Private Land with Public Access

How is access granted?

Our ability to access the 'great outdoors' in New Zealand is seen as something of a citizen's right. At times, however, It does conflict with the rights of private landowners when, in order to access the great outdoors, there is a need to cross their private land first. Read more…

Protecting your property and getting paid

In light of Ebert Construction's recent receivership, not taking protective measures opens subcontractors up to recovery and enforcement issues. If you are a subcontractor, you should think about how to prevent your tools and equipment (including cranes and scaffolding) from being seized and sold by a receiver, and to ensure you have the best chance of getting paid.  Read more…

Biosecurity in New Zealand

Who is liable for an outbreak of plant disease?

Biosecurity issues never seem to be far from the news these days. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for biosecurity in New Zealand and gets its powers in relation to biosecurity under the Biosecurity Act 1993. The purpose of the biosecurity system that the Act puts in place is to prevent or manage risks from harmful organisms such as pests and diseases. It does this by attempting to stop pests and diseases before they arrive in the country and, if they do, by trying to either eradicate or manage them.  Read more…

New Zealand's highest court, the Supreme Court, recently issued a judgement in relation to a family farming company that should signal to equity farmers the importance of shareholder agreements in determining disputes and in particular ending relationships efficiently. Read more…

Second Thoughts...

What happens when your employee wants to retract their resignation?  Read more…

Foreign Residential Investment

Housing may be freed up with the new foreign buyer screening process being introduced in the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill.

The Bill is currently before the Committee of the whole House; following this, it will return to the House for its final reading. Once passed, the Bill will prevent people who are not New Zealand, Australian and Singaporean citizens or residents/resident visa holders, from investing in residential land without first obtaining consent.

This restriction includes all 'transactions' with residential property, not limited to purchasing but including entering into residential tenancy agreements for a term of five years or more, or entering into periodic leases that offer a certainty of term for three years or more.

The three grounds for consent will be granted where the investor can show the investment will:
1. Increase housing in New Zealand: this will be applied where investors build new apartment complexes off the plans or purchase hotel units and lease those units back to the hotel
2. Benefit New Zealand: this will apply where the foreign investment creates jobs or investment opportunities in New Zealand, or
3. The investor shows a commitment to New Zealand: investors must normally reside in New Zealand and have spent at least 183 days out of the last 12 months in New Zealand.

The Bill will not have retrospective effect, so any overseas investor who already owns land in New Zealand or those who already have a transaction (an agreement to purchase or an existing lease) in place at the date of commencement will fall under the restrictions of the current Act where residential land is not sensitive land.

For guidance more information on how this legislation could affect you buying or selling property – either now or in the future – please give us a call.

Downie Stewart Lawyers Dunedin 8th Level, 265 Princes St, Dunedin, 9016 03-477 2263
PO Box 1345, Dunedin 9054 |  Fax: 03 477 4021  |  E: info@downiestewart.co.nz