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19th February 2018

‘Bright-line’ tax period to be extended from two years to five years

In line with its reform package to tighten the rules around property investment included in Budget 2015, the New Zealand Government has recently announced it plans to increase the ‘bright-line’ tax period from two to five years.

The extension will apply to residential properties purchased after the date on which the bill receives the Royal Assent, which is expected in March. Under the current ‘bright-line’ rules, capital gains made on the sale of residential property in New Zealand, other than your main home (i.e. such as an investment properties, holiday homes etc), are taxable if the property is disposed of within two years of acquisition. The change will now extend the ‘bright-line’ rules to apply to any sale that occurs within five years from the date of acquisition.

Please contact our Commercial team on 03 441 0125 or drop us an email at if you are planning on purchasing a property in the future and consider that you might be affected by these changes or have any questions.

16th February 2018

Mactodd Lawyers is proud to support “Local Writes”, the annual Remarkable Theatre show in the Queenstown Gardens.

Litigation solicitor, Tanya Surrey acts in the “The Plane Truth”, a short play written and performed by Tanya together with Ruth Joiner and Kathleen Brentwood. Tanya is also the Production Manager for the show.

Eight plays by local writers will be performed this weekend. The show runs at 6pm tonight and at midday, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.

14th February 2018

Tgr Blu Opening Night

Congratulations to clients John and Amanda Jones on the opening of their new cocktail bar on Shotover Street. tgrblu, the latest addition to Queenstown’s thriving hospitality scene opened on Friday night. Caitlin Noble, Tanya Surrey and Abby Watson from Mactodd Lawyers were there to celebrate.

29th January 2018

Changes afoot for the Airbnb rules

The Queenstown Lakes District Council is proposing changes to the Visitor Accommodation Rules to deal with how Airbnb properties operate in the district. The closing date for submissions is 23 February. Contact Mactodd Lawyers if you wish to make a submission.

29th January 2018

Changes proposed to employment law

The government has recently announced that the law allowing 90 day trial periods is to be changed. The proposal is to prohibit trial periods for any business with more than 19 employees. Smaller employers will still be able to use the trial period provisions. Rules around meal and rest breaks, and collective bargaining will also be amended.

The new legislation will be introduced to Parliament this week.

15th January 2018

Cellphone driving offences

Recent police statistics show that there has been an increase in offences involving the use of cellphones while driving in the Central Lakes area.

For further information click the link below.

12th January 2018

Employment contracts over the summer season

The summer is as hectic as ever with many businesses employing extra part-time and casual staff to keep up with demand.

Even if someone is employed just to help out for a day they must have a written employment contract and must be paid the minimum wage of $15.75 per hour.

Contact Mactodd Lawyers for further advice on how to meet your legal requirements.

21st December 2017

Merry Christmas from the Team at Mactodd!

We wish you an enjoyable and safe holiday season.

The office will be closed from midday December 22nd and re-opening officially on Monday 8th January 2018 but don’t worry, if you have any urgent Christmas legal needs, we are on call and are more than happy to assist.

The contact numbers for our partners are as follows:

Jayne Macdonald | 027 473 0874
Richard Cunliffe | 027 315 1963
Bryce Jack | 027 223 3091
Clark Pirie | 027 561 7137

Thank you for your business & we look forward to working with you in 2018.

16th December 2017

Care of children over the Christmas holidays

Coping with the festive season can be often be distressing and tense for parents who share the care of their children but are not living together. There are often numerous changeovers and pick up and drop offs which need to be carefully negotiated over the holidays. Hopefully, Christmas should be a time for families to put their differences aside and focus on the children but often this is easier said than done.

We can assist you to put arrangements in place which will ensure that the Christmas holidays run as smoothly as possible for you and your children. You can apply to the Family Court for a parenting order and depending on your circumstances you may be able to apply for an urgent parenting order.

A parenting order is a legally binding order which sets out the care and contact arrangements for you and your children. If you already have a parenting order in place, it is usually best to stick to the holiday arrangements as set out in the order to avoid confusion and arguments unless you can change it without difficulty.

There are also other alternatives to going to court for day to day care and contact, such as mediation or even an information care arrangement which can be set out in writing.

Mactodd Lawyers can help you with any issues relating to the care of your children.

15th December 2017

Protection Orders

With the Christmas holidays almost upon us it is often a time for families to reflect on the year that has been. Unfortunately the festive season is not a happy time for many families around New Zealand. Incidents of domestic violence usually spike around Christmas and the New Year with police attending numerous call-outs. Often the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs can create more tension and distress for families, however this is only one of many factors that may contribute to domestic violence offences.

If you are feeling unsafe or have any concerns you wish to discuss we can help to legally protect you and your children. You can apply for a protection order if you have been the victim of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone close to you.

If you fear for your own safety or that of your children the court can make an urgent protection order preventing an abuser from having any contact with you or your children. The police in New Zealand take protection orders very seriously and will charge an abuser with an offence if they try to contact or threaten you or your children. A protection order can be applied for at any time and Mactodd Lawyers can assist you to make the application.

14th December 2017

Mactodd lawyer Tanya Surrey will discuss her life and career at the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Ladies Morning Tea tomorrow.
See you there!

23rd November 2017

Privacy in the Workplace -- Is someone watching you?

Does an employer have the right to monitor personal emails sent from your work computer? In this day and age where everything seems to be broadcast on social media, what is considered a breach of privacy in the workplace?

Find out more in our Fineprint newsletter which also covers issues relating to blended families – wills and trusts, staying safe this summer, and recent workplace health and safety sentencing.

Click here to view the latest edition of Fineprint:

22nd November 2017

Mactodd Lawyers welcomes Sarah McGovern.

Sarah has recently joined Mactodd’s litigation team.

Sarah specialises in family law, including child care law, domestic violence and child youth and family matters. She also has experience in Criminal and Immigration law.

Originally from Ireland, Sarah graduated from university in 2006 and was admitted to the bar in Ireland that year.

In 2010, after moving to New Zealand Sarah was admitted to the bar in Nelson as a barrister/solicitor and practised mainly in the area of family law for several years, focusing on child law and domestic violence matters as well as doing some relationship property. She has regularly appeared in Court. Sarah also has experience in criminal and general civil law. After several years in Nelson, she returned home to Ireland and whilst there practised as a barrister.

Welcome, Sarah.

16th November 2017

Partner Jayne Macdonald and Senior Solicitor Bonnie Zareh are looking forward to presenting at the Westpac Home Buyers Seminars in Queenstown on Wednesday 22 November and Cromwell on Thursday 23 November.

We hope to see you there!

20th October 2017

Mactodd Lawyers is proud to support the 40th Queenstown Jazz Festival opening today.

Over the next four days there will be fifty events in and around Queenstown. The Festival brings world class musicians from far and wide and showcasing the diversity of the jazz genre.

The 40th birthday of the Festival will be celebrated on Sunday night with a Big Band Ball. All proceeds go to the Wakatipu Youth Trust.

See you there!

For more information see

16th October 2017

Mactodd Lawyers is proud to support the Arrowtown Spring Arts Festival running from 27 to 29 October.
The Festival programme includes a range of workshops in painting, writing, music, photography and other art forms.
This is a chance to learn a new skill and celebrate your love of the arts!
Class numbers are limited so book tickets now! For more information see

12th October 2017

ADEPT-MACTODD Charitable Trust makes $80K donation to mark the launch of the Lakes District Hospital Foundation

Mactodd Partners Jayne Macdonald and Clark Pirie were thrilled to be part of today’s launch of the newly established Lakes District Hospital Foundation. Jayne is Chair of the Foundation and is pictured with Chris Fleming CEO of the SDHB following this morning’s launch. The Foundation has been established to enable the community to support the hospital to go beyond its immediate needs and include enhancements and additional items prioritized by the Foundation (in consultation with the community) and the SDHB. Jayne says the Foundation is excited to be working with the DHB to build a larger vision for what we might achieve as a community to enhance and improve services we all benefit from. Of immediate focus for the Foundation are two key start-up projects – funding for a CT scanner which the Central Lakes Trust has offered its financial commitment to, and a whanau/family room, providing overnight accommodation, to support families and their loved ones who are admitted to the hospital for short-term acute care.

To mark and support the launch of the Foundation, a donation of $80,000 was made by the ADEPT-MACTODD Charitable Trust towards the provision of the Whanau/Family Room, formalizing the Trust’s early commitment towards funding the room. Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Clark Pirie said the Trust and the organisations it works with have been aware for some time of the need for a facility for a family to be near loved ones receiving short-term acute care at Lakes District Hospital. The Trust was thrilled that the DHB has accepted the need for this facility at the hospital and that the Foundation has been established as the vehicle to drive and facilitate the fundraising efforts to achieve it. He encouraged others in the community to get behind the efforts of the Foundation, its future projects and funding initiatives.

19th September 2017

Mactodd Lawyers is proud to support Remarkable Theatre’s season of Pint Size Plays starting this Thursday at Smiths Craft Beer House in Queenstown. The season includes two plays directed by Mactodd litigation solicitor Tanya Surrey.

See you there

6th September 2017

We are expanding and searching for great new people to join our team.

If you are looking for a life style change and to enjoy the benefits the region has to offer, while still having the opportunity to develop professionally, we would love to hear from you.

• Commercial/Property Lawyer
• General Litigation Lawyer
• Family/Immigration/Criminal Lawyer

Visit for more information or call 03 441 0125 to discuss further.

4th September 2017

Builders – safety nets

WorkSafe has issued an industry-wide alert for residential building sites about the dangers of poorly installed and badly made safety nets.

Although safety nets are not mandatory, employers are required to protect workers from serious harm. Builders need to consider using secure safety nets (or other methods) to stop workers seriously injuring themselves if they fall off roofs or walls.

See for more information or contact us.

1st September 2017

How will we live in the future? That’s the question being asked this weekend by a series of speakers at Catalyst Trust’s “InSIght” event.

How will our town shape us and how can we shape our town? Is it a question of reinvent or die for Queenstown as a tourist resort? What about the effects of disruptive technology on health and education?

Mactodd Lawyers is proud to support Catalyst Trust in what promises to be a fascinating event. The event starts at 10.30am tomorrow, at Queenstown Memorial Centre, and continues both days until 5:00pm with keynote speakers punctuated by TEDish talks, science busking and displays by our local 'future-focused' students and short science films. All free. Coffee cart in the foyer. For more information and the full programme see Catalyst's Facebook page.

15th August 2017

28th July 2017

Government backs down from proposed immigration change

The salary threshold required for lower-skilled migrants will now be $41,538 (down from $48,859). A stand down period will still apply to essential skills work visa holders earning less than this who have held work visas for three years.

These changes apply to all industries and take effect on 28 August 2017. Get in touch with us if you would like advice on how these changes may affect you.

25th July 2017

Immigration crackdown on hold

After feedback from employers, the Government is currently reviewing tough new laws aimed at migrants in the essential skills migrant categories, which were to come into force in August.

Proposed changes to gaining residence under the skilled migrant category include increasing the required minimum median annual income to $48,859. In addition, lower-skilled essential skills work visas would only be able to be held for three years, after which there would be a stand down period.

These changes have the potential to have a significant impact across a range of industries and it is important that employers and employees stay informed.

Our team can assist you with any immigration questions you may have and provide advice on how these new changes may affect you.