Articles: Rural Law

Farmers - are you accidentally paying your employees below minimum wage?

Farming is seasonal; it is a business that creates the need for employees (with their agreement) to work additional hours at different times of the year. When requiring employees to work those additional hours, farmers need to ensure compliance with the Minimum Wage Act 1983, which cannot be contracted out of.


Moooving Day - Farm Accommodation

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

It’s not uncommon for our lawyers to see a look of surprise when we tell our clients they have to comply with the same rules as any other landlord providing a residential tenancy, or risk finding themselves in a Tenancy Tribunal hearing.


Overseas Investment Act and Forestry

Changes to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 will come into force on 22 October 2018. The amendments have implications for overseas persons looking to purchase residential land, and also forestry and horticulture land. This article will focus on interesting changes for the overseas purchase of forestry land.


Mycoplasma Bovis and Compensation

MPI confirmed on 26 March 2018 that all stock on properties infected with M Bovis will be culled. Stock on properties under a restricted place notice or notices of direction will not be culled.

The actions taken by MPI are set out under the Biosecurity Act 1993 and this Act allows for farmers affected to be compensated for verifiable losses.


Tit for Tat

Mr N was working on a dairy farm in Hokitika for Mr H and Ms G. The employers had recruited Mr N from the Ukraine and he had brought over his wife, who was expecting their first child.

Mr N started on 5 June and all had gone well until things started to deteriorate around October. On 11 November the employers raised several concerns with Mr N’s ability to follow instructions and they held a disciplinary meeting with him. Mr N received a formal written warning.