Long-standing Tauranga law firm, Mackenzie Elvin Law, has welcomed two additional partners to the business.
Thomas Refoy-Butler and Rebecca Savage joined the partnership in January 2021, forming part of the second generation of leaders at the firm – founded nearly 40 years ago by family law specialist Fiona Mackenzie.
They join Fiona, Graeme Elvin, Marcus Wilkins and Tom Elvin as partners.
"Rebecca and Thomas are outstanding legal practitioners and people," Mackenzie said.
Thomas started at Mackenzie Elvin Law in 2019, after relocating his young family from Auckland, where he practised at two national law firms including the office of the Crown Solicitors.
During this time he acted as counsel in the District Court, High Court and Court of Appeal for Crown entities, corporate and private clients. He now works with corporate and private clients on a broad sphere of commercial and regulatory disputes.
Thomas said it's an exciting time to join the partnership at Mackenzie Elvin Law, "I'm driven to help our clients work through difficult, and often stressful, situations. I appreciate the need to approach litigation through a strategic lens – no two disputes are the same which calls for a dynamic approach."
Rebecca Savage was Judges' Clerk at the High Court at Auckland before joining the Office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland. She travelled to the United Kingdom as a Pegasus Scholar and was awarded the New Zealand Law Society, Young Lawyer of the Year award before completing her Masters of Law at the University of Cambridge in 2013.
Savage specialises in family dispute resolution law, and takes a grounded approach to relationship property, trust and family protection matters, and litigation arising out of broken relationships.
Under new ownership
Popular campground Ōhope Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park has new owners and a new direction to benefit its community.
The holiday park was purchased by Ian and Vicki Smith last month.
"We've admired the iconic park for years and jumped at the opportunity when it came along," Smith said.
"We want to elevate Ōhope Beach's proposition and build on the destination's fantastic reputation."
"We have so many opportunities to work with locals – and especially tangata whenua – to feed benefits back into the community including through employment. I encourage those passionate about tourism to get in touch.''
William Stewart, spokesman for Ōhope and Whakatāne based Ngāti Awa hapū Ngāti Hokopū, said Smith's proactive efforts to engage the hapū in early and meaningful consultation were appreciated and have resulted in positive early discussions.
Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne says she supports the direction Smith is taking.
Meanwhile, the Smiths plans to undertake a full survey of the significant features and history of the site and plans are afoot for a permanent outdoor movie screen and other facilities.
DoC cadet courses could lead to jobs
Finding a dead rat outside their classroom was a highlight of week nine for trainees in the Bay Conservation Alliance's Tauira Mahi programme, but it wasn't a surprise.
The rat had been planted and was there to showcase the work of conservation dog Sassy and her handler Greg van der Lee.
Greg is a Department of Conservation ranger and full-time dog handler in the Conservation Dogs Programme (CDP).
He and Sassy were just the latest guest speakers in a line-up of 30 planned for the cadets' 48 day course, which is part of the Government's Jobs For Nature programme.
Based in Tauranga and funded over five years by the Ministry for the Environment, the course will provide basic training for up to 150 people who want to work in conservation, environmental restoration or protection.
Exposure to the very wide range of roles which contribute to those outcomes is one of the hallmarks of the course, according to Education & Training Manager Brian Ireland.
"We try to get people in to show them everything that's involved in conservation, from GIS, full range of outcomes monitoring including freshwater monitoring and species, riparian planting, predator control etc."
For his part, Greg was there to tell them about the important pest surveillance work he and Sassy undertake and how that contributes to biosecurity – especially on islands and in sanctuaries.
The CDP now holds regular training camps which, Greg says, offer a great opportunity for anyone interested in being a conservation dog handler to come along and see what it is all about – probably even before they commit to getting a dog.
The first intake of Tauira Mahi cadets graduated on April 8 with just possibly one or two now harbouring thoughts of a career with a dog at their side.
Rising apprentice clinches local title
Apprentice Jared Menzies is the Western Bay of Plenty New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge champion for 2021.
The apprentices were put through their paces, given just eight hours to build a picnic table that followed specific design plans and met minimum safety standards.
Menzies, 20, is apprenticed to Paul James Builders Ltd. As well as winning the regional title, he also took home an ITM prize pack of trade tools and earned a place in the national final representing Western Bay of Plenty.
There he will compete against 18 other regional winners from across New Zealand for the Ken Read Memorial Trophy and $50,000 worth of prizes. The national final will be held at the NZCB Annual Conference in Wellington on June 11-12.
NZCB Apprentice Challenge manager Nick Matthews said the future of New Zealand's building industry was dependent on a robust pipeline of trade-qualified and well-rounded carpentry professionals.
"These apprentices have developed the skills and passion to be successful in the trade with the support of their employers and the training scheme ITAB provides. These events are a great opportunity to give the community an inside look at building apprenticeship training that they might not otherwise see, and to celebrate those apprentices who have excelled in their field.''
Meanwhile, Jared Cottle has claimed the title of the Rotorua New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge champion for 2021, after competing against two other apprentices on April 10.
Cottle, 20, is undertaking his building apprenticeship at Pope Homes Ltd. Jared also won an ITM prize pack of trade tools and earned a place in the national final representing Rotorua.
Mortgages still peaking
March was the third month in a row that mortgaged investors had a market share of 29 per cent of New Zealand mortgages.
Core Logic Senior Property Economist Kelvin Davidson said, in its April 13 market pulse report, it had been a sustained 'record' peak for their property purchasing activity.
But recent policy changes to make buying existing properties less attractive, as well as the reinstatement of 40 per cent deposits, suggests that investors' market share will dip over the coming months.
Meanwhile, although first home buyers were still faring relatively well in terms of their number of purchases, the market share had dipped in the past few months, he said.
Data shows they had dropped from 25 per cent in Q3 to 21 per cent now.
''This hints that they are starting to struggle to keep pace with those investors, which isn't
surprising when you consider the strength of value gains in the past 6-9 months and what that means for saving the deposit.''
FHBs who managed to make a purchase in March paid a median price ($650,000) that was $100,000 more than a year ago – requiring an extra $20,000 on the deposit.
Rapid electric car charger at Farmer Autovillage
The future of electric vehicle rapid-charging has already become reality at Farmer Autovillage with the installation of the very first 175kW DC fast charger in the Bay of Plenty.
Installed with co-funding from the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund (LEVCF), which is administered by EECA, the high-tech charge station is available for 24/7 public use.
The EV charger is located outside of the Farmer Nissan showroom with vehicle access from the corner of Maru St and Hewletts Rd, Mt Maunganui.
Group managing director Mike Farmer said "We wanted to take a leadership position on EV infrastructure in our city and surrounding areas and this is the first step''.
"Over the coming years we will see a significant lift in affordable electric vehicles across all segments from all of the brands we currently represent," he said.
The new charging station is compatible with the CCS and CHAdeMO platforms. The capability to charge at up to 175kW can provide substantially faster charging times than the small number of 50kW public EV chargers available in the Tauranga and Mt Maunganui area.
For the first three months of operation rapid-charging is being offered free-of-charge, after which time electricity will be priced at 60 cents per kWh (kilowatt hour).
EECA transport portfolio manager Richard Briggs said, it was pleased to see a member of the motor vehicle industry taking this positive step.
''This project not only expands the charging options in the Bay of Plenty, it also
demonstrates to people in the market for a new car that electric and hybrid vehicles are a great choice. Knowledgeable, engaged dealers will really make a difference to drive uptake."
Barfoot & Thompson expands into Tauranga
Real estate agency Barfoot & Thompson has expanded into Tauranga where it has bought a rental management business.
Samantha Arnold, the agency's property management general manager, said the business had bought the rent roll of Connect Realty Property, operating for 10 years.
That has its offices is on Cameron Rd and has five staff and the lease in the existing premises has been continued but the offices have been rebranded under the new banner.
Barfoot began operating from there at the start of this month.
Arnold is advertising for a new branch manager and said half the applicants were from Auckland and are ready to move.
The agency already has around 17,500 rental properties on its Auckland and Northland books in the division.
"Like Auckland, Tauranga is growing. Rents are on the increase according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Statistics show there has been steady growth in rental prices with the average rental per week increasing by 40 per cent over the last 10 years," Arnold said.
The agency has been operating for 98 years in Auckland and Northland and celebrates its centenary in 2023, she said.
The new Tauranga division has 250 properties on its books. Arnold said those were all in Tauranga and within a 10km radius of Cameron Rd.