Anti-Money Laundering Compliance

A reminder that since 1 July 2018 all lawyers have been required to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

The purpose of this legislation is to prevent money laundering and the financing of any terrorism. By asking for more information from you we have more knowledge about the transaction we are to undertake on your behalf and we can ensure that we will not be breaching our requirements under the Act. If we have any uncertainties about the transaction we must to report this to the authorities. This means we are now asking for more information from you. In most situations, we must have the information from you before we can carry out any work.

Information required: We now need proof of your identity and date of birth, such as a passport, firearms licence, driver's licence or birth certificate. We also need proof of your address – such as a recent utilities account or a bank statement.

If the transaction involves an entity such as a trust or a company, we will need further information from you. This includes details of people who are directors, shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries. We may also be required to ask questions for confirmation of the source of the money and the reason for the proposed transaction (what you are asking us to do). We will endeavour to make this information-gathering as easy as possible.

The Great Lawyers' Fee Debate!

Lawyers' fees are often a difficult subject to discuss. They shouldn't be.

When setting a fee we need to consider many things but, ultimately, the fee we charge to you must be fair and reasonable – for us both. We need to be paid for the expertise we give to provide you with a trouble-free property transaction and you need to know what we do to ensure this happens for you. Read more…

The Primary Production Select Committee is considering the Farm Debt Mediation Bill. The Bill proposes to introduce agricultural debt mediation as a mandatory step before the appointment of a receiver in respect of agricultural debt.
Consultation has now closed for the Zero Carbon Bill. If enacted the Zero Carbon Bill will put a 2050 target in place to reduce emissions. We will keep you updated on the progress of these Bills.

Going flatting for the first time is an exciting step for your adult children. They get to live with people their own age and you have your freedom. How can they make the most of this new-found independence with the least risk to them? Read more…

Warmer Homes for Kiwis

Low-income homeowners or homeowners in low-income areas could be eligible for the new government grant to assist in keeping their homes warm in winter.

On 1 July 2018 the new four-year government programme, Warmer Kiwi Homes, came into effect. Under this initiative the government will cover up to two-thirds of the cost of underfloor and ceiling insulation or, if you have a concrete floor, ground vapour barriers. Warmer Kiwi Homes only applies to homeowners who have a Community Services Card, however, funding help no longer stretches to landlords.

Warmer Kiwi Homes replaces the previous Warm Up New Zealand initiative that provided grants for 50% of the cost of ceiling and underfloor insulation for homeowner/occupiers who had a Community Services Card, or for landlords whose tenants had a Community Services Card.

In addition to Warmer Kiwi Homes, starting in July 2019 another government grant will be made available to cover two-thirds of the cost of installing heating appliances.

To find out if you are eligible for a Warmer Kiwi Home grant, click here, or don't hesitate to contact us.

Meth Contamination - Update

We have covered meth testing previously here and here. However, since the release of the Gluckman report, it looks as though the threshold for meth testing in properties will be lowered.  Read more…

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