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Fair Go: Wednesday September 19

Published: 7:16PM Wednesday September 19, 2012 Source: Fair Go

Playing with fire
Reporter: Libby Middlebrook
Every year around 20,000 fires start in New Zealand. Fire extinguishers can be highly effective at putting out small fires - provided they're maintained, and you've got the right one. The wrong one could actually put you in more danger. There are reports that a handful of technicians are visiting small businesses and replacing what may be perfectly good extinguishers with old or unsuitable fire equipment. We visit two.
How do you know your fire extinguisher is the right type, and in working order?
There are many types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires: using the wrong type can increase the fire hazard and be hazardous, but using the right one can better the situation.
The Fire Protection Association website has more information on which one you need:
Every unit needs an annual service, which should be noted on a yellow tag.
Every five years, they need a pressure test.
Check your fire technician is a member of the Fire Protection Association.

Making a will
Ali Mau
We look at why you should have a will, what's important to include in that will, how to make sure your will is valid and what happens to your stuff if you don't have a will. You can keep costs down with a D.I.Y. will, but you will still need to get your head around legal language and concepts, and D.I.Y. wills aren't suitable for those with complicated relationships or property.
Extra tips:
 - If using a lawyer, do as much preparation as you can prior to the consult. For instance, check the web - Consumer has some good information - or maybe  check out a D.I.Y. will kit as prep for your legal session. Get sorted on those four key decisions: executors, guardians, who gets property, what happens with your body.
 - Choose executors carefully. A professional (lawyer, accountant) will charge for work done on the will - so it's important the will is as clear and specific as possible. Get your affairs in order as much as possible in advance. If you are asking friends and family to be executors, it can be a lot of work and time, you may want to make financial provision for that in the will.
 - In certain areas, like what you  want done with your body, the executor must take your wishes into account, but does not have to follow them to the letter. They have to decide what's best overall - this might, for instance, be about where you are buried. So pick executors carefully, and be very clear about those after-death wishes, with family and friends.
 - Make sure your will is current - key trigger points for an update include - getting married, having children, property purchases.
Our legal expert suggested a regular update - every 3-5 years.
 - Be careful when making additions. Wills have been contested because staple marks or paperclip marks were found on the original will - but the "additions" were missing. Our experts suggest always re-writing the will when making additions. 

 - Thanks to Jeanette Hobbs, Law lecturer, University of Auckland and to Juliet Moses, Lawyer, Taylor Grant Tesiram. 

Amy Kelley
"Freebies" are an age-old marketing tool, and the promise of an extra product thrown in for nothing is often what seals a deal. That was the case for thousands of heat pump buyers this winter, who were promised free Panasonic TVs. But weeks after parting with their cash, hundreds of people are still waiting. Panasonic says it's run out of TV stock. The company didn't have the TVs in New Zealand when it kicked off the promotion - they've been shipped in from offshore. The promotion's "within 60 days" timeframe for freebie redemption has expired, but hundreds of customers are still waiting for their freebies as Panasonic tries to get more TVs in.
We ask the Commerce Commission what that means for consumers.. and we visit Ohinewai School in Huntly, which has been waiting since June for its tellies.


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