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…

When you hear the word 'inheritance', what is your first thought? Is it positive or negative? Do you think about what you could receive from your parents, or what you might pass on to your children? Answers will vary, but generally the term 'inheritance' carries positive connotations. The Oxford Dictionary defines an 'inheritance' as 'a thing that is inherited'. More helpfully, Wikipedia defines it as 'the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights, and obligations upon the death of an individual'.

For this article, however, we're focussing on 'debts' rather than actual things. What happens when your parents die broke? Can you inherit a debt? Read more…

An Employment Minefield

In the lead-up to the 2017 election, broadcaster Mark Richardson caused an uproar when he asked the then Leader of the Opposition, Jacinda Ardern, if she had plans to have children. The commonly-held view was that this question was outrageous. While a broadcaster has the liberty to ask a range of questions, an employer or potential employer cannot ask this.

Job interviews can be a challenge for both employers and applicants. There are varying opinions on the best way to interview applicants and which questions will help you ascertain if someone is the right fit for your workplace.

There are a number of questions, however, that simply cannot be asked as they could be considered to be discriminatory. Read more…

So - How Old Do I Have To Be?

As lawyers, we're often asked the legal age for a variety of things such as agreeing to medical treatment, making a will and so on. We thought it would be useful to pull together some of this information as a guide for the required ages in these situations. 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