Tenure review of Crown pastoral land to end

What is the government proposing?

National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry

Review due in May

Over The Fence – April 2019

Minimum wage review 2019

Over the fence

Mycoplasma bovis and land transactions Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) continues to be a real concern for the farming industry in New Zealand.

Wandering stock

The right to impound and to claim for damages One of the perennial problems that farmers face is that of stock wandering or stock getting out and interfering with, or...

Agri-tourism and food

The legal implications of diversifying your farming operationAgri-tourism and food are growing sectors in New Zealand.

Over the fence

Anti-money laundering compliance A reminder that since 1 July 2018 all lawyers have been required to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

Private land with public access

How is access granted? Our ability to access the ‘great outdoors’ in New Zealand is seen as something of a citizen’s right.

Biosecurity in New Zealand

Who is liable for an outbreak of plant disease? Biosecurity issues never seem to be far from the news these days.

Four key dates for farmers

As always, our legal champions endeavour to keep you informed of key dates ahead of time so you don’t get caught short when something changes.

The not-so-easy problems with easements

If you’re thinking about making a rural subdivision to make the most of the rising popularity of lifestyle blocks and farm parks, it’s likely you’ll be granting easements for access...

Contract of sale: standard or specific terms?

Farmers will know that making a sale is usually a significant deal, and you’ll want to get the best deal you can for the fruits of your labour.

Alerts for farmers: employing workers and health and safety

In these rural briefs, we’re looking at the two hot topics for farmers this summer. The health and safety act is in force and the courts are issuing hefty penalties...

Loan documents: do you read the fine print?

How many of us actually read the fine print when signing a document? The old adage suggests we should and with good reason.

The low-down on Farm Management Plans

As you’ll be aware from our article What does the Clean Water Package mean for farmers, raising the water standards in our rivers and lakes is going to have an...

A practical approach to trusts

The Trusts Bill introduced on the 1st August this year updates the Trustee Act 1956 and reflects decisions made about trusts in common law.

Four more hazards to note...

In these briefs, we have four updates on topics which also present potential risks and hazards for the unwary: new health and safety legislation coming into effect, claims against rural...


We live in a region that gets very dry in summer. Last year’s fire that spread through areas forested with pine trees was a good wake up call for people...

What happens to rural property when relationships break down?

More to the point: what happens if your property is held in a trust? Trusts are arguably a New Zealand institution for ensuring property is passed on to specific beneficiaries,...

When good husbandry goes bad

When rural land is bought and sold, sale and purchase agreements usually contain a ‘good husbandry’ clause.

Wages, calves and a doggy disaster

In this article we’ve got three important updates for the rural community concerning the care of people, animals and farm property.

What does the Clean Water Package mean for farmers?

The recently announced Clean Water Package has caused considerable controversy, mostly in regard to the proposed target to have 90% of all rivers and lakes ‘swimmable’ by 2040.

Rural property and natural disasters...

The Kaikoura earthquake late last year is a timely reminder to check you’re prepared for a natural disaster.

How to avoid a million dollar mistake...

If you’re buying or selling property, it pays for both parties to check the information in the documents supporting due diligence is accurate.

Red Alert: Farm trustees are now accountable for workplace health and safety

Many farms operate using trusts, but the changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act now make individuals accountable. Farm trustees, that’s you.

Who let the dogs out?

Man’s best friend is also the right hand for many farmers, playing a vital role in the day-to-day running of a successful farm.

So you’re a farmer. Are you also a landlord?

If you provide accommodation for staff on your farm, you’re subject to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.

Three must-know tips for Spring

With the warm weather returning, it’s a busy time around Hawke’s Bay with calves and lambs.

Time to Fence Those Waterways!

The Resource Legislation Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on 26 November 2015. The submission process is well underway with the Select Committee receiving submissions until Monday, 14 March 2016.

Paid parental leave changes ahead

The government has made some changes to paid parental leave, with others to follow. It’s important you know how this will affect your staff and business.

Minimum Wage Review 2016

This year’s minimum wage review has seen the adult minimum wage increase from $14.75/hour to $15.25/hour. The starting out and training minimum wage will increase from $11.80/hour to $12.20/hour.

Health and Safety at Work

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 comes into force on Monday, 4 April this year.

Employee dismissed for cruelty to animals: the importance of getting the process right

Employers may find some comfort in a recent decision of the Employment Court¹ where an employee was denied financial remedies from his employer because his cruelty to animals resulted in...

The Health and Safety Reform Bill: Select Committee reports back

On 24 July, the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee reported back to Parliament on the Health and Safety Reform Bill.

Section 21 Agreements and Trusts

Marriage, in the eyes of the law, is a largely – although not entirely – outdated institution; it’s now ‘relationships’ that are important.

Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill

Introduced to Parliament in June as a private members’ bill, the purpose of this Bill is to amend the Minimum Wage Act 1983 to extend its provisions to apply to...

Changes proposed to the Residential Tenancies Act 1986

Most staff employed on farms are also supplied with accommodation on the farm. With that comes rights and obligations as a landlord and employer.

Employment Standards Bill – minimum employment standards

In March 2015, the government announced a package of measures designed to strengthen the enforcement of minimum employment standards.

The changing course of a river can alter your boundaries

When you bought your land, your lawyer will have sent you a search copy of the title to your property as recorded on the register at Land Information New Zealand (LINZ).

Sharemilking agreements

With about three months remaining of the dairy farming season for 2014–2015 we recommend you review your sharemilking agreements, if you haven’t already done so.

Easements on Rural Land

An easement is defined as ‘a right of one person is respect of another person’s land.’ For rural properties these rights can often be crucial issues for the use of...

Town and Country

The popularity of ‘lifestyle’ and ‘farm park’ type subdivisions is ever increasing as city dwellers look to the fresh air and open spaces of country living.

Trust Decision-Making

Over the years, the trust has been one of the favourite entities for farm ownership. Historically this has been for estate duty and tax reasons.


If you’re considering making redundancies in your business you need to be mindful of the business case that you must develop for consultation with your employees before you start the...

Mid-season dairy farm settlements

It’s now not uncommon for dairy farm settlements to occur mid-season. If you’re negotiating to buy or sell a dairy farm mid-season it‘s important that consideration is given to the...

New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards

If you have entered the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards and as part of the preparation for judging, you may like to consider getting a ‘legal audit’ or a review...

Resource consents: compliance and enforcement

The Resource Management Act 1991 contains significant financial penalties (fines) and an ability to impose a term of imprisonment.

Farm buildings to be exempt from assessments

In July the government announced farm buildings are to be exempt from the requirements for assessments under its earthquake-prone buildings policy

Looking after the intellectual property

“The issue of branding and marketing fruit has increased greatly in recent years as some of our horticultural industries have developed.

Who will be responsible on the farm?

“Last year we wrote an article that summarised the Report of the Independent Task Force on workplace health and safety.

Responsibility in the rural sector

One of the issues that the rural sector faces is clarity as to whose responsibility health and safety might be given the way that many rural businesses are structured and...

Minimum wage order change

The minimum wage order has been changed to include a fortnightly minimum wage rate; it became effective on 26 June 2014. This change affects salaried employees on fortnightly rosters.

Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010 has been revoked

The Animal Welfare (Dairy Cattle) Code of Welfare 2010 has been revoked and replaced by a new Code which came into force on 13 June 2014.

Personal Property Securities Register

Recently in this newsletter, we have looked at the implications of the Personal Properties Securities Act 1999.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill is currently at the select committee stage, with the committee due to report back to Parliament at the end of March.

Public holidays: Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day

Special public holiday arrangements are now going to apply for Waitangi Day and ANZAC Day. From 1 January 2014, ANZAC Day and Waitangi Day are now ‘Mondayised’.

Minimum wage review 2014

The government reviews the minimum wage each year. It has recently been announced that the adult minimum wage is to rise from $13.75 per hour to $14.25 per hour, coming...

Sharemilking arrangements

With about three months remaining of the dairy farming season for 2013–2014, we suggest you review your sharemilking agreements, if you haven’t already done so.

Contractual considerations when entering into Agreement for Sale & Purchase of Farms – ‘Proper Farming’

If you are entering into contractual arrangements for the purchase of a farm, there are some important considerations you need to keep in mind.A purchaser will always expect a vendor...

Forestry Rights

Forestry Rights were created by the Forestry Rights Registration Act 1983, which means the first wave of cropping relating to those rights is well underway.

Sharemilking Agreements - Variable Order

Federated Farmers has now released an updated Variable Order Sharemilking Agreement. This follows the Sharemilking Agreements Order 2011.

Leasing the Farm

Leasing a farm, an orchard or cropping land is becoming more common and has attractions for both the land owner and the tenant farmer.

Sharemilking Arrangements: 2011/2012 season

Many dairy farmers are at this time of the year planning their sharemilking and employment arrangements for the upcoming 2011/2012 season.