Limitations Act 2010

Freddy learns the benefits of keeping business records

Summer is here and Farmer Freddy is feeling pretty happy with the world.  Christmas is going to be great this year.  Freddy plans on surprising Mrs Freddy with a trip to Waiheke Island for a couple of weeks.  It would be nice to have a break from the farm, he thinks to himself.

Rainfall has been steady, the grass is growing, the cows are producing well, there is next to no eczema so far and his contracting business is keeping him busier than previous years.  His farm workers are doing a great job, they are happy in their work, getting regular time off and the farm is looking A1.  Freddy finds he has more time to spend doing contracting which he loves.

One afternoon during a little downpour he decides to sit down at the computer and catch up on some unanswered emails.

The phone rings.  Farmer Freddy answers the phone with his usual cheery “Hello”.

On the line is a farmer he has done some contracting work for last season.  The farmer is angry and is complaining that the hay Freddy cut for him and stored away in the hayshed is all mouldy and smells really bad.  The farmer complains that he won’t be able to feed the hay to the animals and it will need to be disposed of.  He is ringing his solicitor to see what he can do about it.

Farmer Freddy doesn’t recall the customer.  He phones his own personal legal representative, his daughter Pebbles.  Pebbles advises him to check through his paperwork and find the details about the job.   She tells him the Limitations Act 2010, which came into force on 1st January 2011, requires business owners to retain records for a period of 15 years.  Pebbles stressed to Freddy that she had explained this to him in the past.

Freddy is bad at keeping any records for his contracting business.  He searches high and low and can’t find any paperwork for this customer or the job.  He doesn’t even remember doing the job in the first place.

He telephones Pebbles who can’t believe her father has been so careless.  “Dad, you should keep all your business records until there is no longer a risk of a claim being brought against your business.  I can’t believe you would do this”, Pebbles exclaims.

“I am coming for a visit shortly and we will have a talk about this issue and work out where we can go from here”, says Pebbles, in her frustrated tone.

“I don’t know what I would do without you Pebbles”, says Freddy.  I hope you can get me out of this mess and it doesn’t ruin our Christmas holiday.”


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