The Outlook for Someday film challenge

Lukas Wolfgram,  winner of the 'Stephens Lawyers Media Empowerment Award' with Outlook for Someday 2016 Awards Presenters, Ms Frankie Adams & Ms Kati Wolfe, & Michael Stephens

Lukas Wolfgram, winner of the ‘Stephens Lawyers Media Empowerment Award’ with Outlook for Someday 2016 Awards Presenters, Ms Frankie Adams & Ms Kati Wolfe, & Michael Stephens

Stephens Lawyers principal Michael Stephens had the pleasure of attending the The Someday Awards red-carpet ceremony on 8 December 2016 at the Aotea Centre in Auckland. This year’s Someday Challenge attracted 115 entries from which 39 were shortlisted, and 20 of which received awards.

Two strongly personal family tribute films scooped 2016’s top honours in The Outlook for Someday film challenge.

The Body Shop Standout Winner, ‘Dog Island Motu Piu’, a film by 15-year-old Sarah Ridsdale celebrates her uncle’s role in creating a haven for New Zealand’s native flora and fauna that is also an eco-tourism destination. In ‘Dog Island Motu Piu’ two young tuatara hear from their grandfather about how Peter Ridsdale, who died in June this year, founded the Dog Island Motu Piu Charitable Trust to preserve and promote the sustainability of the island. The 5-minute film has also won the Department of Conservation Big Picture Award.’

The winner of the online vote for the New Zealand On Air Audience Favourite ‘Our Superheroes’ is another heartfelt tribute to the memory of a beloved family member. In ‘Our Superheroes’ 12-year-old Luka Wolfgram shares his family’s journey alongside his younger brother Kosta who endured cancer leading to his death in March this year. The 5-minute documentary, which also features other child cancer heroes, has attracted international media attention and thousands of online views, prompting donations to child cancer charities.

Robyn Kiddle, Chief Executive of the Child Cancer Foundation, said: “Luka has captured with such honesty and love an experience that no child, parent or sibling should have to go through.

“I know ‘Our Superheroes’ hit home for many of our families and the Child Cancer Foundation team. We are so proud of him for having the bravery to share this tribute to his little brother Kosta.”

Luka’s film has also won the Stephens Lawyers Media Empowerment Award.

Michael Stephens, Managing Director of Stephens Lawyers, said: “Luka has done an amazing job of bravely sharing a very poignant story. For a 12-year-old film-maker he is to be congratulated. We are proud to be part of supporting him and all the film-makers involved in The Outlook for Someday.”

For more information on this year’s winning films can be found here:



ScreenSafe, an initiative of the NZ Techos’ Guild, is a sector-wide health and safety programme to support safe workplaces for all screen sector participants and create a culture where everyone is empowered to contribute to safe work practices.

It follows the introduction of new health and safety legislation and has received funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air, SPADA, industry guilds and organisations.

The ScreenSafe website includes the new Health and Safety Guidelines, updated from the former Code of Practice to meet the requirements of the Health and Safety Work Act 2015, which came into effect on 4 April.

Stephens Lawyers commends ScreenSafe’s Chair David Strong for leading this initiative.

Mr Strong said with the new Act’s focus on managing risk and increasing responsibilities, the core message for the sector was that everyone is now responsible.

“It’s up to everyone, no matter the scale of production, from those running the show to those working on it, to support a safe and healthy production. With the ScreenSafe website, we have one central and free location for everyone to learn and understand our obligations under the Act.”

A presentation for the screen sector is being held in Wellington on Wednesday 20 April at 6.30pm at the St James Theatre’s Hospitality Suite on the 1st Floor.

For more information please contact:
Michael Stephens or Alan Henwood at Stephens Lawyers

New Employment Legislation



New employment legislation will come into force from 1 April following the Employment Standards Legislation passing its third reading in parliament on 10 March 2016.

The legislation will:

  • Extend paid parental leave (PPL) to more employees and increase the flexibility of the scheme.
    Note that the duration of paid parental leave from 14 to 18 weeks also takes effect from 1 April 2016;
  • Strengthen enforcement of employment standards by, amongst other measures increasing sanctions against employers for the most serious breaches of the Act; and
  • Address issue such as ‘zero-hour contracts and other unfair employment practices.

The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Hon Michael Woodhouse, said “The Bill eliminates zero hour contracts by getting rid of unfair employment practices where employers do not commit any hours of work, but expect employees to be available when required without compensation.

“The Bill also extends PPL entitlements to more workers, including casual and seasonal workers, and primary carers other than biological and formal adoptive parents. It also increases the flexibility of the scheme.

“Parents of premature babies will also benefit from additional weeks of parental leave payments (which could be as many as 13 weeks extra) to better support them during what can be a particularly challenging time.

“The changes to PPL recognise the diversity of modern work and family arrangements and aim to better support families by making it easier for parents to stay connected to the workforce. The enforcement of minimum employment standards will also be strengthened with tougher sanctions for employers who intentionally breach minimum standards, increased tools for labour inspectors and clearer record keeping requirements.”

For more information, see:

To ensure your business stays compliant with the new legislation, please contact:
Michael Stephens or Alan Henwood at Stephens Lawyers on 04 915 9580


Health and safety: Providing protective gear


The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment has provided useful guidelines for employers who provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their employees to enable employers to comply with the new Health & Safety legislation which takes effect in April 2016.

Before providing PPE, you should first ask whether there is a better way of dealing with the risk. Can the risk be eliminated? If not, how can you best control the risk?

If PPE is needed, your business is responsible for supplying appropriate PPE. You can do this in two ways – by buying the PPE yourself, or through allowances added to your workers’ pay. The cost of PPE must be covered by the business. Workers must take responsibility for wearing and using it properly.

For more information, see: 

If you are concerned about ensuring your business stays compliant with the new legislation, please contact:
Michael Stephens or Alan Henwood at Stephens Lawyers on 04 915 9580

Health and Safety Reform Bill passes

H&S Picture

The Health and Safety Reform Bill passed its third reading at parliament yesterday. The Bill creates a new Health and Safety at Work Act.

The Bill is the first significant reform of New Zealand’s health and safety laws in 20 years and addresses the recommendations of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety.

The new law will be supported by regulations that are being developed in time for April 2016.

Until the Act comes into effect in April 2016, the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 remains in force.

Stephens Lawyers will be carefully reviewing the new legislation and providing more comprehensive information on the practical impact of the legislation and steps clients should take in advance of it coming into force on 4 April 2016.

For more information about the new law visit WorkSafe New Zealand’s website


2015 K-Culture Festival: Experience Korea; Saturday 1 Aug, Shed 6, Wellington waterfront

Stephens Lawyers looks forward to attending the 2015 K-Culture Festival: Experience Korea on Saturday, 1 August in Wellington. The Festival is co-hosted by the Korean Embassy in New Zealand, the Korean Association & Wellington City Council at Shed 6 on the waterfront from 11.00am.
Entry is free and visitors have a chance to: enjoy Korean traditional and contemporary performance including K-Pop Competition; taste Korean Food; & experience Korean culture by learning Korean traditional games, making traditional crafts and trying Hanbok (traditional dress).
K Culture Festival - Copy


Crossing Rachmaninoff, a feature documentary by Rebecca Tansley

Stephens Lawyers congratulates New Zealand film maker Rebecca Tansley whose feature documentary ‘Crossing Rachmaninoff’ has won selection to this year’s NZ International Film Festival.

Filmed in Auckland and southern Italy, ‘Crossing Rachmaninoff’ is the story of pianist Flavio Villani and his preparation of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.2 for his first ever performance with an orchestra.

For more information see:

For information about the Auckland and Wellington screenings, dates and locations, see: