News + Views

Stay informed with relevant legal news and important developments.

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  • 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,…

  • Informants, search warrants and drones over Muriwai Valley

    Informants, search warrants and drones make a great movie right?  It’s all in a day’s work for our compliance and enforcement team. This month, in a Resource Management Act case we are prosecuting for Auckland Council, the Environment Court allowed evidence – including drone footage – to be used at an upcoming jury trial. Judge…

  • Are you a difficult person?

    Beware – difficult people pop up everywhere. As litigators, we can spot them.  The difficult person responds to a straightforward insurance issue with a lengthy email referencing the Bill of Rights, the Magna Carta and other irrelevant material with lots of underlining, capital letters and exclamation marks.  They are not focused on the solution.  They…

  • Time to “tidy up” your dangerous, insanitary and affected building policy?

    At the start of a new year I – like many people – have become hooked on Netflix’s cult new show about the art of decluttering. If you haven’t seen “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” yet, be prepared to fold tea towels like you never knew you could. These tidy up principles don’t just apply…

  • All Blacks leadership guru Gilbert Enoka tours NZ with Rice Speir

    Rice Speir had the privilege of presenting Gilbert Enoka at North Island and South Island functions for our clients to celebrate dealing with adversity and mental resilience. Enoka is the All Blacks’ leadership manager.  He has a long history of success as a mental skills coach with New Zealand’s corporate and sporting elite and is internationally…

  • Dollar deterrence: Bach renovation leads to $17,000 fine

    A businessman who renovated an old bach in Abel Tasman was hit with a fine of more than $17,000 for illegal building work. Rice Speir helped Charlotte Spilman and the team at Tasman District Council to achieve the speedy and cost-effective Building Act prosecution. After early guilty pleas to eight charges involving illegal building work,…

  • Neighbourhood dispute or a disaster waiting to happen? What councils can learn from a dispute over a treehouse

    The case of a young family in Mosgiel who were forced to fix or get rid of their treehouse after a neighbour’s complaint gained national media attention. It all started because the neighbour felt their privacy was being breached by the children in the treehouse, which overlooked their backyard.  The council was obliged to investigate,…

  • The show must go on

    The owners of a defective apartment building in Mt Maunganui thought they had the right to repair the building before their case went to trial. The court, however, said the show must go on. The owners had argued that they stood to lose substantial sums of money if a 10-week trial went ahead based on…

  • If you snooze, you lose – prosecuting under the Building Act 2004

    The moment a council officer notices something wrong at a building site, the clock begins ticking on a prosecution. A council gets just six months to prosecute under the Building Act from that moment.  Once you know (or should know) about non-compliant building work, time starts to run for filing charging documents in Court. Running…

  • Solicitor avoids summary judgment

    Summary judgment can be an effective means of disposing of litigation before it ever reaches trial.  However, there are certain requirements that need to be carefully considered before launching such an application.  Recently, Rice Speir successfully defended its solicitor client in a summary judgment application brought in the High Court at Whangarei (Daisley v Whangarei…