Solving relationship property issues by mediation

A cost-effective alternative to court

After separating, you could find yourself at loggerheads with your former partner or spouse on exactly how all property should be divided between you. Negotiations may be bouncing between your lawyers, with no common ground achieved. Without agreement, you could file court proceedings but learn costs would increase dramatically. As well, it could be years before a judge can give a decision on how your property will be divided.

Mediation, on the other hand, could be arranged within weeks. It offers a practical alternative to reach a conclusion on how property should be divided between you and your former partner.

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Wiping the slate clean

The seven year itch

The Clean Slate Act or clean slate scheme, more formally and correctly known as the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, became law almost 15 years ago. The rationale behind the legislation was to enable people who had certain convictions to put their past behind them without the stigma of a permanent conviction. Having a criminal record can have far-reaching consequences for employment, immigration, voluntary work and various other matters.

What the legislation means

The Clean Slate Act limits the effect of convictions if certain criteria are satisfied. If it has been seven years since you were convicted, you will be considered to have no criminal record and can state this to anyone who asks.

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Questions you shouldn’t ask job applicants

An employment minefield

In the lead-up to the 2017 election, broadcaster Mark Richardson caused an uproar when he asked the then Leader of the Opposition, Jacinda Ardern, if she had plans to have children. The commonly-held view was that this question was outrageous. While a broadcaster has the liberty to ask a range of questions, an employer or potential employer cannot ask this.

Job interviews can be a challenge for both employers and applicants. There are varying opinions on the best way to interview applicants and which questions will help you ascertain if someone is the right fit for your workplace.

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How Private is Private When Taking Photos in a Public Place?

At last year’s Melbourne Cup, a young Kiwi woman had her photograph circulated around the globe after a journalist photographed her antics at the races. As the woman was in a public place with no expectation of privacy no criminal offence was committed, nor was there any civil wrong. This would also be the case in New Zealand. The situation raises some interesting questions about how private is private when taking photographs in a public place?

What are the rules?

It’s generally lawful to take and/or publish photos or film people in public places such as a beach, shopping mall, park or other public place without their consent. There is no expectation of privacy in these places.

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Changes to employment law

images (1)From 1 April 2011 a number of significant changes to employment law will come into effect.

The most important change (and the one that seems to be receiving little media attention) is the change to the ‘test of justification’ in respect of personal grievances. Presently, when an employee complains of being unjustifiably dismissed the Courts look at what the employer should have done in all the circumstances. The test is to be relaxed to become what could a reasonable employer have done. Provided the employer’s actions fall within the range of a what a reasonable employer could have done then no personal grievance can be upheld.

Other changes include the extension of the 90 day grievance free probationary period to all employers and the ability for employees to ask that their fourth week of annual leave is cashed up.

To understand how these changes affect you please feel free to contact Chris on 07 872 0877 or 021 2421601.

Read the press release from the Minister of Labour below…

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