Connections

Conversations about local government issues, insights and views

Staying informed with relevant news and important developments is critical for us and our clients. We regularly publish insightful articles that discuss the world of local government, record podcasts with thought leaders, and facilitate networking events throughout New Zealand.

Rice Speir Radio

Kia ora everyone and welcome to episode 16 of Rice Speir Radio, coming to you live from day 1 of Level 3 here in Tamaki Makaurau. For anyone new to the show, we are a Podcast that focuses on all things local government. I’m your host, Nathan Speir, and I am Managing Partner of Rice Speir, a…

Mental health and the work place – Tales & Tools workshop

The recent Covid outbreak is taking a toll on all of us – on top of the demands we’re already facing. For many of you, working in local government has never been tougher. Email has meant that everyone is accessible 24/7.  Social media allows ratepayers to send their criticism directly – and without filters. In…

Is the Council once again the last party standing? Maybe not, says the High Court

The High Court has allowed more time for parties involved with defective buildings to be joined into claims – even after the expiry of the 10 year limit. It is a helpful decision for councils, which often find themselves to be the “last party standing” in defective building claims. Background The BNZ building in Wellington…

Why I love being a local government law specialist – it’s about he tangata, the people.

Being locked down in level 4 (with twice as many children as the last time we were here) has allowed me to reflect on why I love being a local government law specialist. Ultimately, it’s about he tangata – the people, the relationships, and an unrivalled diversity of work. This incredible sector is all about…

What is in a claim?

In June 2021 the High Court released a significant judgement for councils and insurers in relation to an $18 million building defect claim. In Napier City Council v Local Government Mutual Funds Trustee Limited (RiskPool)* the court found that a weather tightness exclusion barred an entire building defect claim – even though many of the…

Welcome to the team!

Charlotta Harpur is a civil litigation and insurance law specialist with 20 years’ experience. Originally from Sweden, and having qualified in the UK, she came to Aotearoa in 2009 with her husband and two sons. She quickly gained a passion for working with local authorities, who in turn work for their communities. Charlotta has a…

Is the MBIE determination procedure still fit for purpose?

Have I got your attention now, my Building Control Officer friends around the country? Sure, it’s a provocative title designed to catch your eyes before they stray to whatever lockdown hobby has taken your interest this week. But in all seriousness, I’ve been thinking a lot about whether the time has come to rethink the…

Introduction to Tina Fu

Some may consider starting a legal career in the maelstrom of a global pandemic a daunting task, but I for one am excited to face it as a part of the Regulatory team at Rice Speir. I have joined Rice Speir as a Law Clerk after finishing my LLB (Honours)/BA and with some previous legal…

Certainty and Clarity

We all thrive with certainty and clarity. However, we are unlikely to have, at any point soon, the certainty or clarity that we would like. The strength of certainty around our connections with our clients has always been a significant part of the firm’s ethos and has never been more important than during this pandemic.…

Stop the Clock!

In July 2020 the High Court delivered a fresh perspective on an age old question in building defect cases: does an application to the WHRS ‘stop the clock’ for limitation purposes in relation to all building defects, even those unknown about at the time? The answer, at least for now, is no. The Court has…