Company Director Changes

From 28 October 2015 all New Zealand companies must have at least one director who lives in New Zealand, or who lives in Australia and is a director of an Australian registered company. We have been working with our clients to help ensure these requirements are met.

However, if your situation changes, for example you are moving overseas and the company you are a director of will be left without a director living in NZ, then you need to appoint a NZ based director. The same applies if the director you appointed, that at the time was living in NZ decides to move, you would need to consider a new appointment of a NZ based director.

If you are thinking of moving overseas, short term or long term, please contact our office to check the requirements.

Health & Safety Law update

Update kindly provided  by Chapman ER.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has been passed into law and will come into effect on 4 April 2016.

WorkSafe NZ want to see a 25% reduction in NZ’s workplace serious injuries, illnesses and fatalities by 2020. If Australia’s improvements are any indication on what we might expect, given our new legislation is based on Australia’s law, this goal may be achievable as a report released in July 2014 stated they had experienced their lowest number of work-related deaths in 11 years.

WorkSafe NZ aim to provide guidelines about the new legislation, but in the meantime they advise five key areas that organisations should focus on which includes:

  • Familiarising yourself with the key concepts of the legislation
  • Reviewing your health and safety practices
  •  Identifying health and safety risks in your business and take steps to prevent these from causing harm
  • Leading by example
  • Making health and safety part of your workplace culture

 

Foodbank Donations

Even in Nelson, the place we love to call home and where we own businesses, or work and play there are people who miss out on some of the very basic things many of us take for granted – like food on the table! The Nelson organisations who provide precious food to those who need it are running very short on supplies, in fact their cupboards are almost bare.

We want to help and we need you to help us do that. For the months of October and November we will be collecting donations for the Nelson Foodbank.

And to encourage your generosity we have two Magnums of Delaplace French Champagne to give away, all you need to do is drop an appropriate item of food in to our office to help those who need it and we will put you in the draw to win one of the magnums. Every food item you bring in gets you one entry so if you drop off 5 cans you get five entries.

We will give away one magnum each month.

Non-perishable food items like cans of baked beans, cans of fruit, packets of cereal and even cans or bags of pet food (for the household pets not the people) are needed urgently.

Just one can of food can make a difference to a family in Nelson so next time you are at the supermarket buy an extra item to help someone who will really appreciate your gift.

Nelson Arts Festival

Once again Savage & Savage Chartered Accountants are sponsoring a show at this outstanding festival.

This year we have sponsored a show called The Wine Project. “Recently returned from a sell-out season in Edinburgh, Java Dance Company captures audiences with dance theatre that clambers in to your senses. Sarah Copeland began fermenting this new work in a French vineyard and now invites you to taste it.”

“The Wine Project was not like anything I had seen before. It’s one of a kind.” The Southland Times

Nelson College student cooks like a champion

Nelson College student M’Chakkapong Klahan has once again been part of a winning team at the secondary schools culinary challenge for the third year in a row. He and team mate Louis Clarke won a Gold medal at this year’s challenge finals.

Mentored by Kevin Hopgood at Hopgood’s Restaurant where he works part-time M’Chakkapong is obviously an up and coming young culinary star.

 

Nicola’s Cantina

The following article was published in the Nelson Mail earlier this month and features a client of Savage & Savage.

It is a story we think is worth sharing again.

Nicola’s Cantina, or just ‘Nicola’s’ as everyone calls it, has very quickly become a favourite dining spot for food lovers in the region.

Mexican food is the latest craze in dining in other regions around New Zealand but Nicola Cantrick and Ross Coeland have had a love of Mexican food for many years. If you ventured out to Golden Beer Brewery at Mapua you may have seen him cooking up his Mexican inspired treats to enjoy with a beer on the wharf and Cantrick was a partner in the Suter Café before she moved on to establish her own business with Coeland.

When I sat down with them last week I asked ‘why Mexican?’ and not the more traditional café food Cantrick had been producing for many years. She told me ‘I wanted to reinvent myself after six years at the Suter Café, I lived in LA for a while and that is the centre of Mexican food in California, I have always loved the Mexican food style because it is delicious, packed with flavour and is affordable. Mexican food is now recognised as one of the three great culinary traditions in the world, it is so vast in variety with so many nuances, from the crisp taco with a mince filling to the rice filled burrito. People now recognise that the fresh flavours are healthy, it is also a cuisine we have had experience with so it was a pretty easy decision.”

While the first three restaurants Cantrick had were Italian inspired. (Java in the 1980’s in Courtney Place in Wellington, then Salt in Oriental Parade and then, with Katrina, at the Suter Café) She has worked all over the world cooking including setting up a Middle Eastern restaurant in Hong Kong and running a Thai brasserie in Sydney called Lime and Lemongrass, an establishment that was a regular haunt for Sydney’s rich and famous, including the likes of Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Elle McPherson.

She say “while I have no formal training I have worked with very talented people – Margo Henderson who started with me at Java but then went on to become a culinary super star in London with her husband Fergus has been a big inspiration”

Coeland on the other hand is a graphic artist by trade and has always had a passion for hot sauces. He worked for Dr Hot in Christchurch who made hot sauces that have become well know. If you like your sauce fiery then you will probably know the names Mongrel Mouth and Anal Annihilation (you can try them at Nicola’s). He also owned and operated a very well-known and popular salad bar in Christchurch called Rocket so is no stranger to putting smiles on people faces with great food.

Coeland has also spent a lot of time in Mexico where his daughter lives for much the time and is the ‘King of the Grill’ at Nicola’s Cantina. His taste for the super-hot and Cantrick’s taste for the mild, gentle flavours makes the perfect combination to develop a popular menu, it is the fusion of these talents that is the real secret to their success.

Cantrick  says ”we didn’t want it to be just another café, we wanted to create a place people could come and have fun and sometimes there is nothing funnier that seeing a big brave guy coughing and spluttering because he couldn’t handle the heat he added to his food”. “We want people to have fun and because we love feeding people we get huge satisfaction from seeing that”.

Traditional Mexican cantina food is the stuff they love to cook and have just returned from a few weeks in Mexico where they were inspired by so much and have so many ideas they don’t know where to start when it comes to introducing them to their menu here. The plan is to gradually add new and exciting dishes or simply update some of the dishes they currently have to inject the inspiration they got from their trip into the menu here in little old Nelson. Follow them on Facebook tom find out when new treats are added to the menu facebook.com/nicolascantina

Local B&B Operators Receive National Award

Brian & Anthea Harvey with Nick James

Anthea and Brian Harvey of Bellbird Lodge, Kaiteriteri are congratulated by Nick James, Chairman of the Nelson-Tasman Bed & Breakfast Association, on receiving their award.

Local couple and clients of Savage & Savage, Anthea and Brian Harvey from Bellbird Lodge in Kaiteriteri, were surprised and honored to be presented with a Special Award at the annual conference of Bed & Breakfast Association NEW ZEALAND held recently in Napier.

This award is made to members of the Association who have made a significant contribution to both the Association and to the bed and breakfast industry in New Zealand.

The award was presented at the National conference by Kathryn Officer, President of Bed & Breakfast Association NEW ZEALAND.  When presenting the award, Kathryn thanked  Anthea and Brian for their untiring efforts in the interests of the Nelson-Tasman Regional Group.  Kathryn said “they freely give their time to assisting and mentoring other bed and breakfasts.   Along with this, Anthea is also an Association Consultant responsible for making sure that quality standards for members are complied with.”

Nick James, Regional Group Chairperson, advised “Anthea has been a committee member of the local regional group for the last nine years.  Her exceptional organisational skills and attention to detail in arranging local activities and familiarisation trips have led to many successful and informative visits to neighbouring areas. Last year it was a three day trip to Wellington and the World of Wearable Arts show.  Anthea is affectionately known as our “Camp Mother”.  And, all this could not be achieved without the support and encouragement of Brian.”

Health and Safety Reform Bill

Worksafe NZ

As you may have seen in the Media coverage the Health and Safety Reform Bill has been reported back to Parliament which has made some improvements and clarifications. The Health and Safety Reform Bill will replace the old Health and Safety Act and is part of a number of changes aimed at reducing New Zealand’s injury and death toll in the workplace which is far too high. The bill is likely to become law later this year.

While the changes are primarily driven by the need to reform high-accident-rate industries such as forestry,  mining and farms the Bill will effect every business, including small office and retail businesses so you need to assess your business for potential accident-causing behaviour in your workplace. For example how many people stand on a chair to change a light bulb rather than using a set of steps?

Health and Safety is everyone’s responsibility – get it wrong and the penalties are significant.

Duty Holders

A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) have health and safety duties toward their employees and to any other person affected by the work of the business or undertaking.  Duty holders’ obligations are limited to doing what’s in their ability to control and manage and is reasonably practicable. This makes job descriptions very important as a way to establish exactly what is in the duty holder’s ability to control and manage.

Directors, board members or partners, will now (as an officer of a PCBU) have a new duty to ensure that the PCBU complies with its duties. The bill expressly excludes those merely advising or making recommendations to an officer.

However, the responsibility sits with the PCBU, not all duty holders.

The duty holders are now personally liable and can faces fines up to several hundreds of thousands and even prison terms. This cannot be insured against.

In a shared workplace there may be more than one PCBU, the PCBUs are then required to consult, cooperate and coordinate with each other. The bill also clarifies how to do this.

A PCBU does not have a duty towards people who are at the workplace for an unlawful purpose.

Worker participation

The responsibilities of a PCBU have been clarified in the new Bill, under which a PCBU need to engage with the workers on health and safety matters.

Some flexibility has been added to ‘worker participation’ in health and safety matters in the workplace. Health and Safety Representatives and Committees are one way of meeting the worker participation requirement. Smaller workplaces with less than 20 workers in low risk sectors will not be required to have a Health and Safety Representative or Committee when requested by workers. All other businesses need to decide whether to elect a Representative and Committee when requested. If they are satisfied current worker participation practices meet the requirement of the new law they can decline the requirements.

Health and Safety Representatives will have the power to intervene if they see an unsafe situation with serious risk. There are limitations to and training requirements attached to their power.

Definition of a Workplace

The Bill defines a workplace as a place where ‘work is carried out, including anywhere a worker goes or is likely to be while at work’.

Some areas might not be workplaces all of the time. Farmers especially had some concern regarding allowing public to enter their land, but it has now been clarified that a workplace is somewhere where work is customarily carried out, including any place a worker goes or is likely to be while at work. So, farm buildings and immediate surrounds are under the duty of the farmer as a PCBU, other parts of the farm (like paddocks) are only workplaces while work is being carried out in that part. So, the farmer does not have a duty towards recreational users coming onto farm land unless work is carried out in that part of the farm at the time. The farm family home is also excluded from the farm workplace.

Volunteers

The bill will continue to distinguish between casual volunteers and volunteer workers, where casuals health and safety will be covered but the PCBU’s duty to any other person affected by the work of the business or undertaking but not to the extent of employees. Volunteer workers will have the same protection as any other worker.  If it’s purely a volunteer organisation with no employees it is not a PCBU so the Bill won’t apply. If the organisation has employees it’s a PCBU and the Bill applies.

The following would be classed as casual volunteering not volunteer workers: participation in fundraising activity, assistance with sports or recreations for an educational institute or club, assisting with activities for an educational institution outside the premises of the educational institution, providing care for another person in the volunteer’s home.

For further information, visit:

Worksafe New Zealand

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Legislation Updates

Health & Safety Reform Bill delay:

The proposed law changes to workplace health and safety have been delayed for at least two months because of concerns within the National Party caucus about its effect on small businesses and farmers.

The main areas being reconsidered are believed to be:

  • Exemptions for businesses with 20 staff or less from the requirement to have health and safety representative on a worker’s request.
  • Whether types of businesses can be deemed exempt from the law at any time by regulation, as the bill allows.
This week in the media, adding corporate manslaughter to the Bill is also being raised by Amy Adams, Justice Minister.

Parental Leave and Employment Protection – Rate of Parental Leave Payment

These adjustments to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act 1987 (the Act) come into force on 1 July 2015

The rate of parental leave payment payable to an employee is the lesser of —

  • $504.10 per week (as from 1 July 2014); and
  • the greater of — 100% of the employee’s ordinary weekly pay before the commencement of the parental leave; and 100% of the employee’s average weekly earnings.

The rate of parental leave payment payable to a self-employed person is the lesser of —

  • $504.10 per week (as from 1 July 2014); and
  • the greater of — 100% of the self-employed person’s average weekly earnings; and the minimum amount set under section 71OA of the Act.

The amount of $504.10 per week must be adjusted by 1 July 2015 by any percentage movement upwards in average ordinary time weekly earnings. These regulations adjust the amount to $516.85.

Vulnerable Children – Requirements for Safety Checks of Children’s Workers

These regulations, which come into force on 1 July 2015, are made under the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 and set out the requirements for safety checks of children’s workers.

The requirements for the first safety check of a children’s worker are:

  • a full identity check (which requires confirmation of identity either by using an electronic credential or by producing a primary and secondary identity document); and
  • a Police vet; and
  • the gathering of other information (less information is required to be gathered if the children’s worker is an existing employee or contractor); and
  • a risk assessment.

The requirements for a subsequent safety check of a children’s worker that is carried out within 3 years after a previous safety check are:

  • an identity check (which, if a person’s name differs from that on a primary or secondary document produced to confirm identity for a first safety check, requires a supporting name change document to be produced); and
  • a Police vet; and
  • the seeking of information from any relevant professional organisation or licensing or registration authority; and
  • a risk assessment.

Source: Westlaw NZ/Brookers online

Changes to Annual Company Returns

More detail in Companies Office annual returns

From 1 July, annual returns to the Companies Office must include extra information about company directors so if we manage your annual company return we will be asking you for extra information. The following is from a recent Business Insider Newsletter from www.business.govt.nz :

Filing an annual return will remain a quick and easy process, but you will need to take the time to gather the following details:

  1. Date and place of birth for each director of the company you’re filing the annual return for (don’t worry – this information will not be publicly available).
  2. Details of an ultimate holding company, if applicable, including where the holding company is registered. (If you’re unsure what an ultimate holding company is, check the shares and shareholders section of the Companies Office website.)

If this information is missing, the annual return will not be accepted and the company may be removed from the register.

Remember, by 28 October 2015, all New Zealand incorporated companies must have at least one director who lives in New Zealand, or a director who lives in Australia and who is also a director of an Australian incorporated company.

See Companies Act: what to do and when to do it  for more information and case studies