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Understanding Enduring Powers of Attorney: Kannangara Thomson

It is a common misconception that Enduring Powers of Attorneys (EPAs) are only relevant for ‘old people’. The reality is that a health mishap, medical or accident related, can befall anyone at any age. The fact is that everyone should have these important estate planning tools in place. Having EPAs prepared now means that you get to determine who will represent your interests should you lose mental capacity rather than leaving this to chance in court proceedings.



The other important difference is the cost. At worst, EPAs will cost you a few hundred dollars per document, whereas an application for the appointment of a welfare guardian and/or property managers through the court will cost thousands of dollars.

The process can also become quite prolonged if all family members are not in agreement. If you get the documents right you should not need to redo them for many years to come, whereas court orders need to be renewed at regular intervals, so the expense may be incurred over and again.

Another common misconception is that if we lose mental capacity, our spouse or partner can manage our affairs. That is not the case. This is where the EPA comes in. It’s important to highlight the difference between an EPA and a general power of attorney (GPA). A GPA is a power commonly given to a person during a temporary absence from the country or a temporary physical incapacity. In the event of an unexpected loss of mental capacity, the GPA is revoked and of no further use.

An EPA on the other hand is a power-of-attorney which survives an unexpected loss of capacity for any reason, be it accident, illness or old age. The EPA takes two forms, one for personal care and welfare and another for property. You should not be fooled into thinking that you can do without either form of EPA because, particularly for seniors going into a rest home or retirement village facilities, the operators require residents to have both forms in place.

EPAs are possible because of the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988. Since the Act was passed into law there have been significant changes on two occasions. The forms are now more than 20 pages long compared to their 1988 predecessors which were two pages long. As a result, the modern forms allow for far more comprehensive documents.

Among the options provided for in the modern forms is the ability to appoint a successor or successors, require your attorney to consult with or provide information to certain specified persons and state whether the power of your attorney relates to all of your welfare or property matters or just certain specified matters.

According to the team at Kannangara Thomson, having EPAs in place is vital but it is equally important that they are well drafted and you get them right first time in order to avoid further expense.

To talk to one of the experienced practitioners at a local law firm about putting EPAs in place, contact Kannangara Thomson on 03 377 4421.




A place to call home: Merivale Retirement Village

“This is a marvelous place to call home – a place we are really proud of.”



That’s the feeling of the residents of Merivale Retirement’s striking new facility on Somme Street. Designed by Marc Barron of Jerram Tocker Barron Architects and built by Jones and Wyatt Construction, the building exudes the elegance and sophistication one associates with a luxury hotel. Yet it is so comfortable and tastefully decorated with soft furnishings in its lounges and private rooms that you feel right at home.

Open since April, the two-storey main building surrounds a spacious tranquil courtyard beautifully landscaped by Ben McMaster of InsideOut Design. The view of the courtyard is a focal point for many of the rooms and apartments within the village.



Upon entering this stunning facility is a café that could grace any hotel lobby. It’s a space that has quickly become very popular with residents for catching up with one another or for meeting in a vibrant environment with family and friends. The large, light and airy reception area flows through to a lovely boutique hair salon, a choice of lounge areas and the charming and cosy lounge bar called Stokesy’s with its own courtyard and barbeque area, while the library is a delightful place to relax and read.



The ground floor boasts 22 gorgeous one-bedroom serviced apartments. Every apartment includes ensuites, cooking facilities, central heating, as well as 24-hour emergency call buttons for nurse support. Each has its own private patio for outdoor living. These luxurious “License to Occupy” apartments are ideal for residents who may require some support, but who like a little more space.



The open and airy communal lounge and a dining room on the first floor flow through to generous dual purpose ensuited rest home and hospital rooms. Entertainment and activities add to the lively, welcoming atmosphere. Every level of care is provided for in the new facility from fully supported to semi-independent living. Merivale Retirement Village is renowned for its quality clinical care by fully trained and dedicated staff, ensuring residents receive the specialised attention they need.



Merivale Retirement Village also provides several independent living options within its grounds. There are one or two bedroom supported living palazzo apartments, one, two and three bedroom freestanding luxury villas, along with premium three bedroom townhouses which will be available in 2020. All this within a short stroll to the Merivale Mall and easy access to healthcare professionals, restaurants, cafes and the lifestyle you have always enjoyed.

For further information about available accommodation or to view this exciting new lifestyle option contact Leah Moore on 021 971 487 or email


Cut through the legal jargon: Kannangara Thomson

By Kannangara Thomson Partner Brent Selwyn 

At Kannangara Thomson we have a point of difference which not all law firms have in that as many as nine different languages are spoken in our offices. As a firm we also have a by-line “we speak your language” which is a play on words in as much as it signifies the point of difference that there are a number of different language speakers at Kannangara Thomson but also, it speaks to the fact that as a law firm our aim is to try to cut through all the legal jargon and explain matters to our clients in plain English.


Some of the languages spoken at Kannangara Thomson include Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Afrikaans, Malay, Sinhalese, Tamil, Arabic and of course English. As a firm we are delighted to celebrate the cultural diversity of the people who make up our thirty strong contingent of lawyers and legal assistants. The range of services provided within the firm varies from the purchase of residential property, investment property, commercial property, business sales and purchases, family trusts, wills, enduring powers of attorney and with a particular focus on immigration. We have most areas of law covered and anything we cannot assist with we will always recommend to someone appropriate to provide assistance to our client.

We have modern premises at 575 Wairakei Road in Burnside and one feature which clients dealing with our firm love is the easy access to car parking which can be a major issue for our central city colleagues. One of our number of bilingual lawyers is Sandra Iskander who was born in Egypt and came to New Zealand with her family as a child. Sandra is fluent in both English and Arabic. In the immediate aftermath of the horrific events at the Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch on Friday 15 March 2019, with the full support of the partners, Sandra volunteered to give her time in the week beginning Monday 18 March at both the Hagley Community Centre and the Christchurch hospital to help those affected by this terrible tragedy in any practical way possible.

As a firm we were pleased to be one of the first law firms to offer pro bono services to any of the Christchurch Muslim community who had family or friends killed or injured in the attacks on the two Mosques. This offer remains open and Sandra along with a number of other lawyers in our office have registered their details with the Canterbury District Law Society as being available to assist any affected members of the Christchurch Muslim community with Legal Services, initially free of any charge.


Helping you hear: Hear Again

Samantha Foster, co-owner and General Manager of Hear Again says that in helping adults of all ages with their hearing, it is usually family members who first notice hearing loss in a loved one and urge them to have their hearing checked. “Clients often come to Hear Again saying ‘I’m fine, everyone just mumbles in my family’,” says Samantha “and then are amazed at the difference we can make”.


Hear Again


Technological advances mean it is now possible to have rechargeable hearing aids. “You charge the hearing aids up overnight, rather than changing batteries, which can be small and fiddly,” Samantha says. “Rechargeable aids are slightly pricier than the disposable battery hearing aids, but if dexterity or poor eyesight make coping with the traditional batteries difficult, then the rechargeable hearing aids are a real advantage.”

Rechargeable hearing aids bring the confidence that the aids will last a whole day and won’t leave you high and dry in a meeting. The hearing aids are simply charged overnight like a phone and then provide over 24 hours of continuous use. “We really recommend patients opt for the rechargeable hearing aids if they can afford the little extra cost,” Samantha says.

“Technology that connects hearing aids to an iPhone has been around for a while now, but it’s still not widely known,” she adds. “This type of hearing aid allows you to use your cellphone like a remote control; you can send the phone conversation audio straight to your hearing aid and you can always hear your phone ring if you are within 10 metres. The same technology can also be used to send the sound from your TV straight to the hearing aids, even if the volume is turned down or off for others in the family.”

If you suspect your hearing is impaired, the team offers free hearing screening for over-18s. They provide full diagnostic testing, or you can bring in the results of a hearing test you have had within the last six months and the Hear Again team can offer a second opinion. If hearing aids are indicated, a full needs assessment examines every aspect of your life and what you need your instruments to do. Your existing aids can be cleaned and checked, and ear wax removal is available for teens and up.

If hearing damage has occurred in your workplace or from military service, Hear Again can assess whether you are eligible to make an ACC or Veterans’ Affairs claim and help with that process. “Most New Zealanders are eligible for a government subsidy of $1022.22 for a pair of hearing aids and we can help you gain this,” Samantha says.

Hear Again has ensured it is easily accessible, with opening hours Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. Located at The Hub in Hornby, patients come from all around Canterbury because they don’t have to travel to the central city and there is parking right at the door.



Winning the life Lottery

Winning the life Lottery

The day that death came knocking on Liesl Johnstone’s door, she didn’t answer. Far too busy and she was, after all, young and healthy. She shares her story.


Winning the life Lottery


This day, death hovered. I’d been gardening a week earlier, picking up barbed branches; gnarly old thorns more lethal than fork prongs. I was wearing gloves. This was not preventive medicine, I would later realise. The prick was a sudden assault, and very sore. I quickly forgot about it. The week following I was hot and cold, slightly queasy and very tired. Mundane tasks represented huge effort. By Wednesday I had an inflamed knuckle. When I prodded, the pain shot through its surrounds. I drove to work on Thursday, an immense effort of the will, and managed just two hours.

Pins and needles were going from the tips of every finger to my elbow. My man took me to after-hours where the doctor thought I was getting flu.  Friday night was ghastly. There was no escape from my painful right arm. Red tracks were appearing. I was on fire from the inside; in bodily hell. By 5:30 am we were on our way to Christchurch Hospital. Intravenous antibiotics, x-rays and doctors drifting in and out; I lay there shivering, barely aware of the yellow light and green uniforms, drifting away.

Finally, sometime in the evening doctors were wheeling my bed into theatre. They hadn’t been planning to take me there till Sunday morning, but one young doctor, Charlotte, had a sixth sense that I needed theatre, and now.  Once cut open, the surgical team watched my flesh turning black before their eyes. Rampant and aggressive, my hand was being eaten away by Necrotizing Fasciitis. Once it’s gone, there’s no regeneration. The flesh-eating disease is a fast killer; thankfully rare. Almost winning-a-lottery-rare. But for every rarity, someone’s got to be the one left with just bones and compromised tendons.

When I awoke, I was in intensive care, being congratulated by the surgeon on making it to hospital on time. I had been diminutive hours from death, or amputation. There were eight surgeries, most of them scraping away more tissue that had died, including the bits needed to hold skin on top. The final surgery was to take a muscle from my back and skin from my thigh, and reconstruct my hand from these.  I was so weak that even the clock-hands were interesting diversions. From this window, by whose basin I went to clean my teeth at night, the words on the Art Gallery glinted reassurance and hope. ‘Everything is going to be alright’.

I know that it shouldn’t take an encounter with hell to get heaven on earth but I live differently now. So let that driver into the queue. Smile at the angry guy.  Feed the scrawny stray cat.  Make the most of beautiful days and leave the desk for something awe-inspiring, far more often.

Share kindnesses and know that our medics have the most difficult, yet fulfilling lives, making a difference by administering timely help. Our doctors and nurses also probably understand something the rest of the population repeatedly wants buried; that horrible injuries and diseases can happen to any one of us. That we’re mortal, but that we’re also loved.




Rosie on the mend: Ourvets

This issue, Veterinarian Dr Geoff Mehrtens, shares Rosie’s journey to recovery, thanks to expert care from Ourvets.




Rosie was a happy, healthy six-year-old female Shih Tzu x Lhasa Apso who had become uncomfortable recently when urinating. A general examination of Rosie revealed no abnormalities; however, her owner Bridget had noticed that Rosie was peeing more frequently, often only small amounts and was sometimes forced to urinate in abnormal locations, which indicated that her urge to urinate was uncontrollable. She showed no signs of urinary leakage in her bedding, which was an important piece of information.

Some spayed female dogs develop an increased tendency to leak urine, often while they’re asleep, or very relaxed. Luckily, Rosie did not have this problem, however her urge incontinence required further investigation. Rosie was very co-operative and provided us with a urine sample during the consultation which revealed large numbers of bacteria present. It was late in the evening, so we elected to see her again the next day.

By then, Rosie’s bladder felt smaller and firmer on palpation, which raised a suspicion that perhaps something abnormal was within. Rosie was taken to ultrasound, which revealed a spectacular large, ovoid, smooth stone – the size of an egg – in the bladder. The bladder wall was remarkably normal considering what was rattling around inside it!



With such a large stone, the treatment of choice was surgical removal. Special diets can dissolve bladder stones, but this would have taken far too long in Rosie’s case. The surgery ran smoothly, and within hours, Rosie was happy and comfortable, and actually went home the same day. Her post-op recovery was uneventful, she was the perfect patient and her urinary habits returned to normal within days.
The urinary stone was sent to the USA for analysis.

This is a wonderful service provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Rosie’s stone was found to be composed of struvite crystals. Struvite issues are common in many small breeds and are usually associated with low-grade urinary bacterial infections. Treatment includes surgery and a long course of antibiotics, together with a special diet. Rosie will need careful monitoring to ensure she doesn’t develop another stone, but with care, she will continue to live a happy, active life.


Find out more about Ourvets at


Caring for colleagues

Caring for colleagues

Christchurch Detective Sergeant Brad Greenstreet beat depression and is now sharing his story and the stories of other colleagues who have encountered tough times. “Mental Health is such an important topic and it’s ok to talk about it,” the 38-year-old says.


Caring for colleagues


Having been in the police force for 13 years, Brad says an accumulation of small things led to his bout of depression last year. When he started talking about it to others he discovered it was far more common than he realised – and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. “I realised it wasn’t just me and it was ok… I wasn’t crazy,” he smiles. During his career, Brad has attended traumatic traffic accidents, incidents involving serious violence and death. He loves what he does but says the things police officers have to deal with can have a significant impact on someone’s state of wellbeing.

It was only when he started talking about his own experiences he realised how important the topic of mental health was. “It doesn’t have to be one big thing. For me it was an accumulation of a lot of small things.” Brad says he started to think about what he could do to help other cops. He reached out to a number of his colleagues asking them if they would share their personal stories on film. Then, with the help of police photographers, he compiled a series of six videos. “They shared their stories which varied from traumatic incidents on the job to personal life struggles outside of work.

“It was very emotional hearing their stories and what hard times they had gone through and how they got through it.” Brad said he didn’t want the video to solely focus on depression as it was only “one end of the spectrum and there’s a whole lot of other factors at play in someone’s wellbeing”. After the video was created, Brad made it available internally to all New Zealand police staff. From front-counter staff to district commanders he received praise from every level. Unbeknown to Brad he was recently confidentially nominated (and awarded) a Sir Woolf Fisher Police Fellowship for his work. Established last year, this year’s recipients are only the second to ever receive such an award.

Both constabulary and non-constabulary staff from around the country received their awards from Sir Noel Robinson, chairman of the Sir Woolf Fisher Trust, at Police National Headquarters in Wellington last month.  Each fellowship is comprised of funding for international travel for up to six to eight weeks and includes time to holiday and undertake a pre-agreed programme of study. “I’d like to see what police abroad are doing about staff mental health and welfare.”


Working in the Metro Crime Squad, Brad is in a supervisory role with about 10 staff and says their welfare is paramount. He says while the police have dedicated welfare offices and good support networks, it is also important to keep talking about mental health. “It’s about looking after yourself, so we can look after the community.”


If you or a loved one needs help, contact the Depression Helpline – 0800 111 757 or free text 4202 to talk to a trained counsellor.


Fendalton Retirement Village

One big family: Fendalton Retirement Village

It’s been something of a hidden secret in Fendalton, but the residents of Fendalton Retirement Village love its boutique size, its garden surroundings and its truly family atmosphere. The staff of the village are especially attentive to those residents who require a little more individual care.


Fendalton Retirement Village
Fendalton Retirement Village residents Shirley Edwards and Lex Dyet enjoy a catch up in the village’s communal lounge.


There are different levels of care at Fendalton for people who no longer wish to cook for themselves, or who may need assistance with showering and other personal routines. The 24 hour rest home offering permanent, respite and day care, comprises 35 larger than standard single rooms, each with ensuite bathroom, private phone and access to television.

Quality and continuity of care for all rest home residents is assured by a registered nurse and trained health care assistants. Should someone require hospital level care, residents at Fendalton have priority to Elmswood Hospital. There are also 12 larger rest home level studio care suites, each with ensuite bathroom, kitchenette and sufficient room for a dining table should residents like to start their day with a leisurely breakfast in their room. Lunch and dinner are served in a private dining area for 12 people. Several studio care suites step out into the gardens.

There’s fun to be had at Fendalton with a large communal lounge where there is plenty of entertainment and activities taking place, like the recent Mad Hatter’s Tea party, which was simply hilarious and enjoyed by everyone involved.


See the team at Fendalton Retirement Village – 73 Bryndwr Road. Phone: 03 351 5979. Email or phone Donna Monk 021 241 9979.




More Mobility

Take back your independence: More Mobility

Take back your independence


More Mobility


It’s scooter season! With the warmer weather and rising fuel costs, mobility scooters are the lucrative solution to an easy, enjoyable, independent life – when it’s no longer viable to drive.

“There’s no registration or warrant of fitness, and they are extremely affordable to operate,” owner of More Mobility Russell Thomas says.
“Most scooters have two batteries, and there’s only the expense of the electricity to charge them, similar to the cost of an electric towel rail,” he says.

“We provide a home tutorial to learn how to drive in your own familiar environment, with lots of safety tips from crossing roads, to managing speed. You have the security of riding a scooter on the footpath, at a leisurely 6km per hour up to 15km per hour – and some models have an automatic slow down feature.” A follow up service is free of charge for the first six months, with little maintenance involved, and More Mobility offers a 12-monthly comprehensive service for $99.

There are serviced, second-hand scooters from $2,000 to $4,000, and new scooters from $3,800 to $6,500. While most scooters get up to 50km use out of a battery charge, Merits latest Silverado Extreme has a 100-amp battery and large travel range of up to 60km. The stylish Invacare’s Comet and Pegasus models come in 10 interchangeable colours – the electric-blue is a summer standout. More Mobility’s compact travel scooters pack down to transport in a car, or there’s always the Harley Davidson of scooters, the head-turning Sport Rider.


More Mobility, 113 Blenheim road, has off-street parking.
Visit, or phone 03 348 3460.


Lawrence Wong

A broad legal skillset: Lawrence Wong

Kannangara Thomson partner Lawrence Wong says that joining the firm has been a great move for him and his clients.


Lawrence Wong


After 40 years in the law mostly at one larger Christchurch firm, Lawrence finds the relaxed and friendly environment at Kannangara Thomson refreshing. Having spent a significant part of his working life as a lawyer in suburban offices, Lawrence is a lawyer with a broad knowledge base across a wide range of areas of law. He assists clients with all of the following – the sale and purchase of residential and commercial property, business sales and purchases, asset protection and estate planning involving the use of family trusts, wills and enduring powers of attorney, company law matters and commercial leasing.


Growing up as someone overtly Chinese but as Kiwi as anyone else born in New Zealand, life wasn’t always easy for Lawrence. Born in the 1950s to a New Zealand mother of Chinese descent and a father born in China, he experienced occasional prejudice. As a child in Christchurch, Lawrence attended St Michael’s School where, within the school grounds he was largely insulated from that prejudice which he says he experienced more outside of the school grounds.


He then attended Christchurch Boys’ High School before attending Canterbury University, graduating in 1978 with a law degree. His early years in practice coincided with a new wave of Chinese immigrants, many of whom did not speak much English. One of the benefits of growing up in a Chinese/Kiwi family was that Lawrence learned conversational Cantonese, something which his clients were extremely grateful of in the late 1970s and 1980s. To this day, Lawrence retains the ability to converse in Cantonese which is of value to his large Chinese client base. Being at Kannangara Thomson has bought Lawrence back to his ethnic and legal roots. The firm’s byline ‘We Speak Your Language’ signifies the fact that there are as many as nine different languages spoken in the firm, but also the fact that the lawyers at Kannangara Thomson cut through all the traditional legal jargon lawyers are renowned for and explain matters to clients in plain English.


Lawrence Wong


This is something which Lawrence finds refreshing and which, when added to the relaxed and congenial working environment, tells him that the move was a good one for him and his clients. Lawrence’s clients and former clients are invited to contact him on 03 377 4421 or email