News

Buying or Leasing Māori Land

July 30, 2021

There are significant amounts of Māori land in New Zealand in productive rural areas. Much of this land is farmed by way of lease, sometimes in conjunction with adjoining general freehold land. Sometimes these ’joint’ farms have been farmed in this way for generations. For Maori land to be leased or sold, however, specific rules apply. The Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 governs the ‘alienation’ of Māori land.

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Significant Natural Areas

July 30, 2021

The identification of ‘Significant Natural Areas’ has been in the news lately. How are these areas defined and what are the implications for rural landowners?

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Post-Covid Working World

July 9, 2021

Over the past 18 months, we have seen significant changes to employees’ hours of work, rates of remuneration and the expansion of flexible working arrangements as businesses have adapted to the Covid economy.

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Buying off the plans

July 9, 2021

It’s no secret that the housing market in New Zealand is incredibly competitive at the moment. Already on a trajectory pre-Covid, demand has shot up since New Zealand came out of lockdown. Many people are choosing to ‘nest’ rather than spend on overseas holidays and thousands of expats are returning home earlier than planned.

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Clarity around Fixtures and Fittings

June 18, 2021

In December 2020, a commercial landlord and their tenant found themselves in the High Court arguing about who was responsible for replacing fixtures and fittings because their lease was silent on the issue. These types of disputes around fixtures and fittings in commercial leases are quite common.

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Recent Property Tax Changes

June 18, 2021

In March 2021, the government announced three changes to property tax rules that are likely to affect anyone with residential property investments. The changes include extending the bright-line period from five years to 10 years, changing the main home exemption ‘test’ and removing the ability to deduct mortgage interest from rental income.

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To Jab or not to Jab?

May 26, 2021

While many Kiwis are queuing up and eagerly awaiting their Covid vaccinations, not everyone is willing to take ‘the jab’. Recent headlines of sacked border staff who refused their Covid vaccinations have highlighted the difficulty many employers will face in deciding if their staff can reasonably be required to be vaccinated. Dismissing one of your employees on the basis of vaccination status is not as straightforward as it may seem and, in most cases, will be grounds for a personal grievance.

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Wellbeing Budget 2021: Key Points

May 26, 2021

A better than expected economic recovery after the scourges of Covid has enabled the government to propose significant investment in health and welfare, housing (particularly for Māori), infrastructure to rebuild from the impact of the pandemic and to continue to make this country safe from the virus.

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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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