Resources - Rauemi


Grab a coffee, take a seat, maybe listen to some music and relax by reading through our articles.

We want to share our minds and know how with you...

Be in the know before you claim


In March Community Law Marlborough once again got to host John Goddard from the law firm Morrison Kent | Wellington.

On this occasion John travelled to Ward to give his presentation on “How to Navigate Earthquake Claims” A guide for claimants. There was a great turnout with lots of questions asked. 

Here are the main points from his presentation.

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Earthquake Fact Sheet | TENANCY

Natural disasters like earthquakes are not ordinary events, and require landlords and tenants to work together in good faith.

If you and your landlord are unable to reach a solution which you think is reasonable, then you can take further steps to have the matter sorted.

You can ask for:

  • information about tenancy rights & responsibilities on 0800 TENANCY (the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) tenancy helpline)

  • practical advice, advocacy and support through Tenants Protection Association
  • legal assistance from Community Law Marlborough
  • or seek formal mediation through Tenancy Services at MBIE.

If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, you can apply to be heard by the Tenancy Tribunal, who will make a decision which you and your landlord must follow. The Tribunal has the power (among other things) to end a tenancy, impose rent reductions or compensation, and order that maintenance work be done to make the property safe and usable.

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Earthquake Fact Sheet | EMPLOYMENT

The earthquake caused a range of damage to businesses in the Marlborough region and to the homes and lives of employers and employees.  These are difficult times and the circumstances call for good
ongoing communication, cooperation and flexibility from all concerned.  Employers and employees should be talking to each other about pragmatic solutions to speed recovery for everyone's benefit.

1.   Can my employer require me to take annual leave because the workplace is closed?

Your employer can require you to take annual leave after giving you at least 14 days' notice if he or she has been unable to reach agreement with you.  This only applies to annual leave that you are entitled
to on each anniversary of the date you commenced employment.  You cannot be required to take annual leave on less than '14 days' notice, but you can agree with your employer to do so.

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Earthquake Fact Sheet | INSURANCE

Following the November 14 earthquake homeowners have until midnight on 14 February 2017 to make a claim with EQC.  If you have home or contents insurance, you will have EQC cover.  However, this is limited to certain amounts and does not cover all types of loss so you may have to claim under your private insurance as well.  In this case, the extent of your cover will depend on the terms of your particular policy.  Don’t be afraid to discuss any concerns with your insurer.  Insurance companies may well take a generous view given the extraordinary circumstances and any hardship to you. 

If you don’t currently have any insurance, now may be a good time to consider getting some, even if it is minimal coverage.  Contact your bank or insurance companies and discuss what coverage you can get at a reasonable price.  Things to consider at this time are your clothes, your food, your children’s clothes and toys.  The cost of insurance may be worth it for any future loss if you ever have to replace all of these items at one time, or have to move out of your home at short notice.

1.     What does the Earthquake Commission cover?

To qualify for Earthquake Commission (EQC) cover, you must have private insurance. You must lodge a claim with EQC and your private insurance company.  The deadline may be different for your private insurer than the 3 month deadline for EQC, check your policy to ensure your claim is in to your private insurer in time.

EQC will cover your house up to $100,000+GST and up to $20,000+GST for contents.  Damage to vehicles (including cars, boats, trailers, and motorbikes) is not covered by the EQC; you will need to make a claim with your own insurance company for damage to vehicles.  There is also a list of assets the EQC will not cover, for example: swimming pools, fences, jewellery, money, works of art, securities, and documents.

Some damage to land is also covered by the EQC.  For example, damage to accessways up to 60 metres (but not the artificial surfaces on them) and damage around the house up to 8 metres away from the house.  If your land is unusable for rebuilding, you will be paid out for your land. This payout is based on a series of calculations set out in the Earthquake Commission Act.

Detailed information about EQC cover is available on their website or you can call their freephone number 0800 326 243.

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Understanding Guardianship

The term “guardian” is well-known, but less well-known is who is a guardian, what it means and when guardianship rights end.

The Care of Children Act 2004 says guardianship of a child means having all duties, powers, rights and responsibilities that a parent of the child has in relation to the upbringing of the child. As well as providing day to day care, the responsibilities of guardians include helping make or helping the child make important decisions about their name and where they live as well as medical treatment, education and child’s culture, language and religion.

The mother and father of the child are usually joint guardians. In some situations the mother may be sole guardian of the child.
This is a little technical and depends on the mother’s relationship with the father from the period of conception up to and including the time the child was born. Section 17 of the Act sets out the circumstances where the mother will be the sole guardian.

Currently both parents of a child must notify the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, of the birth of the child, so nearly all fathers are guardians. Different rules apply for births not jointly notified and where the father was added to the birth certificate between July 1, 2005 and January 25, 2009.  If not a guardian, the father of the child can apply to the court to be appointed as one. The court must appoint the father in this situation, unless it is against the welfare and best interests of the child.

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Community Law Marlborough Opening Hours

14 Market Street Blenheim

We are open Monday to Friday during the following times: 

  • Monday | Tuesday | Thursday | Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm
  • Wednesday 9.00am - 6.30pm

We offer our services by way of appointment, phone and email. Drop-ins are welcome depending on availability.
Contact us for more details
(03) 577 9919 or 0800 266 529

Kaikoura Outreach Clinic

We will be in Kaikoura on the 2nd Tuesday of every month between the hours of 10.30am to 3.00pm, or at other times by arrangement.

This clinic is situated at:

Heartlands, Beach Road Kaikoura

We also provide Skype appointments between 9.30am - 4.00pm.  If you require a Skype appointment call us on 0800 266 529 or you can call Heartlands on 03 909 9292 to arrange a time.

If the matter is urgent call our 0800 266 529 number to speak to a Caseworker.