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New book assesses NZ's family finance laws

Wednesday, 7 February 2018 4:24pm

New Zealand considers itself to be a progressive society when it comes to family law, but does its property sharing regime still meet society’s needs and expectations?

ModernFinanceEds for webA significant book examining this question has just been published. Law and Policy in Modern Family Finance – Property Division in the 21st Century is edited by Otago Professors Jessica Palmer, Nicola Peart, Margaret Briggs and Mark Henaghan.

The comprehensive and conceptual review of New Zealand’s family finance law has arrived at a critical time, as the New Zealand Law Commission reviews New Zealand’s Property (Relationships) Act 1976.

The 16 contributing experts, from New Zealand and other jurisdictions, address key questions about the legal division of property when a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship, or other close personal relationship ends. In fifteen chapters, the authors answer elements of three fundamental questions: who should be covered by the property sharing regime, what property should be covered, and how should property be shared at the end of a relationship.

Among the chapters, Otago’s Professor Jacinta Ruru examines whether indigenous property should be relationship property, with Leo Watson, Barrister and Solicitor of Napier, New Zealand.

The book is described as “[…] an unparalleled source of information, insights, critiques and ideas that no one wanting to understand the issues involved can afford to miss.” By John Eekellar, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

The book was made possible with the support of the New Zealand Law Foundation.