News + Views

Stay informed with relevant legal news and important developments.

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  • Introducing Rosemary Gibson

    Joining Rice Speir’s compliance and enforcement team a few weeks prior to lockdown was a unique way to start with the firm.  Fortunately having previously worked with many of the Rice Speir team, it has (almost) felt like business as usual, zoomed together from home into meetings, with the added company of my border terrier…

  • Bringing Back Building Inspections

    We’ve made it!  In one piece.  Kind of.  After almost five weeks of COVID-19 Level 4, a never before seen pandemic inflicting untold harm and suffering on to our health, society and economy, New Zealand has just taken the significant step of moving back to COVID-19 Level 3. New Zealand, as a team, has been…

  • Talking about Bigfoot – Kāinga Ora’s quest to become a BCA

    There’s a new mythical creature stirring debate and concern amongst our council clients, but it’s yet to be seen clearly in the wild. Before Covid-19 hit the headlines, we all heard about Kāinga Ora’s expansive powers, lofty goals and the worry that it’ll run roughshod over local councils.  But is there any truth to the…

  • Shovels at the ready!

    As we move out of Level 4 lockdown this week, the nation’s focus will now turn to supporting the speedy recovery of our economy and industries.  Large-scale infrastructure projects will play a key role in this by creating jobs and stimulating local economies.  On 1 April, the Government announced it was looking for “shovel-ready” infrastructure…

  • Floodgates

    Flooding is one of the most common natural hazards in New Zealand.  According to the Ministry for the Environment it is only likely to increase.  Property owners and occupiers will usually have the benefit of insurance cover for flood events but this will not provide cover for certain damage which is explained below.  Claims against…

  • Resource consent granted to remediate the Te Mata Peak walking track

    In early 2019, Hastings District Council was granted resource consent to remediate the highly controversial track that was constructed without public notification on the eastern slope of Te Mata Peak in late 2017. Rice Speir represented the council (in its capacity as applicant) at the two day hearing before Independent Commissioners, Paul Cooney and Rauru…

  • Hefty fine imposed on farmer and director for pollution

    A Waikato farmer, Mr Gurnam Singh, and his company B&B Singh Limited, have been convicted and fined a total of $63,000 for unlawfully discharging farm effluent into the environment at a farm in Morrinsville in August and September 2018.  The fine is the latest in a long history of environmental breaches for Mr Singh.  Judge…

  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink

    I have been dabbling in insurance law for the last 20 years and it is always a surprise to an insured how far reaching certain exclusions in a liability policy can appear to be. I would like to focus on some of these exclusions in this article and the next, to demystify how far reaching…

  • Breaking news – tiny house deemed to be a vehicle, not a building

    This week the District Court has answered a question about whether a tiny house is a building or a vehicle.  In Dall v the Chief Executive of MBIE (available for download by following the link here) Judge Callaghan disagreed with MBIE’s interpretation and set aside the determination together with the council’s notice to fix. The…

  • 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…