Helpful reading

Property Speaking | 09 Nov 2023

Alternative methods to sell your property

Auction and tender guide for sellers.



Property Speaking | 09 Nov 2023

What happens if your builder goes bust?

Building a new home is an exciting process. It can, however, be quite daunting with risks of unexpected delays, cost increases and, in the worst scenario, your project going completely off the rails.

Property Speaking | 09 Nov 2023

Property briefs

This issue's business briefs are:

First Home Partner scheme: on pause;

Council delays for property developers;

Short-term accommodation;

Election impact on property issues;

Commercial eSpeaking | 29 Sep 2023

Mainzeal decision

Taking on the responsibility of a directorship is not a decision to be taken lightly. For New Zealand directors, the magnitude of the director role has been hammered home with the decision of the Mainzeal case from the Supreme Court in late August.


Commercial eSpeaking | 29 Sep 2023

New legislation gives better protection

The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Act 2023 was passed on 5 April this year with the legislation coming into effect on Thursday, 5 October 2023.


Commercial eSpeaking | 29 Sep 2023

Business briefs

This issue's business briefs are:

Lego wins trade mark dispute with Zuru; 

Start Preparing for the Incorporated Societies Act 2022; 

ESG and directors: The Companies (Directors' Duties) Amendment Act 2023 becomes law;


Trust eSpeaking | 18 Aug 2023

Refusing an inheritance

What is the trustee of an estate supposed to do when a beneficiary will not accept their inheritance? 


Trust eSpeaking | 18 Aug 2023

Polyamorous relationships

Polyamorous relationships can be subdivided into two or more qualifying relationships, to which the provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (which applies to relationships between two people) can apply.


Trust eSpeaking | 17 Aug 2023

When do a Parent's Responsibilities Cease

In June 2023, the Supreme Court heard the ‘Alphabet case.’ To understand the significance of what is at stake in this case, it is worth considering the facts that gave rise to the litigation and the High Court’s decision.

Fineprint | 16 Aug 2023

Land covenants

If you are buying a property in a newly or recently built residential subdivision, the odds are that the title will come with various covenants registered against it. These covenants are likely to place restrictions on the ways in which the owners can use and enjoy their properties. 

Property Speaking | 28 Jun 2023

Kāinga Ora First Home Partner scheme

In the Winter 2022 edition of Property Speaking we discussed what to consider when co-owning a property with friends or family. Another co-ownership option to consider is the Kāinga Ora First Home Partner scheme (FHP).

Property Speaking | 28 Jun 2023

Property briefs

This issue's property briefs are:

Unit titles legislative updates; 

First Home Grants thresholds increase;

Loan to value restrictions eased; 

Commercial ESpeaking | 25 May 2023

Business briefs

This issue's business briefs are:

Update on construction contracts retention regime; 

New obligations for businesses offering Buy Now Pay Later;

Large businesses may need to disclose payment practices; 

Are your T&Cs unfair?

Commercial eSpeaking | 24 May 2023

Business continuity planning

Once reserved for large businesses with a high degree of public dependency, such as banking, hospitals or utility companies, business continuity and disaster recovery plans have become increasingly important for businesses of all sizes.

Fineprint | 21 Apr 2023

Bank of children

Most of us have heard of the expression ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ where parents help fund their children to get onto the property ladder or with another investment. What happens in the reverse situation, however, where children become the ‘bank’ and assist their parents financially?

Fineprint | 21 Apr 2023

Keeping employees during the 'big quit'

Since 2021 and the lessening of the effects of the Covid pandemic, many countries have experienced an increase in staff turnover and lost productivity. This is informally referred to as ‘the great resignation’, ‘the big quit’, ‘brain drain’ and ‘quiet quitting’.

Fineprint | 21 Apr 2023

Minimum wage increased on 1 April

The adult minimum wage increased to $22.70/hour on 1 April 2023. 

The government says it will review the minimum wage rate later this year.

Property Speaking | 20 Apr 2023

Subdivision consents

In the Autumn 2022 edition of Property Speaking we discussed different types of resource consents. Since then, the government has released a new National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land to ensure that highly productive land is protected for use in land-based primary production.

Property Speaking | 20 Apr 2023

Storm damage to properties

With historic amounts of rain and flooding in many regions many properties have been damaged by flooding, landslides and silt. We give some advice on what landlords, tenants and buyers (who have not yet settled) can do should they be under an agreement.

Property Speaking | 20 Apr 2023

Property briefs

This issue's property briefs are:

Updates on legislation; 

Changes to LIM information;

Replacement of the Resource Management Act 1991; 

Trust eSpeaking | 06 Mar 2023

Who really wants to be a trustee?

Are you a trustee of a family trust, or considering becoming one? If so, you need to be familiar with the obligations you are taking on when agreeing to act as a trustee. 

Trust eSpeaking | 06 Mar 2023

Who are the ‘children of the settlors’?

In the recent case of Re Merona Trustees Ltd, the High Court was asked to determine who the beneficiaries of a trust were as it was not clear who was intended by the phrase the ‘children of the settlors’ that was in the trust deed.

Simpson Western | 20 Feb 2023

Uber Drivers Declared Employees

In October last year, the Employment Court held that four Uber drivers were employees, not independent contractors. Uber has now sought leave to appeal the decision to the Court of Appeal.

Commercial eSpeaking | 16 Feb 2023

What is the PPSR?

The PPSR is a searchable online register that records if a third party has a financial interest in the assets of individuals or entities. If you or your business leases or sells goods on credit terms, or if you have lent money to a third party, you should seriously consider registration on the PPSR in order to protect your business or yourself.

Commercial eSpeaking | 16 Feb 2023

Business briefs

This issue's business briefs are: 

Employment Court rules four Uber drivers are employees;

Facial recognition and the Privacy Act: balancing security and individual rights; and

Cartel conduct: Commerce Commission warns eight freight forwarding companies.

Fineprint | 19 Jan 2023

Shared parenting

Deciding to move to a new location can be exciting and bring a sense of renewal, particularly after a long cold winter and enduring these Covid years. However, if you are separated with children, what happens to ongoing parenting arrangements in these situations?

Fineprint | 13 Dec 2022

Insta # dismissal?

Whether we like it or not, social media affects almost every aspect of our daily lives, including employment relationships. How can employees’ ‘private’ social media posts bring an employer’s business into disrepute and lead to an employee’s dismissal? 

Fineprint | 07 Dec 2022


The Sustainable Business Council ‘Better Futures 2022’ report surveyed New Zealanders & identified that more than 43% of Kiwis are committed to living a sustainable lifestyle. Given the public’s motivation to be more sustainable, businesses are honing their marketing strategies towards environmental sustainability.

Simpson Western | 25 Nov 2022

Changes to Simpson Western for early 2023

We would like to announce some changes to Simpson Western for early 2023.

Property Speaking | 27 Oct 2022

Property briefs

This issue's property briefs are:

Buying a property with unconsented works; 

Body corporate rules beefed up;

Victims of domestic violence can terminate tenancies; 

Property Speaking | 20 Oct 2022

Vendor Obligations

A case heard in the Supreme Court earlier this year presents a cautionary tale for property sellers. For all sellers, this case signals that even though you have a signed agreement for sale and purchase, there is likely to be more for you to do than just wait for settlement day when money will change hands.

Trust eSpeaking | 15 Sep 2022

Wearing two hats in a family protection claim

In a recent case, the High Court found that a will administrator’s default in complying with a court order was so flagrant, it justified issuing an order for arrest of the administrator. How did this arise and, more importantly, how could it have been avoided? 

Commercial eSpeaking | 14 Sep 2022

Business briefs

This issue's business briefs are: 

Hiring migrant workers: What the new AEWV means for you;

Changes to the Holidays Act on the horizon; and

FMA review of ethical investing highlights need for improvement.

Simpson Western | 13 Sep 2022

Hybrid working

The application of the existing unfair contract terms (UCT) regime which applies to standard form contracts between businesses and consumers has been extended to apply to standard form "small trade contracts" pursuant to the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2021 (the Act) which came into force on 16 August 2022.

Simpson Western | 13 Sep 2022

EPAs and PPPR Orders

Simpson Western acknowledges the stress families go through when a loved one loses capacity and is no longer able to manage their own personal and property affairs.

Trust eSpeaking | 30 Aug 2022

Trusts Act 2019

Trusts Act 2019 also affects executors and administrators of wills. Mandatory and default duties explained here:

Simpson Western | 18 Aug 2022

Unfair Contract Terms

The application of the existing unfair contract terms (UCT) regime which applies to standard form contracts between businesses and consumers has been extended to apply to standard form "small trade contracts" pursuant to the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2021 (the Act) which came into force on 16 August 2022.

Fineprint | 09 Aug 2022

New Incorporated Societies Act 2022

The new Incorporated Societies Act 2022 received Royal Assent on 5 April 2022 replacing the very old Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

Fineprint | 29 Jul 2022

Love, heartbreak and... death?

Many people who have endured a relationship break up know it can be exhausting. What is often overlooked as one of the first steps, and yet so imperative, is updating your will and enduring powers of attorney (EPA) to reflect your new relationship status. 

Simpson Western | 13 Jul 2022

Shareholders' rights

Starting a business is an exciting proposition. However, life circumstances may change or shareholding relationships may alter such that you wish to exit the company. It is important to ensure all parties are on the same page from the start as to how you will manage your exit arrangement.

Simpson Western | 08 Jul 2022

Employer Accreditation Process Changes

From 4 July 2022 all New Zealand employers who want to employ new migrant workers or retain their current migrant workers will need to be accredited. The new accreditation system replaces six existing temporary work visas.

Property Speaking | 28 Jun 2022

Property briefs

Healthy homes standards have changed;

Rent relief for commercial tenants;

Rising interest rates causing anxiety for borrowers.

Property Speaking | 23 Jun 2022

Co-owning a property

For many, owning a property simply involves having your own name recorded on the title. There are some situations, however, where you might share property ownership with friends, family or business partners. 

Property Speaking | 22 Jun 2022

Land Covenants

A covenant is an instrument registered against land that governs how an owner or occupier can use their land. The land bound by the terms of the covenant is referred to as the ‘burdened land’ as that has the burden (although not all covenants are negative) of complying with the terms of the covenant. 

Simpson Western | 24 May 2022

New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme

Earlier this year, the government set out its proposal to provide income protection for those who lose their job as a result of redundancy or health issues.

Simpson Western | 11 May 2022

Fair Pay Agreements Bill

On 29 March 2022, the 'Fair Pay Agreements (FPA) Bill' (Bill), was introduced into Parliament. The Bill is currently open for submissions until 19 May 2022 and is expected to pass into law by the end of this year. 

Simpson Western | 27 Apr 2022

Vaccinations in the Workplace

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 | 24 Feb 2022

Caring for Kiwis who cannot make decisions

Since American entertainer Britney Spears' conservatorship ended, she has made a number of specific allegations against her conservators. Could any of these things have happened in NZ under the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988?

Trust eSpeaking | 24 Feb 2022

Where there is a will, what is the way?

A child (of whatever age) can make a claim against the estate of their parent under the Family Protection Act 1955 (FPA) if their parent dies and makes insufficient provision for them in their will. 

Trust eSpeaking | 24 Feb 2022

Gift or loan?

The trusty Kiwi “She’ll be right” approach is often manifested in a reluctance to formally document intra-family lending arrangements. Catch cries of “I trust the kids to sort things out between themselves after I’m gone” and “My new partner says she will never make a claim and I believe her” are common

Simpson Western | 16 Feb 2022

Your land, your rules?

Many purchasers, when searching for their dream home or section, may not be aware that there could be various restrictions on the use of the land that they intend to purchase. These restrictions can impact on the use and enjoyment of a property. We take a look at some common restrictions.

Simpson Western | 15 Feb 2022

Agreement for Sale & Purchase of Real Estate

The Auckland District Law Society has released a new edition of its widely used agreement for sale and purchase of real estate.  This new edition contains a number of changes that vendors and purchasers should be aware of.

Commercial eSpeaking | 10 Feb 2022


From a legal perspective, hiring contractors has always been tricky. The onus of correctly identifying who is an employee versus a contractor, and ensuring legal compliance, remains an employer’s responsibility. The financial consequences of misidentification can be significant for a business owner. 

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 Speaking | 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 Speaking | 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 Speaking | 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.