Our staff regularly write various articles for media and published journals. We trust you find the following articles of interest. If you would like to discuss any aspect in greater detail, please contact us.
With increased use of technology, cyber bullying is a serious issue for the young and vulnerable in our society. Anyone with a computer or cell phone can potentially be a victim.
Recent lay changes aim to crack down on harmful digital communication.
Our Litigation team can advise you on any aspect of the new law.
Click here to read the full article by solicitor Tanya Surrey.
Be Careful; Safety first
Following serious H&S incidents in NZ, the new Act coming into effect next year will be here to stay.
If you are an employer or have a senior role in a business, we recommend you start to familiarise yourself with the key concepts and how they differ from the current legislation.
We suggest now is the time to review your H&S practices and take steps to ensure you will meet your duties under the new Act.
Mactodd's team can assist you with this process. Click here for our full article by Bonnie Zareh.
District Plan Review – Time to have your say
The council has called for submissions and these must be lodged by 23rd October 2015.
It is very important that all landowners take the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the relevant part of the Review as it affects their property, and if necessary, lodge submissions.
It is advisable to lodge submissions on the parts of the Review that you particularly support as well as those parts which you oppose.
Resource Management Partner Jayne Macdonald provides a final summary in our 5th paper designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the process and how it may affect you.
In this 4th of our series on the Queenstown Lakes District Council's review of its proposed district plan we will take a look at the proposed residential zones - High Density, Medium Density, Low Density, Large Lot and Arrowtown Historic zones.
It is important for land owners to take the time to check out the zone requirements which will apply to their land and to the land in the immediate vicinity.
Queenstown Lakes District Council is currently in the process of reviewing its District Plan.
A draft of the Town Centre Chapter and Mixed Use Zones was published in Oct 2014.
- The change options being considered
- The Issues identified and
- The detail and possible implications for the district
The Queenstown Lake District Plan Review - Landscape and Rural Areas had certainty and simplification as a goal.
This is welcomed however needs to be balanced against the need to protect the environment
When the plan is publicly notified, those owning land in rural areas need to be vigilant and take the trouble to inform themselves about the plan and how it will affect them.
If you need to settle a dispute about how best to care for your children, you may be eligible for Free Legal advice.
Contact Rachel Napier, our Family Legal Advice service provider to find out about your rights and options and assistance with court entry forms.
Wed, 8th Jul 2015
QLDC is to notify Stage 1 of its District Plan review in August 2015. Stage 1 will introduce changes to rules in the Rural and Rural Residential areas of the District.
It will also address the Residential Zones and Town Centres, Some of the changes will affect you are far reaching. In this newsletter, Resource Management Partner Jayne Macdonald provides an overview of the changes to the Subdivision rules.
Keep is Simple Simon - But is it really? QLDC's Proposed New Subdivision Rules.
Councils are required to undertake a review of their District Plan’s every ten years. In preparation for this review, QLDC’s policy planning team have been undertaking monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the District Plan’s rules. This work has culminated in a series of reports, called “Section 32 Reports” identifying issues and suggesting improvements to various chapters of the District Plan. These reports and the changes proposed can be accessed via the Council’s website by clicking on the following link, or going to www.qldc.govt – Planning & Consents – District Plan Review – s32 Archive.
The following chapters of the District Plan are included in Stage 1 of the review – Residential, Rural and Rural Living, Town Centres, Queenstown Airport Mixed Use zone, Heritage, Utilities and Noise (across all zoned).
This article examines the changes proposed for the Residential and Rural Zones in the District Plan.
Mon, 6th Jul 2015
Ending marriages of short duration
Whirlwind romances can be a wonderful and dramatic thing. We’ve all been taken by surprise at some stage in life by a friend announcing a wedding to someone they haven’t known for long but insists ‘this is the one’. Hollywood loves the Las Vegas style wedding too. Sadly, however, some of these more dramatic pairings don’t stand the test of time and the law makes special provision for what’s known as a ‘marriage of short duration’.
The Property (Relationship) Act 1976 (usually known as the PRA) applies to anyone who has been in a relationship whether it’s a marriage, a civil union or a de facto situation. Click here to find out more.
Are you friends with colleagues on Facebook? Do you comment about your job and work life?
A recent Employment Relations Authority decision confirms that you should always apply caution when mixing work with social media outlets.
Writing negative comments or ‘liking’ another’s about your work place can lead to disciplinary action. It is easy to get lulled into the feeling that Facebook and other social media outlets are anonymous or that you are un accountable for your actions and comments. Do not make this mistake as you just might find yourself on the receiving end of disciplinary action for a simple click of the "like" button. To read more, click here.
Building the Castle
There are plenty of horror stories around when it comes to building a new home. To help mitigate the risks associated with home building, the three most important things are that you do your homework before starting the build, read and understand the building contract and make sure you get professional advice before you sign the contract.
Read the full article here.
Mon, 23rd Feb 2015
It’s hard to believe that Autumn is almost upon us. What a fabulous summer we have had throughout the country and more locally in the Wakatipu. There is a real sense of “pick up” in the local economy. Visitor nights continue to be high and the town is buzzing.
We have watched with great interest the ‘big dig” next door to us on the Skyline site, and eagerly await the rebuild of what will be another iconic Queenstown waterfront building.
On the business side of things we have some changes in the team.
The exciting new sub division of Bridesdale Farm is due to launch on 21st February. Open days have already commenced.
To secure a section on the launch date, you will be required to sign a sale and purchase agreement on the day and pay a 10% deposit. All finance arrangements and due diligence of the purchaser must be completed prior to signing the agreement.
Rights to cancel under the agreement are limited. Buyers must therefore obtain independent legal advice prior to signing & ensure that their finance and all queries regarding their purchase in the subdivision are resolved prior to launch date.
We would welcome the opportunity to provide existing and new clients with a FREE intensive consultation on the Bridesdale sale agreement.
For the Bridesdale website click here
When the festive season begins the drink drive limits are lowered. As of 1 December 2014 anyone caught driving with breath or blood at the reduced level will receive a $200 infringement notice and 50 demerit points. Drivers under 20 will continue to have a zero alcohol tolerance.
At a time when you may feel like your hoping from one party to the next it is important to consider the real consequences of being caught by the new legislation. Read the full article here.
When does a real estate agent have a duty to disclose an interest in a transaction to a purchaser?
Does the duty obligation only extend to the real estate agent listing the property?
This case study of an appeal from the Real Estate Agents Authority to the High Court answers these questions.
Know the Risks
Guaranteeing someone else’s obligations can be a serious risk. This includes guaranteeing a loan, rest home occupation licence or a lease. With issues such as redundancy, disability, relationship breakdown and rising interest rates, going guarantor is not just a bank ritual it is a significant risk.
This article outlines what you should know before you sign as guarantor.
IP Protection for Your Business
Is that brilliant new invention you came up with protected?
Protecting "Intellectual Property" creates a significant barrier to competitors, builds credibility, adds value and helps prevent other businesses copying your products or services. However, there are a number of legal issues when considering Intellectual Property protection for your business.
Click here to see a summary of the current protections available in NZ.
Taking land under the post-earthquake regime
The Canterbury Earthquake Authority ("CERA") is giving public notice of its intention to take land in order to build planned community facilities and new residential opportunities.
Partner Jayne Macdonald's article discusses how "CERA" is able to take land and the subsequent compensation process.
We need trees, but they can be problematic in the urban environment when they obstruct views, block natural sunlight, damage property and create safety risks. Recently there have been problems with the unauthorised trimming of council trees in Wanaka and Arrowtown.
Open the full article here to find out what you can and cannot do when it comes to problematic trees.
Fresh water is vital to the life of the Southland Region. It sustains our communities and allows our farmers to farm. Water allocation over the last ten years has increased significantly. Intensification of land use within Southland is leading to greater demand for water, particularly from irrigation.
Please download the full article here.
Competing for a Slice of the RMA Pie
What are the constraints to development and growth that the Resource Management Act (RMA) places on us? What are the competing demands on our finite resources? Allocation of resources in a geographically contained and nationally significant area?
To find out the answer to these questions and more please click here.
In today’s business environment the relationship between you and your staff is crucial. The employment agreement should be clear on all aspects of the employment including the hours of work. Many businesses often need their staff to work overtime and this is where problems can arise if the expectations are not clear.
Read the full article to find out more.
When disputes arise in your business, going to court can be a costly, stressful and time consuming process. An option worth considering is the Disputes Tribunal. The Tribunal provides a quick, efficient and inexpensive means of resolving disputes. The hearings are much more informal than those held in the courts.
To read more please open the full article here.
There can be a fine line in today's technology between what is public and private material.
Having systems in place to control the use of the communication systems is a sensible idea for all parties. Since the development of electronic communication, clauses relating to the use of email system systems have been helpful in employment contracts.
To read the full article please click here.
Cyber bullying – it needs to stop
With increased use of technology cyber bullying is a serious issue for the young and vulnerable in our society. Anyone with a computer or cell phone can potentially be a victim.
Recent law changes aim to crack down on harmful digital communication.
Our litigation team can advise you on any aspect of the new law. Click here to read the article by solicitor Tanya Surrey.