Saunders & Co, Lawyers - Property & Commercial

Saunders & Co, Lawyers - Property & Commercial


We believe that we couldn't have found anyone that helped us more than Meg has. Meg did everything asked of her by us and was very prompt at getting back to us on everything thing we asked her to do. At all times Meg was very professional.
we would also like to thank Karen Anderson who was just as helpful and professional at all times when we were dealing with her.
Wendy and David wilkinson.

Specialist in construction and property law. I advise nationwide residential developers & builders through to first home buyers and property investors.

Operating as usual


We have a new page format! At Saunders & Co, we work as a team and we would like you to have access to everyone in our property and commercial team via this page.
Going forward, posts and messaging may come from any one of us, but we will be sure to sign off with our name so you know who you have been talking to.
Keep an eye out for introductory posts about each member within our property and commercial team.


Saunders & Co, Lawyers - Property & Commercial


Morning everyone - if youโ€™re in Auckland pop into the Build Expo say hello and be in to win!

Auckland Build Expo Promotion

Sign up below to our newsletter and be in to Win a free Code of Compliance legal check of your business.


Well, I didnโ€™t win the sweepstake ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽ and my clients missed out at auction but we have wine!


Involved in the construction industry? I am too!

The Saunders & Co construction team and associated specialists in employment, immigration and insurance are attending and presenting at the 2018 Auckland Build Expo at ASB Showgrounds on Nov 8-9.

It's free to register and to attend the conference and various summits and presentations, as well as a large exhibition showcasing the latest projects, services and technology in construction and all other feature areas.

Register for free online at

I hope to see you there!


Time is running out ... the new law restricting certain overseas people from buying residential property in New Zealand comes into force on Monday, 22 October 2018.

Generally speaking, if you are a NZ citizen/permanent resident or an Australian or Singapore citizen/permanent resident then you will continue to be able to purchase.

For NZ residence-class visa holders living overseas and overseas developers, you will need to apply to the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) to obtain consent to purchase residential property.

Temporary visa holders (visitor, student, work etc) will be unable to purchase.

If you have already entered into an Agreement to purchase prior to this date, then the new requirements will not apply to your purchase.

To discuss your options before time is out, feel free to get in touch.


So very much enjoyed celebrating the success of my clients last night, at the opening of their new venture - congratulations, loved the fit out and the jalapeรฑo poppers were ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ”ฅ 06/09/2018

Young widow's tale: No will, no money

Too young to have a Will or simply haven't got around to it?

This lady's story is a great example of the difficulties and stresses that can be faced by those left behind, where loved one's don't have a Will. Aside from avoiding a lengthy probate process and delaying the distribution of your estate, a Will allows YOU to decide how your estate is distributed, who will wind up the affairs of your estate, who will look after your child and any other gifts/donations that you would like to make.

Make YOUR wishes known and do what you can NOW to alleviate additional stress for your family and friends. A widow had to take in strangers to pay her mortgage. Made with funding from NZ On Air.


Up early this morning for some brain food at the Collab Digital Social Media Breakfast ๐Ÿค“ who else went along and digested some great tips and tricks?


If you are a member of Registered Master Builders then come along to the Builders Beer night (tomorrow- Thursday 28 June @ 5.30pm, No.4 Mansfield Ave, Christchurch) and meet some of our construction team. See you there, for a yarn and beer ๐Ÿป


Putting METH TESTING to the test ...

Sir Peter Gluckman's report recently released has concluded that testing properties is recommended only in instances where meth lab activity or heavy use suspected and further that remediation of properties was not required where lower levels of meth were detected.

This will be welcomed news to landlords/vendors, who were potentially facing large bills for remediation works because of low level meth contamination.

Whilst we can expect that this report will be used to determine whether the New Zealand Standard needs to change it is business as usual and testing is still best practice.

Remember that both landlords and tenants should continue to meet their obligations under the Residential Tenancy Act; tenants not to use the premises for unlawful activity and landlords to provide a habitable premises in reasonable state of cleanliness.

For those buying, thorough due diligence should be carried out where meth contamination is suspected.

There has been some confusion on this matter so I hope that this report and resulting discussions will provide clarity around whether a property is contaminated and how it can be decontaminated and provide everyone with confidence that the health and safety of occupants is being protected.

I will provide an update when I receive further information.


KIWIBUILD - the plan to solve NZ's housing crisis.

The Government aims to deliver 100,000 new homes within the next 10 years for first home buyers. These new home prices are expected to be "affordable" ranging from $500k - $650k depending on location throughout NZ.

Buyers will need to meet certain criteria to be eligible to purchase one of these homes and there may be ongoing restrictions. These are yet to be finalised but the Government has recently informed that home buyers will not be income tested.

What do you think - should there be an income cap for prospective home buyers of these "affordable" homes or should big earners be able to buy too?



โ˜บ๏ธ what lovely feedback - a pleasure to work with you and David and look forward to receiving updates with the new build!

We believe that we couldn't have found anyone that helped us more than Meg has. Meg did everything asked of her by us and was very prompt at getting back to us on everything thing we asked her to do. At all times Meg was very professional.
we would also like to thank Karen Anderson who was just as helpful and professional at all times when we were dealing with her.
Wendy and David wilkinson.


Deposits got you puzzled?!

You're not the only one. The same word is used differently between lawyers/agents and bankers/brokers.

A deposit on an Agreement for Sale and Purchase is the payment made by the purchaser to either the agent's or lawyer's trust account. Effectively a pre-payment to show commitment to the purchase. Commonly 10% of the purchase price, but entirely negotiable and can even be nil. This is payable either on signing the Agreement or when the purchaser confirms any conditions. It is important to understand when payment of the deposit is due so that you have the funds available.

A deposit for banks and brokers has nothing to do with the deposit payable under an Agreement, but is instead the amount of the purchaser's contribution towards the purchase price. Banks have varying deposit amount requirements depending on your particular circumstances. Banks will take into consideration KiwiSaver and Home Start Grant as part of your deposit.

See? Same same but different!


The KEY to understanding KiwiSaver and HNZ Home Start Grant - what you need to know.

Both are government schemes designed to provide financial assistance to first home buyers. Want to know if you qualify and how much you can get, then READ on...

๐Ÿ”‘ havenโ€™t owned a property before?
๐Ÿ”‘ contributed to your scheme for 3 years?
๐Ÿ”‘ not purchasing as an investor?
๐Ÿ”‘ then you can withdraw all your saving minus $1,000
๐Ÿ”‘ can be used towards deposit or settlement
๐Ÿ”‘ takes up to 10 working days to receive funds
๐Ÿ”‘ must reside at property for 6 months following purchase

๐Ÿ”‘ havenโ€™t owned a property before?
๐Ÿ”‘ contributed to KiwiSaver for 3 consecutive years?
๐Ÿ”‘ not purchasing as an investor?
๐Ÿ”‘ price of house under the regional house price cap?
๐Ÿ”‘ annual income for prior 12 months is less than $85,000 (single buyer) or $130,000 (2+ buyers)?
๐Ÿ”‘ evidence that you have 10% of the purchase price (can be made up of KiwiSaver and Home Start Grant)?
๐Ÿ”‘then you can receive $1,000 per year you have been contributing for an existing house (up to $5,000) per person
๐Ÿ”‘ or double that to $2,000 per year you have contributing for a house to be built or recently built (up to $10,000) per person
๐Ÿ”‘ funds can be used for deposit only if house to be built otherwise available at settlement
๐Ÿ”‘ takes 10 working days to receive funds
๐Ÿ”‘ must reside at property for 6 months following purchase
๐Ÿ”‘ get pre-approval here -

TAKE HOME MESSAGE: if intending on using either speak with me as early as possible. I can help you with the application process to ensure that the funds are available when you need them.


WOW so many great questions from Tuesdays' Q&A session on First Home Buying. Thanks for taking the time to send through your questions and for the feedback โ€“ will definitely hold another one soon. Lots of the same questions were being asked, so I thought that it would be helpful to share the answers with ALL of you over the coming days. Stay tuned.


And weโ€™re LIVE from the couch...look forward to all your questions about first home buying!


REMINDER 7.30 - 9pm TONIGHT I will be LIVE on FACEBOOK to answer all your questions relating to First Home Buying.


ATTENTION all first home buyers - whether you are starting out or already on the hunt for your new home, you will most likely have some questions. It can be an overwhelming process so I am here to make it less stressful. To help you, I will be hosting a LIVE Q&A session on Facebook NEXT TUESDAY 24 April from 7.30 โ€“ 9pm. I will be online and available to answer all of your questions via messenger or responding to posts on my wall - no question too big or small. Aside from this being totally FREE, you can do it from the comfort of your couch, bed, or where ever you decide. Chat soon!


According to NZs largest home loan lender - ANZ, first home buyers are making up an increasing percentage of the housing market. Buying your first home is an exciting and daunting process, so if you are starting out or are already underway then watch out for my free/no obligations Facebook Q&A for First Home Buyers session coming soon.


As well as being a lawyer, I am a regular performer in Showbiz Christchurch major musical theatre productions ๐ŸŽญ The NZ premier of the Saunders & Co Lawyers season of โ€˜Wickedโ€™ opened on Friday and is showing until 21 April ๐Ÿง™๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธFor those of you in Christchurch make sure you get head along to what will be a sell-out season and see if you can spot me on stage ๐Ÿ‘€


Are you planning on selling your property?

Be sure to know that as of 29 March 2018, the Bright-line property rule has changed. This means that if you sell a house within five years of buying it, you must pay income on any gains, unless you qualify for one of the exceptions or the property is considered to be your main home.

To find out if you are an exception to the rule or what your responsibilities might be, flick me a message, happy to chat.

Here's some useful information from the IRD too -


This month has been a big one, with a record number of purchases and sales being transacted by myself and team. Nearly as big as this amazing basket from a happy client - thank you!

I hope you all have a relaxing Easter break ๐Ÿฐ


Can you tell what is wrong with the picture below? Surely your builder could ... right?

When choosing a builder be sure to do your homework first: check that they are a reputable company, ask whether a guarantee is available and know what alternative protections you have.

In light of CBL Insurance, who has previously backed some NZ build guarantees, being placed into liquidation, there had been a bit of talk about whether guarantees are actually worth it. There is no compulsory guarantee scheme here in NZ - instead the default position is set out in legislation.

The Building Act enforces a set of implied warranties on your builder. Some of these warranties include; building work to be done properly and competently in accordance with plans/specifications/ law and regulations, that the work is carried out with reasonable care and skill and will be suitable for occupation upon completion. There is also a standard 12 month defects period in which the builder must attend to any defects that have arisen as a result of poor workmanship and/or defective materials. However, enforcing these can be difficult and costly and more to the point your builder may not necessarily still be in business to make a claim against within the 10 year cover period.

To give you more confidence, a number of builders offer guarantees. Guarantees are designed to indemnify the owner against shoddy building work and materials for a specified time frame, some independent guarantee products offer protection for loss of deposit and non-completion. Remember Stonewood Homes? This was a great example of where an independent guarantee worked - their customers had Registered Master Build Guarantees so that when the franchise went into receivership, Registered Master Builders Association stepped into the shoes of the builder and completed the homes.

There are a number of guarantee products out there and not all are equal. Just like an insurance policy, you should understand what circumstances you will actually be covered for and to what level. Don't wait until things start to go wrong, talk with me today about your protection options at the outset of your build. 26/02/2018

Competition pushing construction sector into 'race to the bottom'

You will have seen the news reports about Fletcher's Building and Interiors unit and their major losses due to a number of key construction projects.

This article spells it out - construction contracts are heavily one-sided in favour of the principal, designed to pass risk almost entirely onto the contractor.

If you are tendering for a job, then ensure that you speak with me early in the piece so that you can negotiate a shared risk approach. If this can not be achieved then I can help you to understand your risk exposure and ways in which you can mitigate any losses.

So often I see contractors enter into these contracts and they fail to see the bigger picture, particularly when there are subcontracts at play. It's about understanding your obligations and where you sit within in the contractual matrix, so that you can pass risk and responsibility up or downstream as required. Ensuring that all contracts are aligned and that you have the correct procedures and templates in place can help you to avoid your margin being diminished.

Feel free to get in touch! Companies taking on projects to win revenue rather than chase profit, says industry boss


Kia Kaha Christchurch โค๏ธ๐Ÿ–ค Today conjures up a lot of memories for us all. I am pleased to be involved in creating some happy memories for clients - 7 years on from the earthquake, today we settled the purchase of their new home. Having advised on their insurance build contract and building consent finally underway, it is time to move out of their broken house so the works can start. Looking forward to delivering this bunch and congratulating you both on achieving this milestone.


It has been a wet few days in Christchurch thanks to ex-cyclone Gita. Hope you all managed to stay safe and dry.


Meg Gregson - Saunders & Co, Lawyers's cover photo


Meg Gregson - Saunders & Co, Lawyers



131 Victoria Street

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 08:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 08:00 - 18:00
Thursday 08:00 - 18:00
Friday 08:00 - 18:00
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