Relationship property review underway

Publication Date 
27 November 2017

PRA coupleThe Law Commission launched its Issues Paper reviewing the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 this month. The Issues Paper Dividing relationship property – Time for change? Te mātatoha rawa tokorau – Kua eke te wā? deals with 13 different major issues. 

Sitting alongside it is a briefer consultation website and Consultation Paper; both of which introduce each of those 13 issues.

The Issues paper comes with a Study Paper Relationships and families in contemporary New Zealand – He hononga tangata, he hononga whānau i Aotearoa o nāianei, which looks at how New Zealand society has changed since the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 first became law.

The Commission has also published a short 4-page handout introducing the purpose of the review for people.

Law Commissioner Helen McQueen notes that how we divide relationship property at the end of relationships affects nearly all New Zealanders at some stage during their lives.

The media recognised this too, with One News asking if our current laws are fit for purpose, Māori TV looking at how the law incorporates tikanga, Stuff questioning if the current law is working for dividing assets and  Breakfast TV asking how much of your assets should you have to share.

People have until 7 February 2018 to have their say on the issues.  They can do that either by downloading the Issues Paper and responding to the legal questions the Commission has raised, or going to the consultation website and briefly answering just the questions that interest them, or sharing their personal story about dividing relationship property.