About

Community/Sponsorship

The Partners at RMY Legal are proud of the region they live in and make considerable efforts to contribute to the local community. Having been founding members of the Taranaki Festival of the Arts and the Puke Ariki Museum Library, RMY Legal consider the arts to play an integral role in Taranaki culture. Proud sponsors of TAFT – Taranaki Arts Festival Trust, the team are advocates for the many great events that grace the region.

Our dedication to local sporting organisations reflects the interests of our staff and the people we assist daily. RMY Legal have established an excellent relationship with TRFU – Taranaki Rugby Football Union, with Rugby season being a well anticipated time of the year for all.

Sponsorship of community projects and sporting events provides the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way to a region that deserves its’ reputation as being a wonderful place to be.

Articles

Things to consider before you sign With any new build comes a mass of plans and decisions to be made – the location, the floor plan, the exterior cladding, the internal decor and the fittings. However, before shovels even hit the soil, one of the......

Whether you cannot agree on schooling, who has care when or your child’s name, these are all disputes which can and are very often resolved without a visit to Court. If you can see a parenting dispute on the horizon, a good starting point is......

Privacy law changes The Privacy Act 2020 was passed on 30 June 2020 and comes into force on 1 December 2020. It will repeal and replace the current Privacy Act 1993, and will update the law to reflect the continually-evolving needs of the digital age.......

For all overseas purchasers It seems as though the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has been under constant evolution over the last two years. In June, the OIO enacted a change that now requires all overseas purchasers of New Zealand business assets to submit a notification......

How many schemes are you eligible under? Since the pandemic arrived on our shores, the government has made available multiple types of financial relief; more than one may be available to your business. Although applications under the popular Wage Subsidy Scheme ended on 1 September......

WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU SIGN Commercial leases come in varying shapes and sizes. Before you sign your lease, there are a number of core issues for you to consider. THE RENT It’s good to remember that the initial rent stated in the lease can......

Sign a contracting out agreement When entering a second or subsequent relationship, it is common to want to keep assets safe from relationship property claims. An effective way to do this can be by transferring assets to a trust. Care needs to be taken, however,......

Decision-making can be affected by bias In a recent case[1], trustees’ decision-making came under scrutiny from the High Court. Lara Unkovich was a young teenager when her grandfather died in 2016, leaving her a share of his estate. Her share was worth around $65,000. Under......

Best to sign again after lockdown to avoid later complications During the COVID lockdown, special rules applied to the signing of some legal documents. Obviously it was, and is, not possible to have your signature witnessed by someone outside your bubble in Levels 3 and......

RMY Legal is open Our office will remain open, our usual hours are 8.15a.m to 5.15p.m.      What you need to know  Please do not drop into the office, call or email ahead to make an appointment with the team member you would like to see. Some......

Tougher firearms legislation now in force The Arms Legislation Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 24 June 2020 and came into force immediately. The legislation imposes tighter controls on the use and possession of firearms. A key change is the introduction of a firearms registry, which......

Water was the hot topic in the 2017 election campaign. This year, with an election coming up shortly, there seems to have been little talk of water (or much policy at all, so far) with COVID still taking up most of the news space, closely......

More on COVID and access issues to land In the Autumn edition of Rural eSpeaking we discussed the situation that COVID had caused with leases where tenants were unable to access their premises due to lockdown restrictions. Potential issues for the rural leasing sector arose......

As an ex-South African lawyer now employed as a Legal Executive at RMY Legal in New Plymouth (until I am allowed to practise as a solicitor in NZ), I have seen first-hand how different some legal processes are in NZ as compared to SA. I......

The RMY Legal team is very pleased to be back in the office after working from home during COVID. Although many of us enjoyed moving our workplace into our homes, it is great to return to the office environment. We are all pleased to be......

Smoking in motor vehicles with children now banned Smoking in motor vehicles when children under the age of 18 years old are present is now prohibited. The passing of the Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Act 2020 has made this......

New Privacy Act comes into force in December The Privacy Bill is on its third reading in Parliament and will now become law on 1 December 2020. It will repeal and replace the current Privacy Act 1993, and will update the law to reflect the......

Charities play an important role in our society to help the disadvantaged, support specific causes or to advance knowledge. In New Zealand we have more than 27,000 registered charities, with 230,000+ volunteers and 180,000 paid staff[1]. Many of these charities are structured as trusts which......

As I write this editorial, the COVID-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a long-lasting effect on New Zealand and the rest of the world. Everyone has been affected in some way – to a greater or lesser degree. During lockdown, our physical environment......

What the Zero Carbon Act means for business One of the most significant pieces of new legislation introduced last year was the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019, more commonly referred to as the ‘Zero Carbon Act’. The legislation outlines the government’s targets......

In response to the COVID pandemic, changes continue to be made around tenancies – both residential and commercial – as well as mortgages and lending. Healthy homes standards compliance To accommodate delays arising from the COVID restrictions, the deadline for landlords to provide healthy homes......

Some temporary changes Due to the COVID lockdown and the ensuing impact on the country’s economy, the government has made temporary changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986. These changes restrict a landlord’s ability to increase the rent or to end residential tenancies. If you......

Clause 27.5 and inability to access premises In the past three months, most landlords and tenants would have become more familiar with the details of their lease. In particular, most will be looking at how clause 27.5 of the Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) lease......

COVID-19 can be ‘frustrating’ COVID-19, and the restrictions imposed by the government in an attempt to control it, have deeply affected our lives. However, it’s not just our social lives that have become frustrated. Some businesses and individuals have found themselves party to a contract......

Not a ‘gift’, there are employer obligations Many New Zealand employers are scrambling to maintain solvency while balancing their employer obligations during the COVID-19 lockdown; thousands of businesses accepted the government’s COVID-19 12-week wage subsidy as a necessary lifeline. The subsidy was not, however, a......

REBUILDING TOGETHER The government’s Budget, presented by the Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson on 14 May has addressed, in the words of the Minister, “a 1-in-100 year health and economic challenge” as it moves to rebuild the economy post-COVID-19. “With the outbreak of......

Our office will be re-opening Thursday 14th May. For this week, our hours for Thursday and Friday will be from 9a.m and closing at 4p.m.  From Monday 18th May we will be back to our usual hours.  8.15a.m to 5.15p.m.    We are looking forward to seeing you all......

Genuine reasons for fixed-term employment Fixed-term employment agreements are a useful tool when, as an employer, you do not require a permanent employee but need an employee for a stated period of time, or until the conclusion of a specific project, or for a specified......

What if I can’t get on the land in an extraordinary situation? As a result of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 situation, one of the issues that has arisen in the commercial leasing area is that of tenants being unable to access their leased buildings.......

Agriculture continues to be the mainstay of our economy The COVID-19 virus that is sweeping the world will impact upon us all and pretty much everybody in the world one way or another. The repercussions will differ depending on where you live, what age you......

Company structure or sole trader for business? You have decided to quit your job, and go out on your own to run your own business. Do you form a company or trade in your own name? We outline some of the pros and cons of......

RMY Legal are an approved Service Provider under the Venture Taranaki SME Professions Services Grant scheme. Venture Taranaki has made a $400 grant available to assist Taranaki small-medium business enterprises who have been impacted by covid-19 to access professional services for advice and support. RMY......

Due to the national COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital for us to ensure that our staff and our clients are our utmost priority and we will be acting to enforce a high level of safety within the RMY Legal office; following the Ministry’s advice around......

There have been a number of developments around property investment by overseas investors and also on residential tenancies.  If you are an overseas investor or a landlord, you should ensure you are up-to-date with the latest changes and/or proposals. Update on Overseas Investment Act 2005......

10th edition contains significant changes for buyers and sellers The Auckland District Law Society and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (ADLS & REINZ) are the authors of the most common template Agreement for Sale and Purchase that is used by the majority of......

Helps mitigate risk There has been recent media attention on the way property development contracts are structured following the cancellation of a number of Agreements for Sale and Purchase by the developers of a project in Tawa, just north of Wellington. Reportedly, the developers said......

Unfair contract terms The High Court has declared a contract term ‘unfair’ for the first time since the 2015 amendments to the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) that make unfair contract terms unenforceable[1]. Home Direct Ltd sells goods to consumers online with delivery directly to......

Consultation is key New year, new you – new business structure? Restructuring is common in the new year when business owners feel refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge. The process however, is often shrouded in uncertainty (and stress) for employees. Following the......

Rewarding value and increasing engagement Bringing a key employee or a family member into your business by offering them a shareholding can be a powerful motivator and a significant indicator of how much you value their contributions to your success. However, the process should be......

How much can a disinherited child expect? The Family Protection Act 1955 allows children to bring claims against the estate of a deceased parent on the basis that their parent did not adequately provide for their ‘proper maintenance and support’. Exactly what constitutes ‘proper maintenance......

How many people should you name as attorneys? In previous articles in Trust eSpeaking, we have explained why it is important to have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) and the problems that can be created if you do not have one when the need......

Law Commission to review conflicting inheritance laws In late 2019 the Law Commission reported back to the government on its review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (PRA). Discussion on Part 8 of the PRA that deals with the division of relationship property on the......

Restructuring of the dairy industry When Fonterra was established in 2001 under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA), the legislation required a review of the state of competition in the industry in 2015-16. For various reasons, the recommendations in that review were not implemented.......

Five-year joint action plan launched On 24 October 2019 the primary sector launched the ‘Primary Sector Climate Change Commitment: He Waka Eke Noa – our future in our hands to manage agricultural emissions.’ He Waka Eke Noa kicks off a collaborative five-year joint action plan......

Government’s proposal to clean up waterways Water quality is no new issue in Aotearoa New Zealand, but it is a growing one. On 31 October 2019, the government closed submissions on the Action Plan for Healthy Waterways. The Plan has since been referred to an independent......

Changes ahead in relationship property laws The Law Commission has proposed some significant changes to the way relationship property is dealt with by separating couples. Since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 was enacted and with major changes in 2002, the structure of families has changed......

Comes into force early 2021 The Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Much of the Act updates or restates existing law.  However, there are a number of changes about which trustees and people with trusts should be aware. Trustees’ duties......

Changes to legislation bring huge implications The rural fires of last summer are a reminder of the risk of fire to our communities. The cause of the blaze in the Nelson region, one of New Zealand’s largest plantation fires, was attributed to a spark caused when......

Guest editorial by Jonty Mills, CEO, Water Safety New Zealand We are truly blessed to live in the Land of the Long White Cloud. This beautiful country of ours is, however, also the land of water. Wherever you are, you are never far from water. We......

Avoid common mistakes when employing summer staff With summer fast approaching, many businesses will be hiring temporary staff to meet their needs over the busy summer months. Taking on temporary staff can throw up some tricky issues. Employers often are uncertain about what employment agreement......

Frequent buying and selling of property tax rules under review If you frequently buy and sell property, you may want to keep a close eye on Inland Revenue’s review of some property tax rules that was announced in September 2019. One area being targeted is......

Affecting both landlords and tenants The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2019 came into force on 27 August 2019. This legislation affects both landlords and tenants in a number of ways including limiting a tenant’s liability for careless damage in rental properties, and how methamphetamine (meth)......

Before you sign the lease Commercial leases come in varying shapes and sizes. Whether you operate a transport business and need a place to park your trucks, manufacture and sell goods from a warehouse or conduct your trade from a boutique store in the heart......

Increasing numbers of elderly New Zealanders are going into residential care and seeking the government’s residential care subsidy. The legislation governing the subsidy is the Residential Care and Disability Support Services Act 2018, and the assessment procedure is overseen by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD).......

Grandparents often want to give some financial assistance to their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. There can be a number of good reasons for making specific provision for grandchildren in your will or through a family trust. The traditional will-drafting practice is for parents to provide for......

The new Trusts Act 2019 will come into effect on 30 January 2021. Much of the Act updates or restates law that exists already, either in statute or in case law. There are, however, a number of changes about which trustees and settlors should be......

Eminem – importance of IP indemnities in agreements The Court of Appeal[1] has ruled that the National Party must pay Eight Mile Style, the production company of prominent rapper Eminem, damages of $225,000 for breaching the copyright of Eminem’s song ‘Lose Yourself’. This decision highlights......

How the clean slate legislation works Employing staff is never a simple process. Finding people with the right skills and personality to fit into your team can be challenging. Today’s employers go through a rigorous process when recruiting; most believe it’s better to put time......

Have an expertly-drafted agreement Restraint of trade clauses are common in the sale and purchase of a business and in some employment agreements. In a business context, they offer protection to a buyer who has acquired a business and prevent the seller from directly competing......

Building report conditions If you have read an agreement for sale and purchase, you are likely to have seen the term ‘building report condition’. But do you know what a building report condition actually allows you to do, and what it doesn’t? A building report......

Significant changes post-M.bovis The NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) system was first introduced in 2012 and came into effect progressively until it was fully implemented on 29 February 2016. Any completely new system is likely to need a review after being in operation for......

Firearms law reform The law surrounding the ownership and possession of firearms has been reformed following the Christchurch mosque massacre. The Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act 2019 has introduced changes to ban the ownership and possession of most semi-automatic firearms and pump-action......

Complex task ahead In contrast to the review of the NAIT system that we discuss on page 2, it will be challenging for the government to get a consensus on the recently announced review of the resource management system. The four leading political parties have......

Steps to take for a successful project Subdivisions are more common than you think. A subdivision can range from the carving up of hundreds of acres of rural land for housing, developing land in a prime commercial area, selling half your quarter-acre section or simply......

The ‘KFC test’ and tenant privacy Following publicity in 2018 that some property managers were using the ‘KFC test’ to vet prospective tenants, landlords’ protection of their tenants’ privacy has come under scrutiny by the Privacy Commissioner. Any unlawful intrusion into your tenants’ private lives......

Our news Bayley Roylance graduates with Level 3 and 4 in Te Reo (Reo Rua) In April, staff solicitor, Bayley Roylance, graduated with her Level 3 and Level 4 Certificates in Te Reo (Reo Rua) from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. The graduation ceremony was held......

Risk of hefty penalties if you don’t There are plenty of war stories about recordkeeping blunders. Think of offices crammed with paper, ‘lost’ documents, fireplace filing systems and online voids. Section 194(1) of the Companies Act 1993 requires boards to keep correct accounting records. Records......

Making a good choice Having an executor of your will is like having a manager of your affairs (your estate) after your death. Your executor is named in your will; it is his or her role to carry out the terms of your will. Many......

Guest editorial: Kirsten Patterson, CEO, Institute of Directors The damage from governance failure can be profound, and can attract significant unwelcome media and public scrutiny. Focusing on the learnings from these cases is how we can get some real benefit and continuous improvement in corporate......

Implications for owners of forestry blocks New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was established by the Climate Change Response Act 2002. The ETS was created as the vehicle for New Zealand to meet its obligations for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the......

Mainzeal case – highlights director responsibilities The recent high-profile Mainzeal case[1] has highlighted the importance for directors to know and understand their duties under the Companies Act 1993. Four of Mainzeal’s directors were found liable for $36 million in damages for breaching section 135 of......

Can be a real risk for business When the Personal Property Securities Register (the PPSR) was established in 1999, most businesses were quick to catch on that it was a good idea to register security over goods that were sold under a line of credit.......

As expected the government’s The Wellbeing Budget, presented by the Minister of Finance, the Hon Grant Robertson, on 30 May focussed very much on mental health and child wellbeing. The wider economy was looked after with increases in funding to KiwiRail, the establishment of a......

Why we need to ask you for information New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT law” for short). The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand’s commitment to the international initiative to counter......

Unit Titles Act 2010: are you complying? A unit title is a form of property ownership where you own your unit, but the common areas are owned by the body corporate. This ownership structure is common in high-rise apartment blocks. In smaller unit title developments,......

Help to get your foot in the door The purchase of your first home may be more in reach than you think. In 2018, the government aligned the purchase price limits of existing first home buyer schemes with the newly-launched KiwiBuild programme. As a first......

In our Winter 2017 issue, we published an article Up in the Air: Using your drone which gave some guidelines on using drones. With drones becoming more common, for both personal use and for business purposes, we thought it worthwhile reminding you of the law......

For better, for worse? The law governing the division of property when a relationship ends is, after more than 40 years, set to change following the Law Commission’s comprehensive review of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA). The Law Commission has identified changes that......

Tax Working Group proposals The much-anticipated final report of the Tax Working Group (TWG) was released on 21 February and, unsurprisingly, recommended the introduction of a broad-based, realised capital gains tax (CGT) regime. A summary of the recommendations is below. What will be taxed? • Only......

The seven year itch The Clean Slate Act or clean slate scheme, more formally and correctly known as the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, became law almost 15 years ago. The rationale behind the legislation was to enable people who had certain convictions to......

Monday, 6 May 2019 is D-day Last year saw many changes in the employment law sphere, with the Labour-led government delivering on promises of reform in this area. Of particular significance are the changes incorporated into the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2018 that was passed......

High Court provides useful guidance for subcontractors The collapse last year of Ebert Construction Limited took many in the construction industry by surprise, particularly its subcontractors who were owed retention moneys. In our Spring 2018 edition (No 50) we published an article on Ebert Construction......

Directors have personal liability for company debt in liquidation A recent decision in the Court of Appeal[1] has made a director liable for almost $500,000 of company debt due to the company’s failure to keep adequate accounting records. The decision highlights the importance for directors......

The government reviews the minimum wage each year. On 1 April 2019 the adult minimum wage will increase from $16.50/hour to $17.70/hour. The starting out and training minimum wage will increase from $13.20/hour to $14.16/hour. The government has also set indicative rates of $18.90/hour from......

At RMY Legal we’re excited to be supporting Taranaki Taku Turanga – Our Place, Towards Predator-Free Taranaki which aims to be the first predatorfree region in New Zealand. This initiative is led by the Taranaki Regional Council and, at RMY, by legal executive, Lisa Steffensen,......

The Crimes Amendment Bill will, amongst other things, introduce two new offences for livestock rustling: Theft of livestock – or any other animal including beehives and farm dogs – becomes an offence liable for up to seven years’ imprisonment, and Unlawful entry on agricultural land......

Getting help when you have difficulties with your insurer or financial services provider. The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman office (IFSO) was established in 1995 to help consumers who were in dispute with their insurers or financial services providers. The IFSO  is a free, independent......

Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018: From 1 April 2019 this legislation will impose new obligations on employers under three pieces of employment legislation  and the Human Rights Act 1993. Employers will be required to pay up to 10 days/year of paid domestic violence leave.......

Review due in May The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) were first proposed in 2010. Following a period of consultation, the Standards came into effect on 1 May 2018, with a review due in 12 months after that (May 2019) to ascertain whether......

What is the government proposing? The Minister for Land Information, the Hon Eugenie Sage, announced on 17 February this year that the ‘tenure review’ of Crown pastoral land under the Crown Pastoral Land Act 1998 (CPLA) would end. She introduced a discussion document entitled ‘Enduring......

What the future may hold for separating couples with a trust When a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship breaks down, the couple will usually divide their property according to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (the PRA). However, these two people often hold property......

It’s a time-consuming and expensive process if you don’t have an EPA Most people are now aware of the importance of having an enduring power of attorney (EPA). If you are unable to make decisions for yourself at any stage (either temporarily or longer term)......

Helping your children – with care Contributions by family members to the purchase of a property and how this is recorded can affect property ownership. We discuss how you can help your children and, at the same time, lessen the risks to you as parents.......