Helpful reading

Fineprint | 26 Nov 2021

Defining a de facto relationship

You may have heard that ‘Marriage is betting someone half your stuff that you’ll love them forever’. But what happens about the ‘stuff’ you own before you formally say “I do”?  The law providing equal sharing of relationship property automatically begins after three years in a de facto relationship.

Property eSpeaking | 29 Oct 2021


The Latin word ‘caveat’ literally translates to ‘let him beware’. In a legal sense, caveats are generally used to protect the proprietary rights of the person registering the caveat by stopping the registered owner of the property from transferring, mortgaging or otherwise dealing with the property.

Property eSpeaking | 29 Oct 2021

Property briefs

The country is now out of its second lockdown with Auckland and parts of the Waikato in Level 3 with the rest of the country sitting at Level 2. Given the current uncertainty with how we can get on top of the Delta strain outbreak, let’s have a look at where this leaves us and our property dealings across differing alert levels.

Property eSpeaking | 28 Oct 2021

Disputes in contracts

Building your own home or doing renovations can be a way to get exactly what you want in your residential property. Even with the best preparation and planning, however, there are things that can go wrong in a build

Simpson Western | 01 Oct 2021

Commercial rent relief: Epidemic changes

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic changing the way many of us have been able to use our traditional working spaces, the government has proposed to step in and provide an avenue for agreement on rent relief.

Simpson Western | 23 Sep 2021

Care of children during Level 3

Now that Auckland has moved to level 3, how do care arrangements for children in separate households play out?

Simpson Western | 22 Sep 2021

Tokyo 2020 Olympics: George Muir

It's been a little over a month since the Tokyo Olympics came to an end.  One of our solicitors, George Muir, travelled to Tokyo as part of the Black Sticks New Zealand Men's Hockey Team for his Olympic debut.  We caught up with him to hear about his experience.

Simpson Western | 21 Sep 2021

No Access Clauses and Cancelation of Leases

Just as during the lockdowns last year, this year's change in alert levels has highlighted the importance of "No Access" clauses in commercial leases and their impact on a landlord's right to cancel for non-payment of rent.

Commercial eSpeaking | 16 Sep 2021

Lease vs licence

Choosing the premises from which to operate your business can be daunting; it is essential that you know you are entering into the right type of agreement to suit your intentions. Leases and licences are common contractual arrangements. 

Commercial eSpeaking | 16 Sep 2021

Bonding agreements

Bonding agreements can be an incredibly useful tool for ensuring employers can recoup costs incurred for training staff. Used improperly however, bonding agreements may be unenforceable and – in some circumstances – be a clear breach of the Wages Protection Act 1983 (WPA). 

Simpson Western | 02 Sep 2021

Does your workplace have a Covid-19 policy?

The current nationwide lockdown has thrown into sharp relief the need for workplaces to remain prepared and responsive to the challenges Covid-19 raises.  An important part of this is putting in place clear rules and guidelines for staff about Covid-related issues. 

Trust eSpeaking | 02 Sep 2021

Estate laws due for a shake-up

The laws about the administration of estates are being reviewed by the Law Commission. Much of what has been proposed so far is uncontroversial but there are some recommendations that may prove unpopular, although they are likely to be refined during the Parliamentary process.

Trust eSpeaking | 02 Sep 2021

Buying your first home using KiwiSaver funds

KiwiSaver members may use their funds to help buy their first home; this is straightforward. What happens, however, if you want to buy your first home and you are already a trustee of a trust that owns property?

Simpson Western | 24 Aug 2021

Lockdown government support

Businesses have a number of subsidies available to them to help meet their wage costs during the current lockdown.  The following article provides a summary of the subsidies that are currently available and the criteria for accessing them. 

Simpson Western | 24 Aug 2021

Lockdown employment obligations

New Zealand is once again experiencing an Alert Level 4 lockdown, during which the vast majority of businesses are either operating remotely or not at all.  While this feels like déjà vu, employers will need to ensure they meet their employment law obligations...

Simpson Western | 11 Aug 2021

Enduring Powers of Attorney

Most people assume that if something were to happen and they lost the ability to make important decisions for themselves, that their family or close friends would be able to step in and make those decisions on their behalf. However the law does not work in that way. 

Simpson Western | 03 Aug 2021

Check the Chattels

Chattels listed in an agreement for sale and purchase must be delivered to the purchaser on settlement in the same state of repair as at the date on which the agreement was signed. It is therefore important for a purchaser to ensure all chattels included in the sale are of an acceptable standard before they sign the agreement.

Simpson Western | 28 Jul 2021

Trusts Act 2019 Update

The Trusts Act 2019 (Act) came into effect on 30 January this year and replaced the Trustee Act 1956 - the first major legislative update to trust laws in over sixty years.  

Simpson Western | 22 Jul 2021

"Generational Reform" proposal

Sweeping changes have been proposed to the way civil litigation is practiced in New Zealand. The proposed changes by the Rules Committee to civil procedure in the High Court, District Court and Disputes Tribunal are intended to improve access to justice by addressing the current financial and information barriers.  

Simpson Western | 16 Jul 2021

Care Arrangements

Upon separation, there are several options available to you as to how you formalise ongoing care arrangements for your children. Here we take a look at a few of these options.

Fineprint | 14 Jul 2021

An independent trustee

We all like to save time and money, but you do get what you pay for. Without an independent trustee, your family trust may not protect the trust’s assets as you may expect.

Fineprint | 14 Jul 2021

Post-Covid working world

Covid has thrown a spanner in the works in the way we carry out our day-to-day business. It has, however, given us all an opportunity to work in different ways. It is important to ensure your employment documentation reflects your workplace’s new normal.

Fineprint | 13 Jul 2021

Buying off the plans

It’s no secret that the housing market in New Zealand is incredibly competitive at the moment. Already on a trajectory pre-Covid, demand has shot up since New Zealand came out of lockdown. As a result of this tight market, many people are deciding to buy off the plans. 

Simpson Western | 30 Jun 2021

New Sick Leave Rules 2021

From 24 July 2021, the new rules relating to employees' sick leave entitlements will come into effect.  Employers need to be conscious of how the rules apply depending on when an employee started work because they do not apply to everybody in the same way.  

Simpson Western | 25 Jun 2021

Preparing for a Refinance

In the current COVID-19 world of low interest rates, we are noticing more businesses shopping around for the most attractive finance options. Once you have decided on your lender however, what happens next? 

Property Speaking | 24 Jun 2021

Clarity around fixtures and fittings

In December 2020, a commercial landlord and their tenant found themselves in the High Court arguing about who was responsible for replacing fixtures and fittings because their lease was silent on the issue. These types of disputes around fixtures and fittings in commercial leases are quite common.

Property Speaking | 24 Jun 2021

Property briefs

Increases to income and price thresholds for First Home Grant.

Housing Acceleration Fund.

Kāinga Ora Land Acquisition.

Apprenticeship Boost.

Property Speaking | 24 Jun 2021

Recent property tax changes

In March 2021, the government announced three changes to property tax rules that are likely to affect anyone with residential property investments. The changes include extending the bright-line period from five years to 10 years, changing the main home exemption ‘test’ and removing the ability to deduct mortgage interest from rental income. 

Commercial eSpeaking | 31 May 2021

Business briefs

This issue's business briefs are: 

Mainzeal: lessons for directors;

Proposed changes to the Commerce Act; and

Incorporated Societies Bill.

Commercial eSpeaking | 31 May 2021

To jab or not to jab?

While many Kiwis are queuing up and eagerly awaiting their Covid vaccinations, not everyone is willing to take ‘the jab’. Recent headlines of sacked border staff who refused their Covid vaccinations have highlighted the difficulty many employers will face in deciding if their staff can reasonably be required to be vaccinated. 

Commercial eSpeaking | 31 May 2021

Wellbeing Budget 2021: Key points

A better than expected economic recovery after the scourges of Covid has enabled the government to propose significant investment in health and welfare, housing (particularly for Māori), infrastructure to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic and to continue to make this country safe from the virus.

Simpson Western | 12 May 2021

Government Housing Package

One of the most talked about changes of the Government's recently introduced housing package was doubling of the bright line period from five to ten years.

Fineprint | 30 Apr 2021

Cyber security 101 for business

You arrive at work to find that files with sensitive commercial and client information held on your computers have been hacked. This is the situation the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) found itself in earlier this year.

Fineprint | 30 Apr 2021

LIM reports and property files

If you are considering buying a property, you should carry out due diligence to assess its overall suitability for you and, amongst other things, to ensure all consents have been issued. Two sources of information are the Land Information Memorandum (LIM) and the property file held by local councils. 

Fineprint | 30 Apr 2021

Social media – IP owner's friend or foe?

Social media is a very powerful marketing tool. If used and managed properly, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be a brand’s best friend.

Fineprint | 30 Apr 2021

A child's care following separation

When a couple separates, there is sometimes a major dispute when parents or caregivers can’t agree on the care arrangements for their children. Communication has broken down and mediation hasn’t worked, so one parent (or both) applies to the Family Court...