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First Conviction for Unlicensed Real Estate Agency Work - The Penalties

First Conviction for Unlicensed Real Estate Agency Work - The Penalties

Convictions for breach of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (Act) have been rare, which is why the case of Home Buyers Limited v Real Estate Agents Authority (HC Wellington CRI-2011-485-83, 22 December 2011) is a significant one. The Home Buyers Limited (HBL) case concerned an appeal against the first conviction for carrying out real estate agency work without a licence. The case is important in that it highlights the courts' approach of taking into account the relatively recent inception of the Act as a mitigating factor when imposing penalties under the Act.

The definition of "real estate agency work" in section 4 of the Act is the cornerstone of the Act. It determines whether the consumer protection provisions in the Act apply and whether an offence has been committed. These consumer protection provisions link back to the Act's purpose which is to promote public confidence in the performance of real estate agency work through adequate regulation.

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Written by building4u  on Monday, 26 March 2012 09:48  in Legislation
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Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (the HSE Act) was first passed in 1992, but was reviewed and amended substantially in 2002.

The object of the HSE Act is to promote the prevention of harm to all people at work, and others in, or in the vicinity of, places of work.

Building Reform Update

Written by John Green  on Monday, 19 March 2012 08:22  in Legal
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Building Reform Update

Building Reform Update

The building and construction sector is vital for New Zealand's economic performance and prosperity.

In 2009, the Government undertook a Building Act Review, which found that there remains a heavy reliance on building consent authorities for building quality and that there are concerns about costs, complexity, and delays in building consent processes.

The Government concluded that change is needed to provide incentives for building professionals and tradespeople to take responsibility for the quality of their work and to stand behind it and that legislative change is required to address these issues.

Drilling Company Fined for Polluting Stream

Written by building4u  on Friday, 16 March 2012 10:04  in Legal
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Drilling Company Fined for Polluting Stream

Drilling Company Fined for Polluting Stream

Specialist drilling contractor, Total Control Drilling Ltd (TCD) was fined $10,500 and ordered to pay costs by Environment Judge Brian Dwyer in the New Plymouth District Court on 17 December 2011 when it pleaded guilty to breaching the Resource Management Act after losing control of a bore and polluting a tributary of the Tawhiti Stream in Hawera. The Tawhiti stream is a tributary of the Tangahoe river, a river catchment with high natural ecological and amenity values.

TCD is based in the Bay of Plenty and operates a sub-branch in Taranaki. In January 2011 it was carrying out drilling operations at Graeme Lowe's Hawera property when it says it struck an underground aquifer causing its sediment controls and settlement ponds to be overwhelmed by the volume of the discharge and allowing silt to enter the stream. The court was told that such was the flow rate of water from the aquifer that negotiations are under way for the municipal water supply of Hawera to be connected to the source.

Is Expert Witness Immunity in New Zealand on the Brink?

Written by John Green  on Friday, 09 December 2011 10:15  in Legal
Is Expert Witness Immunity in New Zealand on the Brink?

Is Expert Witness Immunity in New Zealand on the Brink?

The United Kingdom Supreme Court in Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13 has abolished the principle of expert witness immunity from suit in relation to evidence given in civil proceedings by a 5 to 2 majority decision handed down on 30 March 2011.

The ruling is significant for those who undertake work as expert witnesses in the UK, who may now be sued by their clients for breaches of duty committed in the course of all work that they undertake. Previously, the immunity protected experts in relation to work undertaken in proximity to court hearings.

Starting a Company? Some Matters to Consider First.

Written by Olivia Porter  on Thursday, 08 December 2011 16:07  in Business & Legal
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Starting a Company? Some Matters to Consider First.

Starting a Company? Some Matters to Consider First.

If you're thinking of starting a company, it pays to think about a few things in advance so that you don't have to spend time and money fixing or changing things later on.

 

1. Company Name

The first step to incorporate a company is to reserve a company name. You can check whether the proposed name of your company is available on the Companies Office website.

It is also a good idea to check whether there is a trademark using the proposed name of your company (or words very similar). We also recommend that you find out what domain names are available using the words of your company. This will give you an idea of whether others are using similar names or whether you may be breaching intellectual property laws by using the proposed name of your company.

Financial Assistance Package – a work in progress

Written by Philip O'Sullivan  on Thursday, 08 December 2011 08:29  in Leaky Buildings
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Financial Assistance Package – a work in progress

Financial Assistance Package – a work in progress

The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service ("WHRS") financial assistance package (commonly known as the FAP) was passed into law earlier this year. It is intended to assist homeowners repair their leaky homes without having to resort to expensive and time-consuming legal action.

Eligibility for the FAP is initially based on the same criteria currently used to determine eligibility under the WHRS, meaning that the property must be a residential dwelling, there must be water entry causing damage, and the dwelling must have been built or altered with the 10 years immediately preceding the date the claim is lodged.

How Accurate are your Estimates?

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 13:20  in Business & Legal
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How Accurate are your Estimates?

How Accurate are your Estimates?

Accurately estimating construction costs lies at the heart of your long-term success. If an estimate is too low, you may win the contract but lose money on the job. And if it’s too high, the work might go to a competitor.

All estimates must consider labor, equipment, material, subcontracts and other direct costs, as well as indirect costs, such as insurance, permits and taxes. Omitted or incomplete items will result in inaccurate bids.

To read more about how to ensure your estimates ARE accurate read the full story

Tips for Avoiding Theft and Fraud in the Workplace

Written by Rainey Collins Lawyers  on Monday, 03 October 2011 10:33  in Legal
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Tips for Avoiding Theft and Fraud in the Workplace

Tips for Avoiding Theft and Fraud in the Workplace

Theft and fraud in the workplace can involve everyday little things, not just the big frauds that hit the headlines. Below are some things to think about to keep you and your business acting lawfully...

Timesheets and Invoices

As a builder, most if not all of your jobs will be charged on the basis of the time spent working for the client. It is vital that systems are clear and that time spent working for a client is explicitly recorded and logged. It is also very important that you are clear with your clients on how they will be charged for your work.

Types of home loans

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 16:09  in Business & Legal
Types of home loans

Types of home loans

There are basically five different types of home loans available, featuring variants on interest rates offered. These are:

1. introductory or 'honeymoon' rate

2. floating rate

3. fixed rate

4. split loans (a mix of fixed and variable rates)

5. interest-only

Keep reading the full story to find out more about what these types of loans are and how to chose what's best for your situation.

New residential tenancies provisions take effect

Written by building4u  on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 15:12  in Business & Legal
Liza Irvine, Assoicate, Pidgeon Law

Liza Irvine, Assoicate, Pidgeon Law

Liza Irvine (Associate, Pidgeon Law - Pidgeon Law is a boutique property and commercial law firm providing specialist personal service.) writes on the new provisions in the Residential Tenencies Act.

Key changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986, including clearer and fairer processes for terminating tenancies, new financial penalties for tenants who harass neighbours, and extend powers for the Tenancies Tribunal, will take effect from 1 October. Other changes clarify the rights and obligations of landlords and tenats, including amendments to the rules for letting fees, absent landlords, notices to remendy breaches, and unlawful acts. The Department of Building and Housing will offer advice, information, and education services through its website and contact centre to help clients get to grips with the changes.

Olivia Lund, Solicitor Rainey Collins Lawyers

Olivia Lund, Solicitor Rainey Collins Lawyers

Olivia Lund (Solicitor Rainey Collins Lawyers) writes on what employers and employees need to know about the 90 trial period

Rainey Collins is based in Wellington, looking after the needs of private clients, businesses, and a wide range of organisations, across the whole of New Zealand.

The first employment case under the 90-day trial law was recently tested in the Employment Court, where the Court found in favour of the dismissed employee.

As a result of the Court’s decision, employers and employees should keep in mind a number of factors, keep reading to find out what you need to know.