Legal Updates

Govt: No more freshwater investments

Oct 8, 2018 2:10:00 PM

The government has announced officials will not be permitted to invest in freshwater bottling in New Zealand as long as a Labour-led government remains in office. The announcement comes after revelations New Zealand Trade and Enterprise officials had encouraged Chinese companies to make such investments, despite ongoing public opposition to exports of freshwater.

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$100K for unlawful cruise conduct

Oct 2, 2018 1:11:00 PM

A French cruise company and one of its skippers have been fined $100K in the Wellington District Court for running a ship aground in the New Zealand subantarctic islands, thus unlawfully entering conservation protected zone, and for endangering human life for failing to have adequate passage plans and monitor the ship's position near navigation hazards, resulting in three hull punctures.

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Pool barrier positioning reminder

Sep 28, 2018 1:12:00 PM

Building Performance NZ, part of MBIE, has issued a reminder about what activities are permitted in immediate pool areas. The reminder notes recent decisions emphasising that only activities carried out in relation to or involving pools should take place in the area enclosed by the pool barrier. Whether an activity qualifies is situational, and close attention to law is needed when placing the pool barrier.

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Historic fines no basis for bad character

Sep 22, 2018 3:53:00 PM

A forestry company's overseas owner has been repeatedly convicted of environmental law breaches abroad, it has been discovered. The OIO has declined to take any action on the grounds of this demonstrating the owner is not of good character, saying the age of the fines and it being 9 years since OIO consent was granted would make taking action on this basis alone inappropriate.

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Compo for meth-evicted HNZ tenants

Sep 20, 2018 12:46:00 PM

Housing New Zealand has said it will pay between $2.5K and $3K in compensation to around 800 tenants wrongfully evicted from HNZ properties found to suffer from third-hand methamphetamine contamination. A May report found several hundred million dollars had been wasted on testing and cleaning properties for such "contamination", which was found to pose no ascertainable health risk. 

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Real estate purchasers' rights increased

Sep 13, 2018 2:50:00 PM

The High Court has broadened the ability of purchasers of real estate to escape sale and purchase agreements where the title to the property is defective. A recent decision says that a communication as informal as a text can constitute objecting to defects in title, even if formalities aren't observed, preventing the purchaser being bound to complete the sale. 

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Call for copper brake pad ban

Sep 9, 2018 2:51:00 PM

The Christchurch City Council and a number of other territorial authorities are joining together to call for a ban on copper brake pads, following evidence that a fifth of waterways sampled in Christchurch are contaminated with the heavy metal. They are calling for a prohibition on the import of copper containing pads and other products. 

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New OIA regulations published

Sep 7, 2018 1:39:00 PM

Regulations implementing the tightening of the overseas investment scheme have been published to come into force on October 22. The regulations provide important details on the exemptions from the scheme, such as specifying a limit of 60% on the number of units within a residential development scheme that can be sold to overseas investors.

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$250K fine risked over "swamp house"

Aug 31, 2018 1:51:00 PM

Auckland Council has used its powers under public health regulations to order the owner of a damp rental property with non-compliant drains under which an ankle-depth cesspool has formed to render it sanitary within ten days or face a $250K fine. Tenancy Services has indicated it may bring a civil action against the landlord for breach of tenancy law.

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Residential tenancies review announced

Aug 29, 2018 11:29:00 AM

The government has announced an unprecedented review of the Residential Tenancies Act. MBIE is seeking input until 21 October on a proposal to require landlords to have justifiable reasons for terminating tenancies, increase notice provisions to 90 days, limit rent increases to once annually, and provide greater protection for boarding house tenants. 

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