New Zealand Law Society - Recent legal books

Recent legal books

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By Geoff Adlam

Safeguard Health & Safety Handbook 2020

By Mike Cosman, Michael Tooma, Ann Butler, Craig Marriott and Rachael Schmidt-McCleave

It’s now nearly four years since the important Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 came into force. As the authors say, legislation cannot change culture but it, and the regulator, can send signals about the kind of environment in which safe, health and productive workplace cultures can develop. The latest edition of the Handbook – the third – creates a comprehensive and practical picture of the requirements of New Zealand’s health and safety laws. It is written for a wide audience and not as a legal textbook. The 11 chapters follow a logical sequence, from Key Concepts, Duties, Leadership and Tools to the closing piece on Occupational Health. One chapter provides plain English summaries of a wide range of health and safety cases, organised by subject, and another describes the key elements of health and safety regulations. There are two lawyers in the author team, with the rest being experienced health and safety practitioners.

Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, 978-1-988591-23-0, Paperback, 349 pages, January 2020, $87 (GST and postage not included).

Health and Safety at work in New Zealand: Know the Law, 2nd edition

By Rachael Schmidt-McCleave and Stacey Shortall

This is a new edition of one of the books which appeared following the new legislation. Developments since then have prompted a new chapter, on workplace bullying, harassment and mental health and their relationship with the Act and WorkSafe. Written by two lawyers specialising in health and safety law with contributions from MinterEllisonRuddWatts lawyers Megan Richards, Emma Warden, April Payne and Matthew Ferrier, the book’s 14 chapters cover all elements of the law relating to health and safety at work. The new edition incorporates legal and policy developments since the Act came into force, and this is evident in chapters such as those on Sentencing and Enforceable Undertakings. More of a book for lawyers than the Safeguard guide, this is also intended for health and safety practitioners.

Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, 978-1-988553-52-8, Paperback and e-book, 320 pages, December 2019, $121.80 (GST and postage not included).

Nevill’s Companion to the Trusts Act 2019

By Lindsay Breach

Short and succinct, this is promoted as a “rapid response guide to the new Act” – which comes into force on 30 January 2021. Trusts consultant Dr Lindsay Breach is author of the 13th edition of the long-standing Nevill’s Law of Trusts, Wills and Administration and he says a companion text to the Trusts Act is appropriate because the new statute represents the most significant change to trust law in 63 years. The book is in nine parts, to follow the headings and sections of the Act.

LexisNexis NZ Ltd, 978-0-947514-61-7, Paperback and e-book, 86 pages, January 2020, $120 (GST included, postage excluded).

Youth Justice in New Zealand, 3rd edition

By Nessa Lynch

Since publication of the second edition in 2016 there has been major legislative and policy reform in youth justice – a “radical re-drawing of the parameters and principles underpinning the youth justice system”, says Dr Lynch. This has included raising the youth justice age to 18 for most offences, a new operating model for Oranga Tamariki and major changes in the theoretical framework of the legislation. With the new edition, Dr Lynch’s intention remains one of analysing law, policy and practice from the minimum age of criminal responsibility to the time of transfer to the adult jurisdiction. A new chapter looks at the situations in which children and young people are dealt with in the adult criminal justice system. The book provides a comprehensive analysis and assessment of what is often described as the “New Zealand model of youth justice”. Each of the 12 chapters closes with some concluding remarks in which Dr Lynch succinctly draws together the themes and issues. Her thoughts in a final “Closing Remarks” section appropriately end an important resource for anyone involved in the youth justice system.

Thomson Reuters New Zealand Ltd, 978-1-988591-13-1, Paperback and e-book, 369 pages, December 2019, $112 (GST and postage not included).

Legal books

This information is compiled from books which publishers have sent to LawTalk. It does not imply endorsement by the New Zealand Law Society and the objective is to provide information on books which may be of interest to the legal community. Purchase inquiries must be directed to the appropriate publisher.

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Cannabis Law Report

With legalisation of the cannabis industry possible in this year’s referendum, lawyers wanting to start pondering the potential legal issues which might arise may find a (free) subscription to Cannabis Law Report is useful. Delivered weekly since 2016, and created by long-time legal publisher Sean Hocking, the extensive report features a number of regular lawyer columnists. Australian expat Hocking keeps a close eye on Australia and New Zealand.

To sign up, visit the website at and click the Join Newsletter icon.

Charity Law in New Zealand

This is indeed charitable. Written by Dr Donald Poirier and published by the Department of Internal Affairs, the full 397-page PDF of this work can be freely downloaded at It was published in 2013, so some checking of the latest developments will be needed, but the work contains an extensive discussion of case and statute law.

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