News + Views

Stay informed with relevant legal news and important developments.

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  • 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,…

  • 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…