residents of retirement villages. Retirement villages need to be registered and, unless exempted, have a statutory supervisor to monitor the financial interests of the village. Intending residents are required to obtain independent legal advice before signing an occupation right agreement (ORA). This is because it
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Protecting your reputation …….

 People can get understandably touchy about their good name. This extends to the business world, where reputation can be everything. So when Danish-Norwegian Eurodance group Aqua struck it big in 1997 with their chart-topping hit Barbie Girl, Mattel – maker of the Barbie fashion doll – were pretty upset about it. The doll maker argued the song clearly infringed its trade marks and copyright. According to Mattel, the song’s lyrics caused serious damage to its brand by portraying the Barbie character as a promiscuous ditz. When Mattel filed suit, the record company refused to back down. It pointed out that
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Review Employment Agreements or risk being caught out

Employers who have not reviewed their employment agreements since April 2016 risk being caught out by recent changes to employment law. In 2016, the Government made sweeping changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 (Act) designed to prohibit ‘zero hour contracts’. Amongst the changes were new rules about hours of work, and availability provisions. Grace period ends 1 April 2017 The legislation introducing those new rules, which came into force on 1 April 2016, included a grace period, which ends on 1 April 2017. During the grace period, only employment agreements that were entered into after 1 April 2016 had
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Being smart about retirement

If you’re looking forward to spending less time in your business and more on enjoying your life as you head towards retirement, then you’re not alone. Like many of our clients, you’re of the baby-boomer generation who have worked hard for decades to generate income and now want to sell your business or plan the transfer of it to business partners or to the succeeding generation while still retaining resources to pursue your dreams. Whether retirement is imminent or still in the future, it is a good idea to start planning the kind of lifestyle you will want to lead
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Is Occupational Overuse Syndrome a physical injury?

The problem for sufferers of occupational overuse syndrome is that from both a medical and legal perspective, it is difficult to differentiate between psychological and physiological pain. Pain is a subjective issue. At one end of occupational overuse syndrome, there will be clear evidence of a sprain or strain involved with carpal tunnel syndrome. At the other end, there will be no or inconclusive evidence of physical pain for fibromyalgia or non-specific arm pain (‘NSAP’) where no actual physical injury can be identified. There must be a causal connection between a specified event or specified events that caused a physical
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Health and Safety obligations for clubs, societies and charitable trusts

The law governing health and safety obligations in New Zealand was recently updated with the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (‘the Act’). This Act imposes legal obligations on people conducting any business activity in New Zealand. All New Zealand businesses should be updating their practices and procedures to comply with the Act’s requirements. But how does the Act affect voluntary organisations, like sports clubs, community charities and arts societies? What obligations do the officers, committee members and managers of these voluntary organisations have to manage health and safety? Can the officers of voluntary organisations face
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Heads-up for drone users

As drones become a much more familiar sight buzzing over public events, commercial premises or around homes and parks, it’s wise to remember that these are not just toys but are legally considered to be a type of aircraft – albeit unmanned – having to abide by rules and regulations as set out by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). These rules were recently updated to keep pace with the changing technology and there are hefty consequences if you break them, including fines of up to $5,000 for an individual and $30,000 for a body corporate. The term ‘unmanned aircraft’ can
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