Well here we are already one month down for the year 2015, time does go fast. We hope that you all had a good break and were able to catch up with family and friends, a good time to recharge ones batteries. Staff are all back on deck and straight into the usual if not increasing pile of work, unfortunately even though some of us are still in holiday mode, legal issues are not. We are currently 23% above our targets for the first half of the year and it doesn’t look like it will slow down. Our newsletter will be smaller but we will send these out more often than usual so that we can promote our education series.
We have had a number of people through our doors already thinking that they have won lots of money. Unfortunately the prize is bogus and just a scam. Scams are deceptive and designed to take your money, so if you do get something in the mail or a phone call saying that your have inherited a pot of gold, but before you get that pot of gold you have to pay money, think again it’s a scam. Scammers are getting smarter and trickier so just when we think we are okay – they pop up again. Some recent examples of scams are IRD, Spark customers get fraudulent phone calls, Bunnings Warehouse online voucher scam. They may look legit initially but beware and don’t give out your personal details. Scammers do break the Law such as Fair Trading Act, Consumer Laws, Credit issues etc but the reality is that often the scammer is from overseas, therefore our Laws will not protect us. There may be laws from the country that the scam originates and you could check this out at Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network. For protection, perhaps it would be a good idea to think of the PHIMY – Protect your phone, home, identity, money and yourself.
Amendments to the Employment Relations Act
We covered the up and coming changes to the Employment Relations Act in our last newsletter. This is just a reminder that the changes will come into effect on 6 March 2015. Check out the changes at www.dol.govt.nz.
Succession is the process that passes Maori land from one generation to the next. “Succession” is the legal term used when a person dies and their shares or interests in Maori land pass on to their whanau and applications must go through the Maori Land Court.
To ensure that Maori land is kept with the people who whakapapa to it, there are rules about who Maori land can be passed on to.
Who can succeed to shares or interests in Maori Land are set out in the Te Ture Whenua Maori Act and depend on whether or not the person who died left a will.
If there is no will then look at s109 of the Act. Generally the land interests will pass to the children, and this can include whangai children, or if there are no children, to other family members as set out in the rules. Husbands/wives/civil union partners can have the use of the land interest such as receiving income or use of the land during their life or until they remarry or enter into a defacto relationship.
When there is a will then s 108 of the Act sets out the people that land interests can be left to. Generally it is people who are direct relatives or Whangai relatives.
To succeed to any such land an application must be made to the Maori Land Court. The Court will look at the rules of the Act and may ask about the whakapapa of the person who has passed. Once the Court has decided who will succeed, their decision will be recorded in a Court Order.
Applications to the Maori Land Court can be made by an “administrator” or “executor of the estate, by family members or anyone else who thinks that they are entitled to succeed.
You can get the forms from the Maori Land Court’s website.
You can also apply at the same time to create a Whanau or other Trust, if this is something that you would like help with then come in and see us.