Recent Case Law and Statute Developments

May 24, 2011

At ACRES we know the importance of being up to date with the latest caselaw from the Courts and changes in law from Parliament. As a consequence we intend to bring you a case or two of note each month and keep you abreast of any Parliamentary developments.

1. Abolition of Gift Duty

It was announced in November 2010 by the Revenue Minister Peter Dunne that the abolition of gift duty would go ahead from 1 October 2011. This means that all trust gifting programmes can be ceased as from 1 October 2011 and gifting can be completed in one lump sum. If you have a trust and you have not received advice to this effect from your lawyer or trust administrator we recommend that you contact your ACRES lawyer to obtain advice as to how they can complete your gifting for you on 1 October this year.

2. Property Ventures Investments Ltd v Regalwood Holdings Ltd [2010] 3 NZLR 231

This is an interesting case concerning the rights of a party to cancel an agreement pursuant to a breach of warranty or a misdescription of the property. It examines principles of contract which have been in place for many years and found that those principles still hold firm.

It was held that a misdescription of a property which but for the misdescription a purchaser would not have entered into the agreement, gives right to the Purchaser to cancel the agreement.

A breach of warranty on the other hand generally only gives rights of compensation given that it will amount to a matter which can be compensated by damages which will put the Purchaser in the same position as they should have been had the breach of warranty not occurred.

The Supreme Court held that the sale of a building which did not have a Warrant of Fitness under the provisions of the Building Act amounted to a breach of Warranty and was not a misdescription. Consequently the purchaser was not able to cancel the agreement on the grounds that there was no Warrant of Fitness.

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