Getting help when you have difficulties with your insurer or financial services provider
The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman office (IFSO) was established in 1995 to help consumers who were in dispute with their insurers or financial services providers.
The IFSO is a free, independent entity to which you can lodge a complaint regarding the conduct and decisions of insurance and financial services providers, once you have exhausted that provider’s internal complaints procedures.
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Enforceable undertaking accepted by WorkSafe after two students hurt in St Kentigern’s Sweeney Todd production
WorkSafe New Zealand has accepted an enforceable undertaking from the St Kentigern Trust Board following an incident in which two of their students were hurt during its production of Sweeney Todd in April last year.
WorkSafe’s investigation found that the board breached the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) by failing to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, that the health and safety of students was not put at risk from work carried out as part of the business or undertaking.
Continue reading “Sweeney Todd & KiwiSaver”
Options for parents to help
It’s every Kiwi’s dream to own their own quarter-acre share of paradise. Unfortunately for many young people today, not only are the quarter-acre sections fast disappearing into multi-complex developments, but it’s also becoming harder than ever before with an ever-rising property market.
Every time you turn on the news, we hear something about the housing unaffordability in Auckland. Those south of the Bombay Hills start to get a bit glassy-eyed when listening to this on repeat. However, since the government’s introduction of the ‘LVR’ rules in October 2016 aimed at improving affordability in these markets, we must pay attention as all of New Zealand is affected.
The LVR explained
The loan-to-value ratio (LVR) is a measure of how much a lender will lend against a mortgaged property compared with the value of that property. Borrowers with LVRs of more than 80% (that’s less than 20% deposit) are often stretching their financial resources. As well, they are more vulnerable to an economic or financial shock, such as a recession or an increase in interest rates.
Continue reading “A Helping Hand for First Home Buyers”
Grants available to insulate rental properties
Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 require all rental properties to have ceiling and underfloor insulation meeting a set standard, where reasonably practicable, by 1 July 2019.
A limited number of grants (for 50% of the cost) are available through Warm Up New Zealand: Healthy Homes, on a first-come-first-served basis for rental properties occupied by low-income tenants and are not owned by a government agency. The criteria are:
Continue reading “Property Briefs”
The government announced on 31 July changes to Housing New Zealand’s KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme to help more first home buyers into the property market. These changes are effective from 1 August. If you’re looking at buying your first home, it pays to check whether you’re eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds using the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal and to see if you qualify for the HomeStart Grant. Depending on how long you’ve been in KiwiSaver, the money you receive will go a long way in helping you open the door to your first home.
KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal
If you’ve been a member of a KiwiSaver fund for three years, you’ve never owned a home before and the property will be used as your principal place of residence, then you may be eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings (except for the $1,000 government kick-start) through the KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal scheme to put towards the purchase of the property.
Continue reading “Looking at Buying Your First Home? Look into KiwiSaver”
The Court of Appeal has recently confirmed what happens to a Kiwisaver account when a person is made bankrupt. The short answer is the bankrupt gets to keep their money.
Since the introduction of the Kiwisaver legislation there has been confusion and uncertainty around what happens to a person’s Kiwisaver account once they are made bankrupt. This uncertainty is caused by two seemingly incompatible provisions contained within two different Acts. On one hand the Insolvency Act says that all the bankrupt’s property belongs to the Official Assignee (the government employee who manages bankruptcies), Kiwisaver funds are property so those funds would belong to the Official Assignee. However, on the other hand the Kiwisaver Act says that unless a law ‘specifically’ requires the withdrawal of Kiwisaver funds then it is not possible to withdraw the funds unless the person is suffering financial hardship.
Continue reading “What happens to Kiwisaver funds in bankruptcy?”