Slack employment practices highlighted

Two recent case examples have been in the news relating to employment practices by building firms. The first relates to a Christchurch firm that failed to pay its employees the minimum wage or keep adequate records of work hours. The second concerns an unjustified dismissal, despite the employee never actually being ‘fired’. Employees not contractors…

Keeping the cost down

The Registered Master Builders Association and the Construction Strategy Group have prepared a report that investigates the impacts of regulation on housing affordability. The paper found that the cost of constructing a residential building has increased 110% in the last 15 years, compared with an overall increase of 44% in the cost of living over…

Keeping overseas investors informed

New Zealand has experienced an increasing influx of investors and new residents from China in recent years, attracting interest in Chinese investment in New Zealand real estate. A joint venture between Straight Up Productions and MultiMarketing has capitalised on this interest by creating a real estate magazine targeting the Chinese market. The bi-annual NZ Property…

Lack of infrastructure impeding development, affordability

The recently released Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey has painted a damning picture of New Zealand’s property market: Auckland houses are pricier than those in Los Angeles, and Tauranga’s household income vs. housing price disparity is worse than New York’s. Survey co-author Hugh Pavletich says that development is stunted by infrastructure not being financed properly.

RMA reforms expected soon

Environment Minister, Nick Smith, will tomorrow outline the approach and timing for RMA reforms expected to be introduced to the house in the first half of this year. This reform is expected to increase the weight that decision makers are allowed to place on economic factors (among other things). Dr Smith, who is also the…

New consumer protection for residential building works

The Building Amendment Act 2013 came into force on 1 January 2015, requiring additional obligations in residential building contract. The Act defines a residential building contract as building work in relation to a household unit, but does not include subcontract. The purpose of the amendment is to provide further protection for residential homeowners. To this end, the Act imposes…

Supreme Court weighs in on seismic strengthening dispute

The University of Canterbury has lost its appeal in the Supreme Court regarding the issue of whether the Christchurch City Council has the authority to set its own seismic strengthening standards. Kensington Swan’s property team has previously analysed the Court of Appeal decision (that analysis can be found at the following link: http://www.kensingtonswan.com/Legal-Updates-And-Events/Property/2014/Seismic-strengthening-dispute-heading-to-the-Supre.aspx). In 2010,…