Govett Quilliam Blog

Peter Ellis appeal: treatment of tikanga Māori within our legal system
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Peter Ellis appeal: treatment of tikanga Māori within our legal system
Yesterday, the Supreme Court of New Zealand announced the Peter Ellis appeal against his charges can continue after his death. This statement from our highest court will build on the conversations happening in our legal system about the status and infusion of tikanga Māori within our law.
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Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act
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Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act
The Government have passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment (RTA) Bill 2020. The amendments make a number of changes to the Act, which will affect both landlords and tenants.
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Commercial Leases to receive Arbitration Subsidy
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Commercial Leases to receive Arbitration Subsidy
On 30 July the Government released an announcement stating that it will provide $40 million to fund arbitration to help assist commercial lease parties settle rental disputes that occurred over lockdown.
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2020 Western Architecture Awards Announced
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2020 Western Architecture Awards Announced
Fifteen projects have received awards in the 2020 Western Architecture Awards, a peer-reviewed programme run by Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).
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Privacy Protection Laws fit for a Data Rich Society
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Privacy Protection Laws fit for a Data Rich Society
Life in the digital age means that we increasingly collect, store and disclose personal information like never before. The Privacy Bill provides a much needed change to privacy law in New Zealand, refreshing the 27-year-old Privacy Act 1993, ensuring we align with international best practice.
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Greater Employee Rights in Triangular Employment Relationships
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Greater Employee Rights in Triangular Employment Relationships
On 27 June 2020 the law changed to protect employees who are legally employed by one employer but carry out their day-to-day work under the direction of another business or organisation. These employees are now able to hold their day-to-day employer responsible for their actions through the enactment of the Employment Relations (Triangular Employment) Amendment Act 2019.
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The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill
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The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill
The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast track Consenting) Bill (the Bill) was introduced into the House on Tuesday 16 June 2020.
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Overseas investment rules change due to COVID-19
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Overseas investment rules change due to COVID-19
Parliament has passed significant changes to New Zealand’s overseas investment rules under urgency in response to the economic impact of COVID-19. The majority of the changes under the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Amendment Act 2020 ("the Urgent Measures Act") came into force on 16 June 2020.
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Property Law Act Amendment for Commercial Leases
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Property Law Act Amendment for Commercial Leases
The Government has announced a temporary amendment to the Property Law Act to require a fair reduction of rent for commercial tenants that suffered due to COVID-19 restrictions.
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Business Continuity
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Business Continuity
Partners Troy Wano, Alice Tocher and Associate Rebecca Eaton joined Venture Taranaki for the 'Ahead of the Curve' webinar last Thursday 7 May. Venture Taranaki in partnership with the Regional Business Partner Network presented - Business Continuity: What local businesses should be considering to ensure business continuity through Alert Levels 3, 2 and beyond.
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Not-for-Profit Professional Services Grant
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Not-for-Profit Professional Services Grant
TSB Community Trust and Govett Quilliam are partnering to provide a joint Not-for-Profit grant to assist NFP businesses who have been substantially impacted by COVID-19.
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“Fair and Reasonable” in the time of COVID-19
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“Fair and Reasonable” in the time of COVID-19
GQ Insight  As we approach and contemplate our collective preparedness for a move to Level-3, it is difficult not to pause and also contemplate as to how much has changed since 25 March 2020. From the relative safety of our homes (which for many of us have also doubled as our new/temporary workspaces), much has likely changed in terms of the way we work.
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Understanding Redundancies in the COVID-19 Era
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Understanding Redundancies in the COVID-19 Era
The words “redundancy” and “restructure” have always set an ominous tone in any workplace. Covid-19 clearly has not diminished that, but nor has it diminished the responsibilities of employers to their staff during a restructure.
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Alert Level 3 and the Education sector
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Alert Level 3 and the Education sector
While we will not know until next week whether New Zealand will stay in a Level 4 lockdown or whether we will progress to Level 3, yesterday the Government provided some guidance around what life and work will look like at Level 3.
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Business Debt Hibernation
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Business Debt Hibernation
The Government has announced several supports aimed at helping businesses survive the economic impacts of COVID-19.  One such support is Business Debt Hibernation (BDH), which would allow businesses impacted by COVID-19 to hibernate existing debts until they can get back on their feet.
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Ready, willing but not able?
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Ready, willing but not able?
GQ Insight  The general principles governing an employee’s right to be paid in accordance with their employment agreement are being tested by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Rebuilding NZ’s construction industry post COVID-19
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Rebuilding NZ’s construction industry post COVID-19
Rebuilding NZ’s construction industry post COVID-19 and flow on effects for the RMA With New Zealand now two weeks into the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lock down, a number of infrastructure and construction companies are facing the risk of insolvency. Under the Alert Level 4 rules, construction companies are only able to work on essential or critical infrastructure or carry out work required to address human health or safety risks.
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Insolvency Law Relief Package – A safe harbour in troubled waters?
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Insolvency Law Relief Package – A safe harbour in troubled waters?
The current COVID-19 restrictions will significantly impact the ability of some directors to comply with their duties and the Companies Act 1993.  The Government’s announcement on 3 April 2020 regarding the introduction of an insolvency relief package will therefore undoubtedly be welcome news for directors.
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Māori Land Court COVID-19 Level 4 protocol
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Māori Land Court COVID-19 Level 4 protocol
While our courts and justice systems in Aotearoa is considered an essential service there has been some disruption to everyday court practices. The Chief Judge of the Māori Land Court has recently issued a  Level 4 protocol document in relation to Māori Land Court proceedings. They Include:
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Travel Ban Exception Process
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Travel Ban Exception Process
The New Zealand border is currently closed to most travellers. New Zealand citizens and permanent resident visa holders are still able to travel to New Zealand as are Australian citizens and permanent residents who are ordinarily resident in New Zealand.
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Will good faith survive the lockdown?
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Will good faith survive the lockdown?
GQ Insight  Good faith, a term commonly used by employment lawyers, but likely a term that will gain in prominence as the nation comes to terms with the impact of Covid-19.
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Temporary visas automatically extended due to COVID-19
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Temporary visas automatically extended due to COVID-19
The Government recently announced an epidemic management notice for visas, to control the spread of COVID-19. This comes into effect on Thursday 2 April 2020.
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Employers’ obligations under updated wage subsidy scheme
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Employers’ obligations under updated wage subsidy scheme
Last Friday 27 March, the Government announced further amendments to the Wage Subsidy Scheme, effective from 4pm that day. In particular, a number of modifications were made to the declaration required to be made by anyone applying for the wage subsidy including employers.
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COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme FAQs
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COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme FAQs
Answers to some common questions about how the wage subsidy works.
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Rent increase freeze and protection for tenants
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Rent increase freeze and protection for tenants
On Wednesday 25 March the Government announced a rent freeze and more protection for tenants.
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SME Professional Services Grant
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SME Professional Services Grant
Venture Taranaki and Govett Quilliam are partnering to provide a joint SME grant to assist businesses who have been substantially impacted by COVID-19.
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Is my business an essential service?
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Is my business an essential service?
Under COVID-19 Alert Level 4, all New Zealanders not working in essential services must stay at home. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has stated that essential services are those that provide for the necessities of life.
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Further wage subsidy support
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Further wage subsidy support
On 23 March 2020, the Government announced significant further support for the economy, businesses and self-employed, in light of New Zealand preparing for Alert level 4 at midnight 25 March 2020.  
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Event and mass gathering restrictions and COVID-19 alert system 2
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Event and mass gathering restrictions and COVID-19 alert system 2
The Government currently requires that gatherings of 500 or more people in close proximity outdoors, or 100 people or more indoors be cancelled. Essential gatherings, which include work, school and public transport, are currently exempt from the restriction and can continue at this stage.
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Considering remote working in response to COVID-19
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Considering remote working in response to COVID-19
On Saturday, 21 March 2020, in response to Covid-19 the Government announced that New Zealand is at stage-2 alert. At stage-2 alert, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is urging employers to consider remote working options, including working from home, where possible.
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Business Continuity Package – Covid-19
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Business Continuity Package – Covid-19
On Tuesday, 17 March 2020 the Government announced its package in response to the economic impact of the ever-evolving COVID-19.
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Announcement of changes for Māori land ratings
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Announcement of changes for Māori land ratings
Historic rates arrears on Māori land has been a barrier for landowners to develop their land. The upcoming changes will mean that local authority chief executives will have the ability to write-off rates arrears on Māori and non-Māori land if the rates are deemed to be unrecoverable.
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Trusts Act 2019 – Be Prepared!
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Trusts Act 2019 – Be Prepared!
Many New Zealanders have embraced the use of trusts as a tool for asset protection and planning.  Conservative estimates indicate that there could be between 300,000 to 500,000 trusts currently in our country. 
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The Rising Talent in Taranaki
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The Rising Talent in Taranaki
A rising tide lifts all boats and when it comes to legal services in Taranaki we believe that attracting fresh, committed and passionate lawyers results in local businesses benefiting from the best in world-class legal talent.
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What have you agreed to in all those Ts & Cs you never read?
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What have you agreed to in all those Ts & Cs you never read?
Gym contracts, website Ts & Cs that you click to “agree” to, the lengthy terms and conditions you accept every time you enter a competition to win an overseas holiday, each time you download an app, your supermarket’s loyalty card. Each time you agree to these things you enter a contract.
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Beware of the work Christmas party
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Beware of the work Christmas party
The countdown to the end of the year is on, and with that usually comes the highly anticipated work Christmas party. Work Christmas parties are often seen as a well-earned chance to let loose after a busy year. Unfortunately many of us know a story or two where such an event has gone seriously wrong.
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GQ builds strong ties to energy sector
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GQ builds strong ties to energy sector
Operating from the heart of the country’s premier oil and gas region, having a strong understanding of the sector’s regulations, and knowing the key players locally have seen New Plymouth law firm Govett Quilliam become a valued adviser to the New Zealand energy industry.
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Should I bring a clown to a redundancy meeting?
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Should I bring a clown to a redundancy meeting?
While the employee in question did lose his job, his advice to anyone in the same situation, was:  “I definitely recommend Joe [the clown] – he’s one of the best around”.
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Public submissions are now open for Te Ture Whenua Māori Amendment Bill
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Public submissions are now open for Te Ture Whenua Māori Amendment Bill
Public submissions are now closed for Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill. If you would like to have your say, share your personal experiences about managing your whenua or comment on any of the proposed changes you have until Tuesday 26 November 2019 to file your submission.
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Drab to fab for New Plymouth inner-city building
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Drab to fab for New Plymouth inner-city building
A once tired-looking Powerco building has been transformed into a work of art in central New Plymouth.
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The importance of Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney
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The importance of Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney
Having enduring powers of attorney (EPAs) and a will in place is important for every adult whatever their age. A will is a legal document that lets you decide how you want your property, care for your dependants (partner, children etc.) and your body to be dealt with after you die. EPAs allow you to appoint a trusted person(s) to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and health when you are unable to do so yourself, during your lifetime.
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Under what circumstances should you form a Trust
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Under what circumstances should you form a Trust
There are a number of circumstances under which you should consider forming a trust. Some of the common purposes of a trust, and the structures utilised, will be discussed in this article.
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Environmental leadership in business award
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Environmental leadership in business award
Govett Quilliam is incredibly proud to have had the opportunity to sponsor the Environmental Leadership in Business Award at the 2019 Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards. The awards feature 5 main categories which each encourage environmental stewardship and sustainable development of natural resources.
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Green paper on hydrogen released
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Green paper on hydrogen released
Consultation is now open on the challenges and opportunities for building a hydrogen economy in New Zealand. The Government is seeking your feedback on the potential for hydrogen production, export and utilisation in New Zealand economy.
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Government unveils new work visa rules
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Government unveils new work visa rules
In September 2019, Minister Iain Lees-Galloway announced changes to temporary work visas.
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Introduction of Bill to amend Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993
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Introduction of Bill to amend Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993
Te Ture Whenua Maori (Succession, Dispute Resolution, and Related Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 19 September 2019, which could soon see the most significant changes to Māori land law in over 20 years.
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Overhaul of the Resource Management System
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Overhaul of the Resource Management System
On 24 July 2019, the Hon David Parker launched the Government’s “comprehensive overhaul” of the resource management system and the Resource Management Act 1991 (“RMA”).  The overhaul is intended broadly to cut complexity and costs, better enable urban development and improve mechanisms for protection of the environment. 
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Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
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Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill
On 8 May 2019, the Government introduced the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill ("Zero Carbon Bill") into Parliament to address the long-term challenges of climate change. The Zero Carbon Bill seeks to amend the existing Climate Change Response Act 2002. If passed into law, this new legislation will sit alongside the Emissions Trading Scheme established under the Climate Change Response Act.
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Innovating for the Future by Building on the Past
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Innovating for the Future by Building on the Past
Our upcoming move of premises in September is significant to us for many reasons. One of those is that it reflects our commitment to look to the future while also celebrating the past.
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In celebration of our people
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In celebration of our people
  A law firm is nothing without its people. And if we’re allowed a moment of pride as we approach our upcoming relocation in September, it will always be reserved for celebrating our incredible team.
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Healthy homes legislation
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Healthy homes legislation
  On 1 July 2019 the Residential Tenancies (Healthy Homes Standards) Regulations 2019 (Standards) come into force. The Standards set minimum requirements landlords need to meet for tenants in relation to heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture and drainage and draught stopping. In this article we seek to dispel some of the myths and 'fake news' around this legislation to give you the run-down on what you'll need to do to meet the requirements.
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How to juggle buying and selling a home at the same time?
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How to juggle buying and selling a home at the same time?
It's unlikely that the first home you buy will be your forever home. As your family grows or your salary increases you may find yourself wanting to upgrade your current home to one with more rooms, different features, or in new area of town. However, like many people, you may find yourself in the predicament of having to sell your current home in order to finance your next one. 
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We're On The Move!
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We're On The Move!
  In early September, we will shift from our current waterfront location (1 Dawson Street) to the exciting new building on the corner of Dawson and King Streets—close to the heart of the city.
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10 things to consider when buying a home with a friend
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10 things to consider when buying a home with a friend
  A co-ownership agreement might just save your friendship. With the average house prices rising, getting on the property ladder can be harder than ever - especially if you're single and don't have the benefit of two incomes to draw upon.
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How much does a lawyer cost when buying your first home?
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How much does a lawyer cost when buying your first home?
Buying your first home can be a very daunting experience. Not only are the sums involved absolutely mind-blowing but buying a home has a few knock-on costs that need to be factored in. 
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Overlapping historical Treaty claims – Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust v Attorney General [2018] NZSC 84
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Overlapping historical Treaty claims – Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust v Attorney General [2018] NZSC 84
In September 2018, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of overlapping historical Treaty claims in the landmark case of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei Trust v Attorney General [2018] NZSC 84.
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