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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 UPDATE – WORK VISA VARIATIONS EXPLAINED

If you’re in New Zealand on a work visa and your employment circumstances change, it can be a stressful time filled with uncertainty. The good news is, you can update your work visa to match your new job offer! Work visas granted under the Post-Study Employer Assisted and the Essential skills categories have your job, the company you work for, and the location of your job listed on them. If you receive a new job offer you cannot start working until you have updated your existing work visa. A Variation of Conditions updates your work visa without extending its length.
Written by Lauren Qiu at 00:00

EMPLOYMENT LAW CHANGES ARE ON THEIR WAY

The Employment Relations Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament last week. It contains provisions rolling back the last government’s changes to individual terms of employment and to collective bargaining and union rights.
Written by Shima Grice at 00:00

INCOME THRESHOLDS RISE FOR RESIDENCY AND WORK VISA APPLICATIONS

On 15 January 2018 Immigration New Zealand increased the salary bands for Essential Skills work visa and Skilled Migrant residency visa applications. The increases are slight, and come about because the remuneration thresholds are indexed against the New Zealand median income. In September 2017, Statistics New Zealand announced that the average earnings from salaries and wages was $50,000. Previous INZ salary bands had the minimum salary at $48,859, hence the need for an increase.
Written by Michelle Urquhart at 00:00

CAVEAT EMPTOR - AN ANCIENT ROMAN CONCEPT IS STILL ALIVE!

As a lawyer who studied Latin in High School, I am delighted to see the phrase ‘caveat emptor’ in the national news this month. Too often we see people choosing to purchase properties without checking things out properly or bothering to talk to a lawyer. Given the purchase prices paid for real estate these days and the complexities of land titles and planning rules, this behaviour makes no sense. Saving yourself a few hundred, or a thousand dollars by not checking things properly, could cost you millions, as one Auckland property developer recently discovered.
Written by Hamish Murray at 00:00

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

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