Last call to register for upcoming International Women's Day event! Insights into the Property Implications of the NZ Government's coalition agreement

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Newsletter 29 February 2024
Kia Ora,

I'm excited to share a new upcoming event , brought to you by Chamber Corporate Member Erskine Owen, on Tuesday, 19th March 19 - .

This event is free for members and includes drinks and nibbles, as well as the opportunity to connect with property experts visiting Singapore.

Last call for registrations for our : come along and network with our NZ inc. team, Chamber Board Members, and our MAIA working group, and enjoy some tasty treats from Little Farms and Kapiti cheeses. Numbers are limited, so register before we sell out.

Upcoming Events
[LAST CALL] International Women's Day #InspireNZINClusion
[LAST CALL] International Women's Day #InspireNZINClusion
Date: Next Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Time: 5pm - 7.30pm
Venue: ANZ Singapore (10 Collyer Quay, Level 30 Ocean Financial Centre, Singapore 049315)

NZ Chamber and MĀIA NZ Women's Network present our flagship International Women's Day event!

Join us as we proudly showcase a remarkable Kiwi panel of women leaders, all currently spearheading key positions within the New Zealand Inc. in Singapore. This groundbreaking event not only highlights the achievements of these extraordinary women but also serves as a powerful testament to the strides made in promoting diversity and inclusion.

Engage in insightful discussions as our panelists share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs in leading New Zealand's interests in Singapore. Learn about their journeys, leadership styles, and the impact they've made on NZ Inc.

#InspireNZINClusion Theme:
Embrace the event's theme, #InspireNZINClusion, as we celebrate the unique contributions of these women leaders. This theme aligns with the global narrative of #InspireInclusion, with a specific focus on highlighting the accomplishments within the New Zealand Inc.

Thanks to the continued support of Premier Sponsor ANZ Bank, we're thrilled to host this special occasion at their distinguished venue in Singapore. You'll relish in delightful canapés and drinks, all while enjoying the city skyline. Join us for positive conversations, engage in an interactive Q&A, and take advantage of the networking opportunities before and after the event. This event is wonderfully supported by XERO, Fonterra, International Medical Clinic, and Little Farms.
Register Here
2024 Property Projections: Insights into the Property Implications of the NZ Government's coalition agreement
2024 Property Projections: Insights into the Property Implications of the NZ Government's coalition agreement

Date: Tuesday, 19 March 2024
Time: 5.30pm - 7pm
Venue: New Zealand High Commission (1 George St, #21-04, Singapore 049145)

Get ahead in the property market for 2024!

Join Alan Henderson, Director of Erskine Owen, as he reveals exclusive insights into the property implications of the 54th New Zealand Government's coalition agreement and predicts what's in store for the New Zealand property landscape. Plus, enjoy some drinks and nibbles while you network with fellow industry professionals. Don't miss out—secure your spot now!

Registration includes: free-flow drinks and an array of canapés.

Not a member yet? Join us​ today!

Entry permitted via registration only.
Register Here
Members News & Promotions
Member Discount - 10% off @ Kiwi Kitchen
Member Discount - 10% off @ Kiwi Kitchen
Need a taste of home? Enjoyed a pie at Waitangi Day and crave more?!

Well look no further, KIWI KITCHEN delivers you everything you need to bring a little bit of Aotearoa to you here in Singapore.

And Members receive a 10% discount using code: NZCCMEMBER when you shop with Kiwi Kitchen!
Shop Now
Member Discount @ HenTick (Tegel, Let's Eat, Farmer Brown and more)
Member Discount @ HenTick (Tegel, Let's Eat, Farmer Brown and more)
HenTick, distributors of lots of favorite Kiwi brands, is giving our members a special discount: Get $10 off everything when you spend $120!

The discount code for members is:

*Discount code expires 31 March 2024

Only valid on
Shop Now and Save
News & Views
Singapore vs. New Zealand Divorce Laws: A Comparative Overview
Singapore vs. New Zealand Divorce Laws: A Comparative Overview
K3 Legal - New Zealand
Drew & Napier - Singapore

Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a significant life event, and how it plays out legally can differ from country to country. When international couples or expatriates are involved, things can get even more complex. Singapore and New Zealand, two nations with close ties and a substantial expat community, have distinct divorce laws that shape how couples part ways. This article provides a brief overview into the differences between Singapore and New Zealand divorce laws, offering insights into what individuals and families should know when facing divorce in these countries.

The most interesting distinction between how Singapore and New Zealand deals with divorce is the legislation(s) relied upon. Singapore has one piece of legislation, the Women’s Charter 1961 that governs all aspects of a divorce, including childcare arrangements, maintenance, division of matrimonial assets. Whereas in New Zealand, we have separate and distinct legislation for each as set out below:
  • Property (Relationships) Act 1976 for division of relationship property
  • Care of Children Act 2004 for parenting arrangements
  • Child Support Act 1991 for child support
  • Family Proceedings Act 1980 for dissolution of marriage and spousal maintenance
In Singapore, whilst the Women’s Charter 1961 is the main source of substantive law concerning non-Muslim divorce proceedings, it remains possible for any claim as regards child custody, child maintenance and spousal maintenance to be applied for independently of any divorce proceedings.

Another distinction between divorce proceedings in Singapore and New Zealand is the treatment of Muslim divorces by the Syariah Court, which deals with Islamic divorce proceedings pursuant to the Administration of Muslim Law Act 1966.

In Singapore, parties can initiate the divorce process by making an application to the court alongside application for ancillary matters including children’s care arrangements, maintenance, and division of matrimonial assets. Essentially, the parties can deal with everything in one go.

The process is entirely different in New Zealand. Parties may only make an application for dissolution of marriage after they have separated for two years. Once a separation date is determined, usually the date the parties started living apart, parties would then start negotiating on division of relationship property, parenting arrangements, spousal maintenance and child support, and enter into the necessary agreements on each. It is common for there to be multiple agreements made between the parties given the separate legislation on each. If it is convenient to do so, the New Zealand court’s may consolidate those so that the parties’ various applications track alongside of each other within the court system. Once the parties’ hit the two-year mark of separation, they may then apply for dissolution of the marriage, whether or not they have resolved their relationship property dispute.

The only ground for divorce in Singapore is that the marriage has “irretrievably broken down”. To satisfy the Court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, the plaintiff has to prove at least one of the following facts:
  1. Their spouse committed adultery and the spouse seeking divorce finds it intolerable to live with the unfaithful spouse;
  2. Their spouse behaved unreasonably such that the spouse seeking divorce cannot reasonably be expected to live with the other spouse exhibiting such behaviour;
  3. Their spouse deserted them for 2 years or more; or
  4. They have been living apart for 3 years (if the spouse consents to the divorce), or
  5. 4 years (if the spouse does not consent to the divorce).
The Women’s Charter, which was recently amended, introduced a new additional 6th ground for divorce has been introduced – Amicable Divorce by Mutual Agreement, subject to approval of the Court. This would entail having parties to set out their mutual agreement to divorce in writing, with certain facts to allow the Court to determine whether parties’ consent to divorce should be effected. In setting out their agreement to divorce, the following facts must be stated:

a) The parties’ reasons for concluding that their marriage has irretrievably broken down;
b) Efforts made towards reconciliation; and
c) Considerations in respect of the arrangements to be made pertaining to financial affairs and any child(ren) of the marriage.

The Court may also decide whether to give parties a chance at reconciliation or advise them to attend a family support programme. If the Court finds that there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation, the Court must not accept the agreement. This is provided for in section 95A(6)(c) of the Women’s Charter (Amendment) Act 2022. The amendments to the Women’s Charter are expected to come into effect sometime in early 2024.

New Zealand shares the same sole ground for a dissolution, that the parties’ marriage has “broken down irreconcilably”, however New Zealand has a “no fault” regime so no evidence as to why is ever required. Indeed, it is considered largely irrelevant as to why at all. Parties only need to satisfy the Court that they have been living apart for a period of two years immediately preceding the filing of the application for an order dissolving the marriage. No other proof shall be required to establish the ground. Here, the separation agreement that the parties have (hopefully) worked on and enforced for the two years immediately preceding the filing of the application for dissolution may be used as evidence of their living apart.

When it comes to which court parties are able to make an application to, it depends on where the parties are domiciled and/or habitually resident in. Parties may apply for a divorce in Singapore if they are habitually resident in Singapore for more than three years before the start of the divorce or domiciled in Singapore at the time the divorce begun. The New Zealand courts have jurisdiction to determine applications for dissolution of marriages when at least one party is domiciled in New Zealand at the time of filing the application.

In cases where the parties are living apart in Singapore and New Zealand respectively, it is advisable to engage lawyers in each country. Lawyers in each country will be able to team up and ensure that any agreements reached are enforceable in both jurisdictions, especially when there are children of the marriage or a relationship property pool consisting of assets in both countries.
New Zealand Tax Update - By Des Trigg
New Zealand Tax Update - By Des Trigg
Unpaid Tax Penalties
When a taxpayer is late in paying tax due, there are onerous and escalating costs. A late payment penalty (LPP) of 1% applies from day one, then a further 4% if tax is unpaid after 7 days.

In addition, use of money interest (UOMI) is charged on overdue tax. Currently, this is just under 11%. Each of LPP/UOMI charges is compounding. Extending delays in meeting a tax liability can create a debt monster. Approaching Inland Revenue (IR) with a debt repayment proposal, if accepted, puts a stop to LPP; although UOMI continues to apply to the outstanding tax amount. It is important to adhere to any arrangement with IR, as failure (i) allows for LPP to kick back in; and (ii) the chance of seeking remission of part or all of the remaining debt is seriously diminished.

A third-party enterprise enables taxpayers to purchase tax credits at an interest rate far lower than UOMI. The enterprise funds this cost by providing taxpayers who have tax credits a much greater return than that offered by IR. The transaction arrangement can be likened to the “interest margin” sought by trading banks between lenders and borrowers (which comprises bank profit). It can work well for all!

The message is, if unable to meet a tax liability (even for a short period), don’t wait around. Look for the best way out.

This update is provided by Des Trigg, CA Tax Consultant of Auckland. The content is for information only and should not be acted upon without professional advice. Neither the author nor any staff accepts any liability to any other party.

Des Trigg
CA Tax Consultant
Mobile: +64 21 768 967
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