Family Trusts

In New Zealand it is common for families and those carrying on a business to hold real estate and company shares through a family trust.

What is a Trust?

A Trust is a written arrangement which creates a legal obligation when a person gives assets (the settlor) into the control of another person (the trustee) for the benefit of one or more persons (the beneficiaries). Continue reading

Equal division of property after a three year relationship – Is this fair?

At the time of marriage most couples intend to remain together until their death. Unfortunately, recent New Zealand statistics show that in the last quarter century about one-third of first marriages have ended within 25 years of the marriage.

In this country many marriages are second or even third or fourth marriages.  Many couples have also chosen to live together without getting married. Such relationships are known as de facto relationships. Continue reading

Holidays in New Zealand

Holidays law in New Zealand was first introduced in 1870s. The number of holidays employees are entitled by laws has been increasing with the development of productivity, economy and civilization. In New Zealand employees can now enjoy four-week annual holidays and eleven days of public holidays. Furthermore, people who work on public holidays are entitled to time-and-a-half pay and a further day off. Continue reading

Are You A Financial Service Provider under New Zealand Law?

New laws which are designed to increase transparency and achieve greater regulation in the financial services sector will apply to the finance industry in New Zealandfrom 1 December this year.

The legislative scheme comprises of two major statutes – Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) and the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (FSPA). Continue reading

How can a Caveat protect your interest?

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a statutory notice that is registered against the Certificate of Title for land. It serves as a notice that the person lodging the caveat (‘the caveator’) has an interest in the land. One purpose of lodging a caveat is to Continue reading

Can directors of building company be personally liable for leaky homes?

Drillien v Tubberty (High Court, Auckland CIV 2004-404-2873, 15 February 2005, Associate Judge Faire)

The leaky building saga has seen plaintiffs seek to make liable all of those involved in the construction of a property. In this case the defendant and his wife were the directors and shareholders of a company that purchased, developed, and sold residential properties in Auckland. This was an attempt by the plaintiff to make the defendant personally liable for the defects in the cladding, the external joinery, the roof and the structural framing timbers, on the basis that he owed them, as purchasers of the building, a personal duty of care in its construction. Continue reading