News

2021 Trusts

May 6, 2021

Trusts have long been the preferred vehicle for farm ownership. Historically, holding a property through a trust meant that ownership did not change on the death of the farmer and, therefore, any death duties could be avoided during the generational change. There were also significant advantages in being able to allocate income amongst a group of beneficiaries according to their personal tax rates; this was particularly popular during the 1970s and 1980s when there were high marginal tax rates.

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2021 Rural Leases

May 6, 2021

Leasing of farms, orchards and cropping land is becoming more common. It is a good way for farming operations to expand without capital commitments involved in buying land. For landowners, it can be a useful way to retain ownership of the capital but give away the day-to-day farming operations, either through a desire to semi-retire or to hold the farming asset for a period while family or continued ownership issues are resolved.

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Cyber security 101 for business

April 21, 2021

You arrive at work to find that files with sensitive commercial and client information held on your computers have been hacked. This is the situation the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) found itself in earlier this year. In January, the RBNZ encountered a data breach of its global file-sharing application Accellion FTA. This application was once used by the RBNZ and its stakeholders to share personal and commercially-sensitive information.

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Social media – intellectual property owner’s friend or foe?

April 21, 2021

Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy (Publilius Syrus, 85-43 BC) Social media is a very powerful marketing tool. If used and managed properly, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be a brand’s best friend.

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Reverse Mortgages

March 17, 2021

The current combination of increasing living costs, rising house prices and low interest rates has seen more than property-seekers signing up to home loans. On the other side of the coin, some older homeowners are seeking ‘reverse mortgages’ from their lenders in order to release the growing equity in their property.

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Rent Reviews in Commercial Leases

March 17, 2021

Negotiating commercial leases can involve a significant amount of crystal ball gazing – particularly when some leases can last decades. As recent times have shown, the landscape at the start of a lease can be miles away from the situation at the end of the lease. One area where the shifting sands can bite for long-term leases is the rent figures. Without appropriate rent review clauses to adjust the rent, any landlord could find themselves with a vastly undervalued rental as the lease progresses.

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Trustees' Expenses

February 19, 2021

Should be reimbursed, but no need for extravagance. When trustees incur expenses, they are not expected to be out of pocket in carrying out their responsibilities. Trustees are entitled to use trust money or to get a refund from the trust fund if they incur expenses in carrying out their duties. Trustees’ expenses, however, must be fair and reasonable. A recent case shows why it is also important to be sure that you can trust your trustee not to take advantage of the right to claim expenses.

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Succession and Trust law changes

February 19, 2021

A significant change to the succession laws relating to Māori land came into force on 6 February 2021 (Waitangi Day). Te Puni Kōkiri states that the amendments to Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 are intended to better support whānau to succeed to their land by:

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Having a puff at work

February 5, 2021

New Zealand laws have finally caught up with vaping (also called e-cigarettes) that have, for some time, enjoyed freedom from the country’s strict tobacco regulation. Since 11 November 2020, however, all vaping products and behaviours must now be treated the same as for tobacco products and smokers. All businesses and employers should be aware of the changes to SmokeFree legislation; for retailers of any vaping-related products these changes are especially important.

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Raising Capital for your Business

February 5, 2021

The COVID pandemic has paved the way for innovation, and many New Zealanders spent 2020 investing time and money into their new or existing businesses. When raising capital to grow their business, however, many business owners find themselves limited by the size of their wallet. While interest rates are currently at an all-time low, trading banks’ lending terms are arguably the strictest in recent memory.

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