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Welcome to the Sharp Tudhope Lawyers' blog. Here you will find  topical information and advice relating to a wide range of areas of law, written by our legal experts.

IMMIGRATION LAW UPDATE - WHY IT IS HARDER TO GET A WORK VISA

As promised, Immigration New Zealand have introduced a number of new rules under the Essential Skills Work Visa category. These rules came into effect from 28 August 2017. The most striking change is the introduction of salary bands. The bands are set depending the skill level of the job as assessed by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). The salary band will determine what kind of Essential Skill Visa will be issued. A role with an ANZSCO skill level of 1, being paid $19.97 per hour or less, will only receive a 1 year visa without the eligibility to support a family visa application or apply for residency. These workers will now need to earn a minimum of $23.49 per hour before they will be eligible to apply for residency.
Written by Michelle Urquhart at 00:00

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A WILL

Did you know that if you die without a Will, the law says what will happen to your assets AND there is no guarantee your wishes will be carried out? Even the best laid plans can see family left behind dealing with more stress than they need to.
Written by Brooke Courtney at 00:00
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STAY SHARP AUGUST 2017

With the closure of Baywave TECT Acquatic & Leisure Centre this week for urgent seismic remedial work, Hamish Murray's article on strong rules for weak buildings will interest those involved with commercial buildings. There's also a number of law changes we would like clients to be aware of, including increased reporting requirements around any money that passes through our trust account. Partner, Brooke Courtney tells us about what to consider before letting your "other half" move in and also advises on changes coming to Trust Law.
Written by Janine McTainsh at 00:00

THINK TWICE BEFORE LETTING YOUR “OTHER HALF” MOVE IN!

Making the decision to live with your partner is an exciting time. It is a big step, not just emotionally, but also legally. The law in New Zealand creates a legal duty between boyfriends/girlfriends/partners who are in “de facto” relationships. A de facto relationship is where two people live together similar to a married couple. If a couple in a de facto relationship split, the default position under the law is that any relationship property is to be split 50/50.
Written by Brooke Courtney at 00:00

IMPORTANT CHANGES TO COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS - CONTRACT AND COMMERCIAL LAW ACT 2017

The Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (“CCL Act”) is set to make some practical changes to a wide range of commercial contracts and will come into force on 1 September 2017. The purpose of the CCL Act is to modernise and consolidate 11 commercial contract statutes into a single piece of legislation under the CCL Act.
Written by Paul Milne at 00:00

RECRUITMENT - BE DISCERNING, NOT DISCRIMINATORY

A recent story in the NZ Herald highlights a common mistake many employers make when recruiting staff. An advertisement placed by an Auckland vet clinic suggested that the position was not suitable for someone planning to take long periods of “time off for parenting”. While many employers may feel this way, discrimination when recruiting can get you into hot water. Click the heading above to read more.
Written by Shima Grice at 00:00

STAY SHARP JUNE 2017

The recent global cyber attack has kept many businesses on tenterhooks this week, with the Port of Tauranga using manual systems to process Maersk vessels. We are lucky that our security infrastructure is strong, but it's a timely reminder for us all to be vigilant when communicating online.
Written by Janine McTainsh at 00:00
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COMPANY LAW - SIGNING UP AS A COMPANY PRIOR TO INCORPORATION

On occasion, people sign documents in the name of or on behalf of a company that does not exist, but with the intent to form that company in the very near future. Do you think this plausible? The answer is yes. Are you thinking of signing a contract in the name of or on behalf of a company before it is incorporated? If so, there are a few steps you must follow under the Companies Act 1993 to ensure the pre-incorporation contract is validly entered, and to protect yourself from liability to the other contracting party.
Written by James Moran at 00:00

SKILLED MIGRANT CATEGORY RULES CHANGE AGAIN

The latest raft of changes in the Government’s reset of the permanent visa categories were announced in April 2017. These changes bring an income threshold for applications under the Skilled Migrant Category for residence. Jobs that are considered skilled must meet the New Zealand median income of $48,859 a year. The other threshold is set at 1.5 times the New Zealand median income of $73,299 for jobs that are not considered to be skilled but are well paid. These new rules will take effect from mid-August 2017.
Written by Michelle Urquhart at 00:00

BUILDING CONTRACTS EXPLAINED - FIXED PRICE AGREEMENTS AND EXPECTATIONS

If you’re building a new home under a fixed price contract, you’ve probably been impressed with the style, finishes and fixtures of a show home and think that this is exactly what you’ll get on completion. Building contracts often don’t show detail in relation to the quality and finish you will receive. This can be a problem if you are expecting a show home quality finish.
Written by Samantha Mangino at 00:00

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