Flat mate or de facto partner?

The Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“The Act”) provides an equal sharing presumption to relationship property for qualifying relationships. Qualifying relationships are marriages, civil unions or de facto relationships that are a minimum of three years in duration. Section 2D of the Act defines a de facto relationship as a relationship between two persons who are both aged over 18 years, who “live together as a couple” (either heterosexual or same sex relationships) and are not married or in a civil union to one another. If the parties are under the age of 18 years, the de facto relationship starts from
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Gifting: what should I do with the debt still owing to me by my family trust?

 Prior to October 2011, if you gifted more than $27,000 to any person or trust in a 12 month period, you would have to pay gift duty. So, if you wanted to transfer an asset to your trust, you sold it to the trust and the trust owed you the purchase price. Every year, you ‘forgave’ the repayment of $27,000.00 and eventually the debt was completely extinguished. In October 2011, the government abolished gift duty. This left thousands of people wondering what they should do about the debt that was still owing to them by their family trust. On the
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New Director and Disclosure Requirements for New Zealand companies

 Specifically, the New Zealand Companies Act 1993 requires companies incorporated in New Zealand to have at least one director who lives in either:  New Zealand; or an enforcement country. Enforcement countries are determined by the regulations. Currently, the only listed enforcement country is Australia. Directors who are resident in an enforcement country must also be a director of a registered company (excluding a branch of an overseas company) in that country. Details of the company will need to be provided to the Companies Office. This will include the company’s registered name, number or identifier (if any) along with its address
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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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Simultaneous workplace bullying complaints

The facts Midlands Health Network Limited (“Midland Health”) provide primary health care. Ms Webber was Director of Nursing at Midland Health. She raised complaints for workplace bullying and for Midland Health failing to provide her with a safe place of work. The matter was set down for mediation on 18 March 2014. That day, before mediation had started, Ms Webber’s lawyer made a complaint on Ms Webber’s behalf to WorkSafe claiming Ms Webber had been subjected to workplace bullying at Midlands Health. Neither Ms Webber or her lawyer advised Midlands Health of the complaint to WorkSafe. Subsequent comments made to
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A contract is a contract – a cautionary tale about unfavourable deals

There once lived a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Louise Calment. She was a widow – her husband having died during the war (not in battle, mind you, but after eating some bad cherries). Her daughter died from pneumonia and her only grandson was killed in a motor accident. So in 1965, at the age of 90, Calment found herself living on her own and with no heir. She also had little in the way of private income, which was needed to fund the lifestyle to which she was accustomed. One thing she did have, however, was a Paris apartment. To make
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Indemnities to Employees

The extent of the employer’s liability to indemnify the employee will then be governed by the express wording of the contractual indemnity and, if the employer is a company, by section 162 of the Companies Act 1993. Usually such indemnities indemnify the employee against personal liability to a third party arising from the performance of the employee’s duties, provided the employee’s actions were in good faith and did not involve recklessness, wilful neglect or any wilful failure to carry out a lawful instruction from the employer. However in 2013 in the case of George v Auckland Council [2013] NZEmpC 179
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Resource Consent Reforms

Resource Consent Reforms Will new reforms speed up resource consent applications? The reforms clarify the requirements for resource consent applications and now stipulate a maximum time for the decision-making process of six months. As an overview, here are the main reforms introduced to the Resource Management Amendment Act 2013 to accelerate the consent process. More detailed resource consent applications Resource consent applications will require more detail than ever before. All applications must now have an assessment of the activity against Part 2 of the RMA. They must meet the objectives, policies and rules of any relevant planning document, as well
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A Heads-Up for Employers

Upcoming Changes to Employment Law – A Heads-Up for Employers Rest and meal breaks One of the most publicised changes relates to employee meal and rest breaks. The Amendment Act will replace specific timeframes for when rest and meal breaks must be taken with new provisions encouraging employers and employees to negotiate breaks in good faith. Where the parties cannot agree, the final decision will lie with the employer. An employer will not have to provide breaks where the employee agrees to reasonable compensation, or where due to the employee’s duties, it is reasonable and necessary for the business not
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Obligations when using contractors

An Auckland construction company was recently found to have breached its obligations under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the ‘Act’) and ordered to pay a hefty fine after a subcontractor’s employee suffered serious injuries from a fall while working, despite fall protection equipment being made available to the subcontractor at the work place. When you engage someone else to do work for you, you assume the obligation of a ‘principal’. Under the current Act, a principal is a person who engages any person (other than as an employee) to do any work for gain or reward. Being
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