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About the Event

This On Demand was recorded on Wednesday 14 April 2021.

Encumbrance instruments are a confused beast, relying on technical conveyancing rules to enable personal covenants (that is covenants that are incapable of running with the land) to be made binding in perpetuity on landowners and their successors in title. Used as a device in this way, encumbrance instruments undermine core principles of real property law, creating problems in terms of sustainable land tenure in New Zealand. Despite recommendations for their abolishment, the Land Transfer Bill was altered prior to enactment to retain the prior use of encumbrance instruments, but with covenants in gross still being introduced.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand why the common law has always insisted that personal covenants cannot “run the land”, binding successors in title.
  • Understand how the use of encumbrance instruments as a device is not mirrored by comparable overseas common law jurisdictions.
  • Appreciate the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the Menere judgments, and why the achieved in each is unsustainable.
  • Understand the benefits of imposing covenants in gross under appropriate provisions in the Property Law Act 2007, enacted by the Land Transfer Act 2017.
  • Consideration of further case law illuminating these problems, including the Court of Appeal judgment in Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd v Clearspan Property Assets Ltd [2018] NZCA 248 and the recent Supreme Court judgment in Synlait Milk Ltd v NZIPL [2020] NZSC 157

Who should view?

Property lawyers and legal executives. Commercial lawyers and litigators may also find the webinar beneficial.

Cancellation Policy:

Purchases of On Demand activities cannot be refunded, please choose carefully. For more information, please email

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