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  • Law Commission calls for reform of property relationship rules. New Zealand has undergone considerable change in the 40 years since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 came into force. This is a timely reconsideration of an area of law that needs to reflect modern family life and to make fair provision for when relationships break down. On 16 October, the Law Commission launched a paper asking New Zealanders for their views on appropriate reform.
  • In Representation of Y Trust and Z Trust [2017] JRC 100, the Royal Court of Jersey has enlarged the definition of beneficiaries to include children of same sex relationships, children who are born out of wedlock, people who are treated as children, and some adopted persons. This judgment provides welcome guidance in respect of article 47 applications to vary a trust. In particular, the Court considered the interplay between the wishes of a settlor and the Court's assessment of "benefit", a point which has not been considered before by the Court. The decision also examines article 47 applications alongside public policy considerations affecting a modern society.
  • New Zealand Chinese Language Week (NZCLW) is taking place 16  22 October. NZCLW is a Kiwi-driven initiative that aims to increase Chinese language learning in New Zealand. China is the second largest economy in the world and our largest trading partner and we welcome a vast number of Chinese tourists, students and workers to New Zealand every year. NZCLW is a way of making New Zealanders more familiar with China and its people, enhancing cultural understanding and communication. See what events are taking place via the website:
  • 10 October 2017 marked 150 years since the introduction of the Māori Representation Act 1867. The Act was a radical document in its time, establishing four Māori electorates, three in the North Island and one in the South Island, and giving Māori men aged from 21 years the right to vote (previously the right to vote depended on ownership of property). The fairness of the electoral system for Māori continues to be the subject of debate today, with the number of Māori seats increasing from just four to seven since the Māori Representation Act was passed. Depending on the outcome of the coalition negotiations, it remains to be seen whether there will be a referendum on whether New Zealand should keep the seven Maori seats in Parliament.