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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.

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.

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.