Towards a Concept of Family Property in New Zealand
This paper deals with the New Zealand developments in family property law during this century. When New Zealand was colonized in 1840 it inherited English common law, and with it the concept of private property. Towards the end of the last century private property rights were virtually absolute, subject only to a personal duty to support financially dependant family members. During the course of this century private property rights have been increasingly eroded in favour of family property rights, enforceable inter vims as well as on death. This is in part in response to public demand for a fairer system of distributing private property between family members, such as the claims by married and unmarried spouses. But it is also in keeping with current government policy which is aimed at shifting responsibility from the State back to the family. These developments suggest that the concept of private property may. no longer be an appropriate description of property held within the context of a family.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Keywords: property law; family property; private property
Research Type: Journal Article