News + Views

Stay informed with relevant legal news and important developments.

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  • Values and innovation

    by Fiona Bird I joined Rice Speir in June of this year as practice manager. My journey to this point has been varied and enriching. I spent 3 years at a large CBD law firm in a corporate services position and prior to that I enjoyed 18 months working in a boutique law practice in…

  • From the Coroner’s court to claims in tort

    I joined Rice Speir as the firm’s newest member in July this year. Having previously worked as legal counsel at the Office of the Chief Coroner, I am well-versed at explaining what the Coroner’s Court is and what a coroner does. Coronial law – in brief Coronial law in New Zealand is governed by the…

  • To settle or not to settle

    Soggy school books and bad behaviour has led to a double win for the Ministry of Education. A leaking high school in Botany, Auckland was the subject of lengthy trial in 2018 between the Ministry of Education and the builder Hawkins (more properly known as H Construction North Island Limited, which is now in liquidation).…

  • Tiny houses major headaches for councils

    The tiny house movement has well and truly swept the country. It goes without saying that bringing affordable, warm and dry homes to the New Zealand market is a fantastic thing. However, what often gets overlooked are the issues that these houses create for councils. At a time of unprecedented growth, demand for people and…

  • Important reforms proposed for Building Act

    Help is on its way for Building Act regulators. Central Government is proposing sweeping reforms to the Building Act – the most significant since it was introduced in 2004. MBIE has recognised the long-standing issues with the building regulatory system, many of which we have written about in Straight Up. It has started a consultation…

  • Gunshots and meditation: Auckland retreat takes aim at proposed shooting range

    When a remote meditation retreat in Auckland discovered a shooting range was setting up next door, it went to court to try and preserve its peace. And it won – but not because of concerns about gunshots echoing across the valley. In a case which the court called unusual, the gun club lost because the…

  • Defendants beware – class actions are gathering momentum

    Class actions are on the rise in New Zealand. This increase in class actions, as well as the availability of litigation funding to assist with these types of claims, will concern likely defendants – large, resourced entities including insurers, local and central government and large companies. At the moment, there are class actions in progress…

  • Real Estate Agent censured for falsifying records

    A home buyer in South Auckland was outraged when he discovered that a large portion of his new property was going to be claimed by Auckland Transport – and that the real estate agent knew about this at the time but did not pass this on. Non-disclosure of material information by real estate agents continues…

  • Path to prosecuting under the Building Act now clearer than ever

    Do councils need a Judge’s permission to file charges under s 40 of the Building Act? And, can a person be convicted of an offence? Rice Speir recently argued a precedent-setting case for Auckland Council, which answered these two questions. The case, which will be of interest to all councils, is available on our website…

  • Opinion: Where is NZTA heading?

    This article was originally published on NZ Truck and Driver. Call me the black sheep, or Jethro West, of the Speir family. Road Torque readers might recognise the name. Steve Speir, my father, has run Minishifts in Auckland for the past 25 years. Although he probably won’t admit it, Dad learned his trade from my grandfather,…