Aimee Dartnall

Aimee Dartnall

Aimee has a Bachelor of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in politics, from the University of Otago. She worked in local government advising on alcohol regulation, before joining Franks Ogilvie in early 2018.

Aimee has expertise in local government regulations, with specialist knowledge of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 as the former Secretary to District Licensing Committees in Wellington.

She is also experienced in public and administrative law, Incorporated Societies administration and governance (constitution amendments, creating disciplinary procedures), and company governance (creating procurement policies, funding policies, standard contract templates) and admin (advising on reporting requirements).

Aimee has worked with trusts, Resource Management Act issues, and has growing expertise in litigation.

in the news
May 18, 2020

Overview -

The client was a local sports club. It had an informal constitution but was not a registered incorporated society. We helped them adapt their constitution to meet the requirements for registration under the Incorporated Societies Act 1908 while making sure that it still fit their current operational model and allowed for future development as a charitable organisation.

Issue –

A local sports club wanted to register as an incorporated society and, potentially, as a charity or not-for-profit entity in the future.

What we did –

The client had a constitution but it was missing some key requirements for incorporation. The client wanted to make sure that whatever changes they made would fit the club’s current operational model. As a local sports club, they didn’t want to adopt rules that they wouldn’t be able to follow. They also wanted to make sure the new constitution would meet the requirements for charitable registration under the Charities Act 2005 in case they decided to seek charitable status in the future.

Franks Ogilvie reviewed the current constitution and drafted new clauses which were required for incorporation. We also re-worked some of the existing clauses to make them easier to follow, like the procedures for appointing committee members and taking disciplinary action. It was important to make sure that the rules weren’t too onerous for a small tightly knit club to implement.

The objects were refined to reflect the aims of the club and its role in promoting sport in the community.

Outcome –

The client adopted the new constitution and successfully applied for registration as an incorporated society.  


If you would like assistance on drafting a constitution for your incorporated society application, please contact solicitor Aimee Dartnall

May 2, 2020

Coronavirus: Bars can adapt to survive, but the law needs to adapt too

OPINION: Now that we are in alert level 3 (also known as lockdown with online shopping), many businesses are welcoming the chance to get back to work with contactless trading, especially those in hospitality. 

Restaurants and cafes with strong food offerings have found ways to adapt their menus to takeaway customers. But this may not be so easy for your local pub. 

They may have great food to sell as a take-out service, but their core business relies on bums on seats. They need people onsite, watching sport and trying the latest beer on tap. These bars will have to be craftier than ever to stay open and stay profitable. 

As with a lot of industries, Covid-19 has put a spotlight on the alcohol licensing laws and highlighted the need for sweeping changes. 

This puts bars in the unenviable position of having to compete with established takeaways and restaurants without their main competitive advantage – alcohol. 

Of course, alcohol isn't the only good thing that bars have to offer. A lot of their appeal comes down to atmosphere – people getting together to watch a game or listen to a live band or generally just to have a good time. This is what drives competition between bars and separates them from restaurants. 

You can't replicate this in your own home. The closest you'll be able to get for a while is a pub meal delivered to your door,with an ice-cold can of beer. But the law needs to be changed to allow this to happen. 

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 is focused on minimising alcohol-related harm, and there is plenty of research to show that alcohol purchased from an off-licence store and consumed at home leads to more harm than alcohol consumed at a bar. 

But what is more harmful – allowing people to buy boxes of beer from the supermarket, or allowing an on-licence to deliver one can of beer with every takeaway meal? 

In alert level 2, New Zealanders will still be encouraged to stay home, so it is going to take a long time for patron numbers to return to early 2020 numbers. Even then, bars will have to make up for lost profits from cancelled sports tournaments and the Olympics. 

The Government has supported the hospitality industry with the wage subsidy, but this alone won't be enough to ensure medium to long-term viability of the industry.  The Hospitality Association says,that unless more support is forthcoming, tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs. 

The Government needs to look at ways it can reform the alcohol licensing regime to allow for business growth and development.These restrictions are yet another example of the act's failure to look at harm practically. 

Bureaucratic hoops mean that bars need to have exemplary management practices to keep their licences, but what's the point if the rules don't allow them to adapt their businesses in a safe and responsible manner? 

Without reform, many bars that make our cities great places to live, work and visit will close their doors. A vibrant night-time economy is what attracts people to live in cities and what makes tourists want to stay an extra day. 

The loss of these businesses will limit our ability to bounce back from Covid-19. 

The world is changing; lockdown only highlighted the problem. People want to be able to access all the benefits of normal life from the comfort of their home.

This includes getting burger and fries from their favourite pub delivered to their door – along with a can of beer – so they can watch the netball in their living room.

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Interested in talking about alcohol regulation? Contact Aimee here.



April 28, 2020

Overview -

The client was a small incorporated society with only one full time staff member to run a whole of New Zealand operation. Franks Ogilvie provided advice to the client to ensure that this particular complaint was handled correctly and setting it up so in the future the client could be confident handling a complaint with minimal cost and time.

Issue –

A member of the public complained about one of the client’s members and the client came to Franks Ogilvie to make sure it followed the correct disciplinary process.

What we did –

The client had a constitution and a code of conduct for member behaviour but didn’t have a good understanding of how to manage it when a complaint was made.

Franks Ogilvie designed a process map for the client that made sure that they were handling this complaint correctly and would not face any further action based on the process. This ensured that we minimised the time and expense not only for this complaint, but for any future issues. We also made sure that this new process not only adhered to their constitution but also took in to account natural justice principles.

We designed the process to fit the client’s particular circumstances. The community that this society operated in was small and most members knew each other in some capacity so we had to make sure client didn’t commit to strict independence requirements that it couldn’t fulfill.

Outcome –

The client used this process to deal with the complaint inan efficient, practical way. The process was easy to follow and gave the decision-makers a clear idea of what they needed to do to finally resolve the issue.  

Need assistance with your incorporated society? Email Franks Ogilvie solicitor Aimee Dartnall

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