Food Act 2014 – rolling deadlines to register your food business
The legislation has introduced a sliding scale where businesses that are at a higher risk, from a food safety viewpoint, are required to operate under stricter requirements than lower risk outlets. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) points out that a corner dairy operator who reheats meat pies is treated differently from a meat pie manufacturer.
New food businesses must register when they start to trade. Existing businesses are required to register with a set of rolling deadlines.
Continue reading “Postscript”
New changes regarding law firms are coming into force and they may affect your next visit to us. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (known as AML/CFT) applies to New Zealand law firms from 1 July of this year.
The legislation aims to ensure New Zealand is a safe place to conduct business. The government wants this country to remain at the top of the list of low risk countries with a reputation for low corruption and strong protocols to prevent money laundering activity.
What is money laundering?
Money laundering is the acquisition, possession, transfer, concealment or the conversion of property knowing it is derived from a criminal offence. There are three stages of money laundering:
- Layering, and
Continue reading “Preventing money-laundering in New Zealand: a law firm’s role”
A trending term in the business world over the last year is ‘social enterprise’. This represents a new interpretation on an old way of thinking – that business should be about more than profit. In September 2017, more than 1,600 delegates attended the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch. What were they discussing and what are some ways this movement is seeking to have an impact today?
What is a social enterprise?
To start with we need to get the definition right. In New Zealand the Ākina Foundation works in the social enterprise sector and its definition is a good one: Social enterprises are purpose-driven organisations that trade to deliver social and environmental impact.
The key word there is purpose. Traditional business has had more of a focus on profit than purpose. In fact, that focus on profit is baked into our business model. For example, how important the shareholders of a company are and the focus on the directors returning profit to them.
Continue reading “What is a ‘social enterprise’ and why does it matter?”
Gypsy Day approaching and Mycoplasma bovis
First detected in New Zealand in July 2017, Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis) has become an issue for our agricultural sector.
Gypsy Day is fast approaching for our dairy farmers which sees increased stock movements around New Zealand. If you are buying cows, we recommend that you have the protection of a written agreement. This agreement can provide warranties and provisions around the rejection of animals.
Such protections are not available, obviously, when moving your own stock to another property you also own or on which you sharemilk. We recommend you check for Restricted Place Notices and Notices of Directions when moving stock/farms.
Continue reading “Over The Fence”
Rural businesses are no different from any other producers in the market in the sense that the ultimate fruits of their labours are, at some point, sold to a third party, whether that is to a meat company, a fruit packer or exporter, or a wine or dairy company.
All sales of product are governed by a contract of sale, the terms of which are either set out by statute (see below) or in a supply agreement or a contract to purchase goods or services of some description. Most of these contracts are industry standard-type contracts and, in many cases, the rural producer has little say over what goes in those contracts; most large fruit exporters, winemakers or dairy companies have their standard terms and conditions and won’t negotiate individual contracts with individual suppliers.
Continue reading “Having your own terms of sale”
Website privacy falling short
Your business website is a powerful tool for engaging potential and existing customers, and for collecting useful data. Where information collected is personal information, however, you have obligations under the Privacy Act 1993. The legislation contains
12 Privacy Principles which regulate how you collect, use, disclose and store personal information.
Continue reading “Business Briefs”
Looking to purchase a business? We can help! There are a number of steps involved in buying a business, and working your way through them can seem quite overwhelming, particularly for first time buyers.
Often prospective purchasers overlook important aspects and end up having to sort out issues that arise after settlement – at significant cost. This article puts the spotlight on common snags people experience when buying a new business.
Choosing a business structure
It’s important that you select the business structure to suit your personal circumstances and business aims. There are four main types of business structures, each with pros and cons:
Continue reading “Great, You Have Found a New Business, Now How to Buy It?”
The 2017 general election has given the Labour-led government an opportunity to re-shape the direction of employment law in New Zealand.
We outline the upcoming changes, announced on 25 January, which include modifications to the 90-day trial period, the restoration of rest periods and collective bargaining. These changes will be incorporated into an amendment to the Employment Relations Act 2000. We also touch on the proposed compulsory redundancy provisions.
The 90-day trial period
After early indications that this change was to affect all businesses, the government will abolish the current 90-day trial periods for businesses with more than 20 employees. The 90-day trial periods remain in place for businesses with 19 or fewer employees.
New employees of businesses with 20+ employees now have recourse against any perceived unfair treatment and unjustified dismissal by allowing them to bring personal grievance proceedings during the first 90 days of employment.
Continue reading “Flurry of Employment Law Changes Ahead”
Legislation is showing its teeth
The hefty sentencing in the recent Budget Plastics workplace health and safety case confirms the strict attitude now taken by WorkSafe and the courts. With the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 having been in place 18 months or so, this case reinforces the need for all businesses to ensure they comply with their obligations under the new regime.
Worksafe New Zealand v Budget Plastics (New Zealand) Ltd involved a worker who had his hand amputated after it was caught in the auger of a plastic extrusion machine. His employer, Budget Plastics, pleaded guilty for failing to ensure the safety of its employee while at work, so far as was reasonably practicable, which led to serious injury. The maximum penalty was a fine of up to $1.5 million.
Budget Plastics was found to have failed to comply with a number of industry standards and WorkSafe guidelines. It had also not implemented all the recommendations which arose from a health and safety audit six weeks before the accident.
Continue reading “Recent Workplace Health and Safety Sentencing”
A new (uncertain) dawn for farmers
One of the hot issues in the recent election campaign was raising the water standards in our rivers and lakes. Regional authorities are the bodies that are charged with implementing the government’s water standards policy.
All regional authorities have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, plan changes that are designed to enable them to achieve the minimum water standards set by government.
Reduce leaching into waterway
One of the aims of these plan changes is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and/or phosphorous leaching from farms into waterways.
Continue reading “Farm Management Plans”