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Chapman Tripp comments on issues affecting the property sector.

Nine new appointments at Chapman Tripp

05 September 2016

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the promotion of eight new senior solicitors and one new senior legal advisor in the firm’s Auckland and Wellington offices.

Doing business in New Zealand

01 June 2016

Haere mai is Māori for welcome and New Zealand is one of the most open economies in the world. But there are rules and regulations that will apply, and we are familiar with them. This publication is designed to provide the prospective investor with an introductory guide to the New Zealand legal framework as it applies to business.

Residential land withholding tax from 1 July

16 May 2016

After 1 July, many New Zealand companies, partnerships and trusts with an overseas connection will be subject to residential land withholding tax (RLWT) of up to 33% if they sell residential property within two years of acquisition.

Social housing transfers – another brick in the wall

23 February 2016

The Social Housing Reform (Transaction Mandate) Act, passed last week, is another brick in the wall of the government’s evolving state house reform programme. It enables Ministers to sidestep the Housing New Zealand Board in order to sell or lease Housing New Zealand properties for the purpose of social housing reform – a provision which is intended to smooth the way for transaction implementation in a way that is unprecedented in New Zealand statute.

Government tests market appetite for social housing

31 August 2015

The Government today released information memoranda to test market appetite for social housing transfers in Tauranga and Invercargill.

Lenders can use Property Law Act notices to call up a loan

06 August 2015

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a lender can issue an acceleration notice without waiting for a Property Law Act notice (PLA) to expire. A lender can also include the acceleration notice in its PLA notice. The judgment overturns an earlier decision by the High Court and restores a crucial right to bankers and other lenders.

15 new appointments at Chapman Tripp

02 June 2015

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the promotion of 12 senior associates across its Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch offices, and to welcome a new senior associate in the Auckland office. The firm has also recently welcomed two new senior legal advisors* to its tax and competition & regulatory teams.

DOING BUSINESS IN NZ: Buying and developing property

01 June 2015

Doing Business in New Zealand is a publication designed to provide the prospective investor with an introductory guide to the New Zealand legal framework as it applies to business. This chapter discusses title; contracts for sale and purchase of land; Resource Management Act and district plans; Crown Minerals Act; building works; stratum estates; barriers to buying land; Māori land claims; and minerals.

Can a lender use a Property Law Act notice to call up a loan?

11 March 2015

In a decision surprising to banks and other lenders, the High Court has ruled that a lender cannot issue a notice to accelerate a loan before the expiry of a Property Law Act (PLA) notice, where a PLA notice is required. We disagree with the reasoning but we understand the case is not being appealed. Banks and other lenders will need to think carefully about how they accelerate secured loans.

Three new senior solicitors at Chapman Tripp

03 March 2015

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the promotion of three new senior solicitors in the firm’s Auckland and Wellington offices. The appointments are effective from 1 March.

Social housing – a long and winding path to the first sales

18 February 2015

The first sales under the social housing programme are unlikely to be concluded until late this year, according to the timeline the Government is using in its public consultations. We catch you up with the latest information.

Reserve Bank mortgage lending speed limits a success story?

30 January 2015

The macro-prudential tools developed by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to contain a bubble in the housing market appear to have succeeded beyond expectation in the first two years, although the effect has now tapered off.

Government faces tough delivery challenges in social housing

07 November 2014

National’s election win gives it a mandate to push through its proposed social housing reforms without the need for compromise but this does not mean that the way ahead will be plain sailing as there are serious rips and head winds to be navigated.

Court of Appeal confirms your word is your bond

01 September 2014

A recent Court of Appeal decision confirms that a promise may become binding, even if non-contractual. The Court did not clearly establish the circumstances in which it will enforce such promises. Each case will turn on its facts. But the reminder for commercial players is clear: don’t think that you’re not bound by a commitment just because you’ve not contracted to perform it. At the least, you could find yourself liable for the other person’s expenses incurred in relying on your word. Worse, you may have to follow through – even though you may no longer want to.

Five new senior solicitors at Chapman Tripp's Auckland office

28 February 2014

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the promotion of four new senior solicitors and to welcome a new senior solicitor to the firm’s Auckland office.

Two siblings for NZS 3910

03 February 2014

Standards New Zealand has used the first review of NZS 3910 in ten years to create two new construction standards

Affordable housing – a consent requirement on some developments

09 December 2013

As part of Auckland Council’s drive to increase housing affordability, the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (the PAUP) contains a requirement that at least 10% of new dwellings in residential developments over a certain threshold must be “affordable” in perpetuity.

Chapman Tripp advises on China's first big tourism investment in New Zealand

14 November 2013

Chapman Tripp has acted for Shanghai CRED Real Estate on its purchase of the Peppers Carrington Resort and Karikari Winery Estate.

New NZS3910 contract - more than a chip off the old block

22 October 2013

The new standard construction contract, NZS3910:2013, although the product of what was billed by the Standards Committee as a “limited technical review”, contains a number of significant changes and new features. On balance, we like it - but there is a lot for users to digest. Principals, in particular, will need to modify their standard amendments to reflect the changes.

Heritage buildings - hard to do with, harder to do away with

15 October 2013

The dilemma facing the owner of the iconic Harcourts Building in Wellington’s CBD was accepted by the Environment Court. He can’t insure it, or tenant it, and is currently not raising enough from it to even cover the rates bill. The Court also accepted that, until strengthened, the building will continue to pose a risk to “life, limb and other property in the event of a major earthquake”. What the Court did not accept was that this was enough to justify pulling it to the ground. Accordingly, the owner’s appeal against the refusal of a consent to demolish by Wellington City Council (WCC) was denied.

Putting the property bubble back in the bottle?

11 October 2013

If there was ever any doubt about the independence of the New Zealand Reserve Bank, there shouldn’t be any more. Not after it faced down the government and refused to allow a first home buyer exemption for its new restrictive loan-to-value ratios (LVR) on residential lending.

Christchurch rebuild will have nation-wide repercussions

22 August 2013

The construction tsunami about to sluice though the economy may force property owners around the country into new contracting models if they are to attract their building contractors and consultants of choice.

Quick nip and tuck for development contributions regime

16 August 2013

Development contributions will not be removed or capped as a result of the government review following the Productivity Commission inquiry into housing affordability. But they will be given a legislative nip and tuck in the Government’s next Local Government Reform Bill, expected to be introduced later this year.

Case clarifies scope of disturbance payments in Public Works Act

21 March 2013

The scope of the “disturbance payments” recoverable by land-owners under section 66 of the Public Works Act 1981 (PWA) was clarified last week in a test case before the Land Valuation Tribunal (the Tribunal). The Tribunal’s findings are of immediate relevance given the importance of the PWA compulsory acquisition provisions in making land available for the Christchurch rebuild and for large infrastructure projects.

Let the home buyer beware

04 March 2013

Follow your head not your heart when buying your dream home. That is the effect of a recent decision in which the High Court slashed the claim of a couple who bought a multi-million dollar property despite clear evidence that it had leaky building issues. We explain the Court’s thinking and set out the steps purchasers should take to avoid finding themselves in a similar predicament.

Chance to re-write development contributions regime

12 February 2013

Big changes to the development contributions regime are offered in a discussion paper released by Housing Minister Nick Smith and Local Government Minister Chris Tremain at the weekend. Proposals range from tweaking the existing system to abolishing it altogether and replacing it with an infrastructure levy or greater use of infrastructure bonds. The Government is under immense political pressure to increase housing affordability so this review may deliver significant change. Submissions are due by 15 March 2013.

Commercial deed of lease gets make-over

08 November 2012

The Auckland District Law Society (ADLS) commercial Deed of Lease form has been updated to reflect changes in commercial leasing as a result of recent difficult market conditions, and lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes. We consider some of the changes.

An improved construction contract for the Christchurch rebuild

28 September 2012

NZS3910, the standard construction contract, will come in for heavy use in the Christchurch rebuild so the decision by Standards New Zealand to review and update it is timely. The proposed changes are practical and will be generally beneficial but this is an important opportunity to get it right, so we urge you to engage in the consultation process. Submissions close on 9 November 2012.

The BIA and leaky buildings – all care, no responsibility?

20 August 2012

It’s final. The (now defunct) Building Industry Authority carried little or no legal liability for the ‘leaky building’ crisis. In a split decision, the Supreme Court has closed down one litigation gambit in the leaky buildings saga. But it also identifies weaknesses in the building regulatory regime, and highlights ongoing uncertainties at the heart of the law of negligence in New Zealand.

Are your subcontracting arrangements as loose as a goose?

14 August 2012

The importance of clear and careful subcontracting arrangements has been underscored by two recent High Court decisions. We look briefly at the cases and draw some practical advice from them. This is particularly timely given the Christchurch rebuild.

Court of Appeal upholds Crafar decision

08 August 2012

The Court of Appeal yesterday cleared the way for Milk NZ, in association with Landcorp, to bring the Crafar farms back to full production. The Court’s decision should close the door on a campaign by the rival New Zealand bidders to overturn the deal and restores some much needed certainty to New Zealand’s overseas investment regime. It should invigorate New Zealand’s Free Trade Agreement with China and reinforce the upcoming celebrations to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.

Up close with the new lease incentive tax

03 August 2012

Late last week, the IRD issued a statement proposing to make taxable lease inducement payments and other payments in relation to interest in land. The announcement, which reverses a 14-year-old Privy Council decision, proposed that the change be applied retrospectively from last week once legislation has been passed by Parliament. We commented on the retrospectivity. This Brief Counsel considers the substance of the proposal.

Please re-lease me - trends from post-quake Christchurch

20 December 2011

The inner CBD in Christchurch has been under cordon since the February 2011 earthquake, and is not expected to be fully re-opened to the public until April 2012 – more than a year later. Businesses were required to relocate to alternative, often less adequate, premises outside the CBD in order to continue keep operating. As there was fierce competition for alternative premises, business owners often made relocation decisions quickly - without clarity as to the extent of damage to their existing premises or when it would be possible to return to the CBD. This has put the spotlight on commercial leasing arrangements.

Productivity Commission wants cleaner development charges regime

16 December 2011

The Productivity Commission is recommending reform of the development contributions charged by local councils in relation to new subdivisions, including a merits-based review right for developers. The recommendations are included in the Commission’s draft Housing Affordability report, released today. Submissions are due by 16 February 2012.

Cover pricing in construction tenders: a risky business

19 October 2011

The ACCC had a recent win in a “cover pricing” case against a construction company and its managing director: the Federal Court found the company broke the law in providing a cover price to a competing bidder. The director was personally liable as an accessory to the breach. This development is especially important in New Zealand because the Commerce Commission has signalled it is keeping a close eye on construction industry bidding practices. All construction companies, and their directors and managers, should be aware of the risks of cover pricing.

Tax relief for property damaged in the Canterbury quakes

08 September 2011

Important tax relief for property-owners who have sustained property damage in the Canterbury earthquakes is available through legislation passed last week. This Brief Counsel explains the relevant provisions in the taxation (Tax Administration and Remedial Matters) Act 2011. For specific advice, please contact Chapman Tripp.

Housing affordability paper - chance for a real change?

27 June 2011

The Housing Affordability paper from the newly-established Productivity Commission identifies a number of issues which have been a longstanding source of irritation to the property development and construction industries. This suggests an opportunity for meaningful reform. We recommend early engagement in the consultation process. Feedback is due by 3 August 2011.

Two new senior appointments at Chapman Tripp

02 June 2011

Chapman Tripp is pleased to congratulate two new Principals from the firm’s Auckland property and litigation teams on their promotions, effective 1 May.

Chapman Tripp announces seven new Senior Solicitors

26 April 2011

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the appointment of five new Senior Solicitors, and to welcome back Senior Solicitors Jarrod Murphy and Joshua Pringle, who have recently returned to Chapman Tripp from New York.

Special fast-track process for CERA Bill

12 April 2011

A special fast-track procedure will be followed to have the legislation setting up the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) passed by Thursday. This Brief Counsel explains the procedure and provides a brief outline of the Bill's contents. We will send you a link to the Bill immediately it is available.

The G[i]ST of it: new zero rating rules for "land"

04 April 2011

From 1 April 2011, the GST rules for “land” have changed. Contracts for the sale of land need to be amended to deal with these changes. What began as a move to crack down on “phoenix” frauds has resulted in GST being effectively turned off for supplies between registered persons involving land. But this comes with significant compliance requirements. This Brief Counsel explains what you need to know before entering into agreements under the new rules.

Five new senior appointments at Chapman Tripp

14 February 2011

Chapman Tripp is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Partners, one Consultant and one Senior Solicitor, effective from 1 December.

A good fit? Non-residential fit-out pool to be enacted

14 December 2010

Parliament has passed fit-out pool legislation that will allow owners of commercial buildings to deduct 15 percent of the cost of their buildings as a proxy for the cost of fit-out in certain circumstances.

Building industry dispute provisions – could they be better?

23 November 2010

Not happy with the dispute resolution procedures in the Construction Contracts Act 2002? The Department of Building and Housing has released a discussion document exploring a range of issues with the adjudication provisions in the Act and is calling for submissions by Thursday, 16 December. This Brief Counsel summarises the five key reform proposals.

Discounted settlement an option in property purchases if vendor in breach

12 May 2010

The Supreme Court is clear: where the vendor is in breach of a warranty not significant enough to allow cancellation of the contract, property purchasers can discount from the purchase price a fair estimate of the purchaser’s loss. The purchaser is not entitled to defer settlement, nor obliged to settle in full. This Brief Counsel examines the case and its implications.

Key changes to unit title developments from new act

21 April 2010

Over the last 20 years, unit title owners have been burned by unscrupulous property developers and indifferent property managers and held to ransom in the body corporate by recalcitrant minorities. The Unit Titles Act 2010 is designed to deal to these problems. It is complicated, having 204 provisions compared to just 64 for the 1972 legislation.

Government proposes changes to building consent framework

18 March 2010

The Government has invited feedback on proposals to improve the Building Act 2004. Submissions can be made online, by email, fax, post or courier. The deadline is 23 April 2010. This Brief Counsel summarises the key recommendations in the review.

Appeal Court decision good news for public landowners

20 January 2010

A Court of Appeal ruling released just before Christmas in relation to land held under the Public Works Act (PWA) by Auckland International Airport Ltd provides new certainty to other public landowners. The Court has upheld a shift in the interpretation of section 40 of the PWA by the High Court in 2008. This Brief Counsel comments on the significant features of the Court of Appeal's decision.

Government-owned land disposal simplified

30 November 2009

Cabinet has rescinded the Land of Potential Interest Process, which governed and restricted the disposal by Crown entities and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) of land with special values. Responsibility for protecting those values is now vested with the agency holding the land, rather than a process involving Land Information New Zealand and Cabinet. This Brief Counsel looks at how the new regime will work.

Building Act review – opportunity to get rid of some red tape

07 September 2009

The reviews into the Building Act 2004 and the Licensed Practitioner Scheme are a chance to get rid of some of the bureaucratic hassle and expense associated with building consents. This Brief Counsel provides a user-friendly guide to both reviews.

New is not better in REINZ sale and purchase agreement

01 September 2009

Significant problems attach to the new standard form sale and purchase agreement produced by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Unless and until these are resolved, we strongly recommend that you continue with the ADLS form. This Brief Counsel examines some of the issues behind our “don’t use” recommendation.

Issues for directors in the shift to electronic land dealings

05 June 2009

Companies may need to review their delegated financial authorities to catch up with the implications of the shift earlier this year to mandatory electronic dealing through the Land Transfer Act regime.

Bodies corporate on way home at last from another country

21 April 2009

The Unit Titles Bill has important implications for all those with an interest in unit title developments. In our view, the changes go a long way toward addressing the problems in the current badly-outdated regime but there is scope for further improvement.

Submissions called on the Unit Titles Bill

24 March 2009

Submissions on the Unit Titles Bill (the Bill) close on 24 April. The Bill has important implications for all those with an interest in unit title developments – owners, bodies corporate and their managers, developers, landlords and tenants. In our view, the changes go a long way toward addressing the problems in the current badly outdated regime but there is scope for further improvement.

Regulation of lifestyle block-type acquisitions

04 March 2009

The acquisition of lifestyle blocks by overseas persons in New Zealand is governed by the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (Act) and the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005 (Regulations). This article explains who qualifies as an "overseas person" and outlines how the Act impacts the acquisition of lifestyle blocks by such persons.

Taxing capital gains – an idea whose time has come?

13 February 2009

New Zealand is unusual in not having a capital gains tax and there is a developing view that the tax system and our economy may be the weaker for it.

Ground leasing – options for reform to get the buyers back

12 December 2008

Investor confidence in leasehold property, particularly in the Auckland residential market, is at an all time low after a series of rent reviews over the past 12 months. But although the ground lease is down, it would be premature to call it out.

Offer-back under the Public Works Act: a re-appraisal?

06 August 2008

The owners of land held under the Public Works Act 1981 may have greater security of investment and discretion over land use as a result of a High Court decision in relation to Auckland International Airport.

Property Law Act 2007 – something old, something new

05 January 2008

The Property Law Act 2007 came into force on 1 January 2008. Amongst some restatement of existing law in (largely) modernised language, there are also changes that could significantly impact on fundamental day-to-day aspects of business.

The Property Law Act 2007 and how it affects leasehold interests

06 December 2007

The new Property Law Act 2007 comes into effect on 1 January 2008. While a lot of the provisions in this new Act are a codification and clarification of the common law and the various property rules that are part of current practice today, there is no doubt that the thrust of some of the more significant changes is a measure to protect the position of tenants.


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