A compilation of New Zealand banks and KiwiSaver providers’ positions on accepting electronically signed documents and/or video conference witnessed statutory declarations during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Note: Before relying on this information you should check directly with the relevant organisation.
Banks – loan documentation
ASB and BNZ were approached for their position but had not provided a response as at the last time this post was updated.
The Co-operative Bank will accept documents completed, signed, and witnessed virtually, along with the usual solicitor certificate undertakings. However, if signing is completed electronically they require proper signed copies of the loan contract within 14 days following a return to COVID-19 level 2 (email on 21 April 2020, updated on 30 April 2020).
Kiwibank say: “We’re taking a case-by-case approach to this, and we recommend that customers or their solicitors contact us directly to work through this.
During lockdown we may accept digital signatures on the basis that they comply with the requirements set out:
in Part 4, Subpart 3 of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.
We may also accept video conference witnessing, where we’ll work directly with you or your solicitor on what’s required.”
(updated email on 23 April 2020)
SBS will accept electronic signatures during the lockdown as long as the solicitor has advised that they are aware these are electronic, can verify them, and advises that the signatures are electronic due to the lockdown (email on 14 April 2020).
TSB will accept documents that are completed, signed and witnessed virtually along with the usual undertakings contained in the solicitor’s certificate.
If signing is completed electronically TSB needs to receive proper signed copies of the loan contract within 14 days following a return to COVID-19 level 2 response (email on 14 April 2020).
Westpac are accepting electronic signatures for existing customers topping up loans, but are not accepting electronic signatures for new lending at this stage (email on 15 April 2020).
KiwiSaver providers – First home withdrawals
AMP will accept digital signatures or no signature if a customer is unable to do a digital one. They will call and email to complete identification checks. Identification can be verified by a photo being sent through of the customer holding their identification. They will accept non-certified supporting documents. Solicitors can email documents to [email protected]. A representative from AMP will be in contact with customers regarding the statutory declaration once their application has been submitted (email on 15 April 2020).
While restrictions remain in place ANZ will accept electronic documents (such as an online bill) or scanned/photographed images of paper documents as long as: the document is able to be read clearly, and all images within the document are sharp and in focus. However they say that documents have to be verified by a solicitor or a JP. Some ANZ branches are open on Wednesdays from 9am to noon and branch staff can verify documents as well (email on 14 April 2020).
Aon will accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference in line with the NZLS guidelines (email on 15 April 2020).
ASB will accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference in line with the NZLS guidelines. They will accept a first home withdrawal application and certified copies of identification by email. They are aware that this will pose challenges for some members and ASB along with other KiwiSaver providers are raising their concerns with the government (email on 15 April 2020).
BNZ will accept email applications sent from solicitors including emailed copies of certified IDs and statutory declarations. BNZ will accept a remotely witnessed statutory declaration in line with the NZLS memo (email on 14 April 2020).
Booster will accept statutory declarations completed via video conference. They can attempt to verify customer ID remotely through an online verification service (email on 14 April 2020).
Craigs Investment Partners
Craigs Investment Partners will accept scanned and emailed copies of withdrawal forms (with the originals posted at COVID-19 level 2 or lower). They will also accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference in line with the NZLS guidelines (email on 20 April 2020).
Fisher Funds say: “Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown period there may be some delay in Fisher Funds receiving the withdrawal forms via mail. If your client’s statutory declaration has been correctly witnessed, we can potentially grant a temporary exemption to this as the forms have been received via email. This would be granted on the understanding the application is fully completed and originals are sent once the lockdown has been lifted” (email on 14 April 2020).
Kiwi Wealth will accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference. They have an electronic verification process that can be used if the certified ID/proof of address documents received are not satisfactory. They will accept documents emailed to [email protected] from a solicitor or the member’s registered email address (email on 15 April 2020).
Lifestages will accept electronic documentation from solicitors. Will accept identity verification and statutory declarations done over video conference by solicitors (email on 14 April 2020).
MAS will accept a statutory declaration that a solicitor has taken by video conference along with a statement per the guidelines. ID and address verification of many customers can be completed remotely with photographs of the identification if the customer agrees to MAS using a third-party service to do so (email on 14 April 2020).
Mercer will accept first home withdrawal documents electronically. Current New Zealand driver licences and passports may be able to be used to verify identity electronically. They will accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference in line with the NZLS guidelines (email on 15 April 2020).
Simplicity are accepting first home withdrawal applications with documents witnessed via video conferencing technology in accordance with the NZLS guidelines (email on 14 April 2020).
SuperLife continues to accept scanned and emailed versions of the first home withdrawal documents. They are able to perform identity and address verification of customers remotely. They will accept statutory declarations completed remotely via video conference in line with the NZLS guidelines (email on 14 April 2020).
Westpac will accept complete documentation via email. Solicitors should scan and email documents to [email protected] (email on 14 April 2020).
If the client does not have access to video chat/a printer/a scanner can they extend their bubble to include someone who does?
If the client and independent lawyer both have a printer and scanner, see Paul Collins’ opinion on remote witnessing for the NZ Law Society here, and draft certificate here (docx), if not, see the below section Signing documents/unsworn affidavits.
If a deponent does not have access to a physical bible, can they affirm their affidavit instead of swearing, or bring up an online bible/bible app on their phone?
If the client does not have access to video chat/a printer/a scanner can they extend their bubble to include someone who does?
Email or post the will out to the person and record in a file note (or have the client send to you in writing) that the will has been drafted in accordance with their instructions and no changes are required; and post-lockdown have it executed correctly? (see section 14 of the Wills Act 2007)
[No longer relevant, see the immediate modification order] Consider whether the suggested clause iv. may place doubt over the document if the client does not have it witnessed in the traditional way when physically able to.
See the linked attachments including Paul Collins’ opinion, Theresa Donnelly of Perpetual Guardian’s document on validation applications, and checklists for drafting EPAs/wills during this time.
Witnessing relationship property agreements by video conference
See Ingrid Squire’s 2014 article in the New Zealand Law Society Family Law Section’s Family Advocate, To Skype or not to Skype: that is the question (pdf) on things to consider when witnessing a relationship property agreement by video conference.
Example of an audio-visual clause for inclusion in a relationship property agreement (republished with permission from Lady Deborah Chambers QC):
“Both [party one] and [party two] acknowledge and agree that both parties will execute this agreement before their lawyer using a Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp connection and on that basis their lawyers will witness their signatures and give an explanation as to the effects and implications of this agreement.
The parties agree to this document being executed using that technology and agree that they will not attempt to set aside the agreement on the basis that execution and witness of signature occurred using internet connection. They also agree that it will be necessary for each party to send a scanned copy of their signed agreement to their lawyers in New Zealand for them to then complete the document. The fact that it is a scanned copy will also not invalidate the document.
The parties may sign separate copies of this agreement but once all parties have signed separate copies they will form a final binding agreement.”
“The parties agree that settlement is hereby deferred to the 10th working day after the Government reduces the COVID-19 Level to Level 2 or below, or to such other date as may be mutually agreed. For the sake of clarity neither party shall have any claim against the other in relation to this deferral.”
If the property, both lawyers, and the seller and purchaser are not in the same area, what if there are regional differences in the COVID-19 level?
Workload if all settlements are deferred to the 10th working day.
Can you remote onto the computer your digital certificate is stored on?
Can you transfer your certificate to another computer? See the information on the LINZ website here or contact LINZ.
Is there another user (e.g. a colleague, your attorney) that would be able to access your workspace?
If needing to travel for priority proceedings, print or save/screenshot to your phone the email from the Law Society sent to all lawyers on 8 April 2020, subject ‘Confirmation of being a practising lawyer’.
Court bailiffs may not be serving documents at all (check with the Court), so unless service will be undertaken by Police, address service in application/interlocutory application.
One option if electronic (email/social media) service is not available (from Wellington Family Law Section):
Ask the Court to direct the respondent to attend the registry to collect the documents as arranged by the registry. The case officer is to contact the respondent by telephone to advise the documents are ready to be collected. The notice period begins from the time the registry advise the respondent and they are to be advised that if they do not make arrangements with the registry to collect or otherwise obtain a copy of the documents, they will be deemed to have had notice of the proceedings and the court will continue to progress the application as directed.
Signing documents/unsworn affidavits
If the deponent has a printer, can they print and sign the document and scan it to you or take a photo of it (or at least the jurat page) using a scanning app like Microsoft Office Lens?
If the client does not have access to video chat/a printer/a scanner can they extend their bubble to include someone who does?
Can they sign the document electronically? See options in this post.
Can you amend the lawyer’s certificate to explain why the document is unsigned/signed in a different way, or file a memorandum of counsel?
An adaption of the without notice certificate statement in those guidelines: “The affidavit filed in support of this application was prepared in accordance with the deponent’s specific instructions. [It was read/An electronic version was provided] to them. The deponent confirmed that they fully understood the affidavit and that the contents of it were true and correct to the best of their knowledge and belief.”
Note the difficulties of providing an undertaking as worded in the guidelines that you will file an affidavit when 1) that is not solely under your control and 2) circumstances may have changed which makes filing an affidavit containing the same information misleading.
Information in without notice Family Court affidavits
“Judges on the e-duty platform have encountered a lack of specificity in some affidavits filed in support of without notice applications seeking orders for day-to-day care and/or the enforcement of day-to-day care orders due to [COVID-19].
It is imperative that affidavits contain all relevant information including, but not exclusive to, the following: • the terms of the parenting order; • the occupants of the property/properties; • whether any occupants are engaged in an essential service; • steps taken to ensure compliance with the lock down; • comprehensive details of any health issues; • the mode of travel between the respective homes and who will undertake that travel; and • the distance between the homes.”
Appearing via AVL
Tips from the NZLS heads of bench webinar:
Robes are not necessary. Dress in formal business attire.
You do not need to stand up when speaking.
Raise your hand toward the screen to signal an interruption (instead of standing up in a courtroom to signal you would like to speak) but these should be rare.
Set up your workspace appropriately and consider your background.
Read the information that the Court has provided you.
Follow the other usual rules that apply during hearings.
Also, consider if participating remotely will be particularly difficult for your client for example: for linguistic reasons, developmental reasons or that there is no private space away from children.
Updated 19 April 2020: Added information on contacting clients in prison; updated wills section and added information on enduring powers of attorney; added information on appearing by AVL.
Updated 20 April 2020: Explained where the Family Advocate article is from; added information about the Wills Act and Oaths and Declarations Act immediate modification orders; added information about bail.
Updated 30 April 2020: Updated conveyancing, A&I, affidavits/declarations, wills/EPAs, shared care, leases, appearing via AVL, contacting clients in prison, Health Act orders, signing documents, and other resources sections. Added care and protection section.
You need a Zoom account to host meetings, but not to participate in them.
Click here to sign up. If you want to try things out, you can sign up for free, or you can dive straight into the Pro plan for USD $14.99/month (or USD$149.90/year if you pay annually).
Use the coupon code ZOOMCARES for 20% off a Pro plan billed annually.
Reasons to get a Pro account:
No time limit on group meetings. Group meetings are meetings with more than 2 people. On a basic account the meeting will automatically end after 40 minutes – not a good client experience, although participants can immediately rejoin using the same link.
Due to increased demand because of COVID-19, the dial-in by phone function may be turned off intermittently for Basic accounts.
Polling, cloud recording, co-hosting, and other features are included.
How many accounts do you need?
If you’re a small organisation, you can start out with one Pro account. Think of each Pro account like a meeting boardroom in a physical office. You need one Pro (or higher) account per group meeting over 40 minutes that you want to hold at the same time. So if you’d like to be able to run two group meetings longer than 40 minutes at the same time you need two Pro accounts.
Group meetings longer than 40 minutes need to be scheduled on a Pro account – you either need to share the password for the Pro account with your team (see the LastPass section in this post), assign a person to schedule meetings on the Pro account, or upgrade a person’s Basic account to a Pro account.
You might hold more group meetings than you think – a client meeting with a support person joining from a different location, or a client meeting with a remote translator joining will both be group meetings.
You can invite the rest of your team to create an account under the Pro account. With free Basic accounts each team member can host unlimited one-on-one meetings.
Using Zoom as lawyer for child, for mediations or for round-table meetings
There are some particular settings to consider if you’re going to use Zoom to host mediations, or round-table meetings. They’re marked below with the # symbol.
If you’re the lawyer for child or mediator you should run the Zoom meeting as host from a Zoom account you control.
Consider whether running a pre-meeting briefing by Zoom for groups of parties/lawyers would make them more comfortable with the software and allow you to identify if there are issues that would stop people from participating effectively.
You may want to set some ground rules in advance, consider things like:
Will everyone share their video?
Will everyone be in a room by themselves unless there is agreement from everyone else?
Use the hand up function to indicate that you would like to speak.
Stay muted unless you are talking, and don’t talk while someone else is talking.
Parties won’t send private messages to each other.
Hayden Wilson from Dentons Kensington Swan suggests that:
You get agreement:
That participants will limit distractions.
That there will be no recording of the chat/screen/audio (unless to record an agreement and with the consent of all parties).
On taking/not taking notes.
On when an agreement is reached (signed document?) and how any agreement reached will be recorded, which could be using electronic tools.
That participants won’t share the meeting login details (e.g. meeting ID/password).
You have contact details for everyone in the meeting and they have a way to contact you in case of problems.
You consider how to deal with a ‘walk out’ which is much easier for someone to do virtually.
Each set of parties/lawyers has a non-Zoom communication method available.
Setting up your Zoom account
You’ll need to sign up for Zoom (see above) if you’re creating the first account in your organisation. Otherwise you may have received an invitation to join Zoom, or to convert your existing Zoom account to an organisation account.
You can also change some settings across all of the accounts that are under a Pro account through ‘Admin’ options.
1. Profile -> Profile photo
You might want to upload a photo of yourself. This will show up instead of your camera feed if you have your video turned off on a Zoom call.
Once you’re logged in, on the Zoom profile page, click change under the profile photo icon.
2. Profile -> Date format
Zoom defaults to the United States date format of mm/dd/yyyy – you can change this to dd/mm/yyyy on the profile page.
3. Profile -> If you’re sharing a Pro account, share the Host Key too
If you’re sharing a Pro account (see ‘How many accounts do you need?’ above) you should share the Host Key of the Pro account with your team too. This allows someone not logged in as the Pro account to ‘Claim Host’ rights (the ‘Claim Host’ button is at the bottom of the participants window).
The Host Key is on the profile page:
4. Settings -> Meeting -> Audio Type
Zoom allows people to connect by computer/device audio (e.g. their webcam/phone camera and inbuilt speaker/microphone or headset) or by calling a phone number.
You can change this setting per meeting when scheduling a meeting.
Zoom has Auckland and Wellington numbers in New Zealand. If you pay extra participants can also access a toll-free number.
# Leaving this as the default’ Telephone and Computer Audio’ setting provides the most flexibility, however note unless you turn on the ‘phone number masking’ setting discussed below, everyone on the call (including opposing parties in lawyer for child matters) will be able to see the phone numbers of anyone who phones in.
5. Settings -> Meeting -> Enable join before host
Enable this especially if you’re sharing a Pro account to book group meetings, and the team member running the meeting isn’t necessarily going to be logged into the Pro account.
This would also let other participants join and start the meeting without you if you are running late.
If this option is not enabled, participants see a “Please wait for the host to start the meeting” screen if they join the meeting before the host.
You can change this setting per meeting when scheduling a meeting.
6. Settings -> Meeting -> A warning about Personal Meeting IDs
Some people use Personal Meeting IDs (a meeting ID that does not change) for internal meetings between members of their team etc. I would recommend avoiding the use of Personal Meeting IDs and leaving the Personal Meeting ID settings below off. This is because anyone who knows your Personal Meeting ID can join meetings you host using it (i.e. crash another meeting), even if they’re not invited to that particular meeting.
8. Settings -> Meeting -> Mute participants on entry
It is best practice to enable this setting which especially avoids disruption if someone joins a meeting late, however keep in mind that this also means everyone needs to work out how to unmute themselves (or be unmuted by the host) in order to speak. The larger the meetings you hold, the more useful this setting becomes.
You can change this setting per meeting when scheduling a meeting.
9. Settings -> Meeting -> Require Encryption for 3rd Party Endpoints
This setting will block people from joining Zoom meetings using H323/SIP systems (corporate meeting room systems e.g. the Polycom or LifeSize TV screens in meeting rooms) unless encryption is enabled on their device.
You should enable this setting.
Meeting participants will see a “Please enable encryption option on your room system” message if they need to enable encryption.
This setting doesn’t affect encryption on Zoom software downloaded onto computers, phones etc where encryption can’t be turned off.
10. Settings -> Meeting -> Chat #
Chat is a useful feature and chat messages that are visible to everyone are unlikely to be problematic e.g. in round-table meeting situations. However you may wish to consider preventing participants from saving the chat to reinforce, for example, the without prejudice nature of a meeting.
Note that this setting will not disable the ability for participants to screenshot or otherwise record the chat.
Warning on saving the chat: The saved chat log will include private messages the person saving the chat has sent and received, so check these logs carefully before sharing.
11. Settings -> Meeting -> Private chat #
This setting is useful so that parties and their lawyers can communicate privately without leaving Zoom, however a meeting host may wish to share their expectations around the use of private chat, for example that the parties or lawyers will not send private messages directly to each other.
Note the ethical obligation for lawyers to not communicate directly with a represented party.
12. Settings -> Meeting -> Play sound when participants join or leave
It is useful to enable this setting so that it is obvious that someone has joined the meeting.
With ‘Record and play their own voice’ enabled participants joining by telephone will be asked to record their name to identify themselves.
13. Settings -> Meeting -> File transfer
Although this setting could be useful, you should disable it as it bypasses the anti-virus/anti-malware protection your email provider will be providing you.
Share documents via email, or if you need to collaborate directly, using a shared document on G Suite or a similar service.
14. Settings -> Meeting -> Allow host to put attendee on hold
A useful setting to enable to temporarily remove one or more participants from the call.
15. Settings -> Meeting – > Screen sharing
Screen sharing is another Zoom setting that has been in the news recently due to “Zoom bombing” or people joining Zoom calls and screen sharing explicit material.
Leaving this enabled is lower risk if all your meetings are protected with passwords, as recommended above. You can reduce your risk even further by only allowing hosts to screen share.
Warning about screen sharing: Close unrelated documents and applications and clear your desktop before sharing your screen. Share specific applications using the Share Screen function rather than your entire desktop to limit the chance of inadvertently sharing confidential information.
You can use the ‘Pause Sharing’ button to freeze the shared screen that participants can see so you can do something in private.
16. Settings -> Meeting -> Annotation and Whiteboard
These are useful settings to keep enabled. Consider enabling the ‘auto save’ feature so whiteboard content is not lost when the whiteboard is closed.
17. Settings -> Meeting -> Remote control
Useful to leave enabled so that you can also use Zoom screen sharing as a tech support tool.
18. Settings -> Meeting -> Non-verbal feedback
‘Raise hand’ is available whether this setting is on or off.
Non-verbal feedback includes thumbs up, go faster, go slower, request for a break etc.
# Note this setting also allows participants to provide other less constructive non-verbal feedback like a thumbs down.
19. Settings -> Meeting -> Breakout room #
Enable this so you can set up private discussion rooms which you can send participants to during the meeting, e.g. a room for each of the parties and their respective lawyer(s).
A host can join a breakout room in progress and from the breakout room a participant can still message the host or use a button to get the host’s attention.
You can, but don’t need to, assign breakout rooms when scheduling a meeting.
Enable this so that team members who are logged into a Zoom account connected to yours are identifiable in the meeting participants list.
21. Settings -> Meeting -> Use HTML format email for Outlook plugin
This setting makes Zoom invitations sent using the Outlook plugin look slightly nicer.
You can download the plugin here: Microsoft Outlook plugin. If you’re sharing a Pro account: log in to the plugin with your account and schedule meetings on the Pro account through the web interface.
22. Settings -> Meeting -> Waiting room #
A very good idea to enable this (or disable join before host) for meetings where opposing parties are attending so they are not left alone together.
Allows the host to control who can join the meeting and when they can join.
Requires you to be logged into the host account the meeting is scheduled on.
Can’t be used with the ‘join before host’ setting enabled – you need to choose one or the other.
A message will be shown to those in the waiting room along the lines of “Thank you for joining, the meeting host will let you in soon”. You can customise this message if you have a Pro or higher account.
Those in the waiting room do not see/hear each other (if there’s more than one person in the waiting room) or any of your meeting content.
You can change this setting per meeting when scheduling.
23. Settings -> Meeting -> Join from your browser link
This enables participants to join a Zoom meeting without having to download anything on their computer. It is useful for locked-down corporate devices, however the functionality is limited.
24. Settings -> Meeting -> Blur snapshot
Enable this so sensitive information isn’t inadvertently screen shared from an iPhone.
25. Settings -> Recording -> Local recording
Useful to keep enabled to be able to record verbal agreements that are going to be written up later. A Pro account gives you access to a ‘Cloud recording’ setting below this.
A warning about recordings: note rule 10.8 of the Conduct and Client Care Rules that “a lawyer must not, in the course of his or her professional activity, make a video or sound recording of any person without first informing the person of the lawyer’s intention to do so.”
26. Settings -> Recording -> Automatic recording
Leave this off.
27. Settings -> Recording -> Recording disclaimer
Enabling these settings may enable you to more easily meet your professional obligations regarding recordings, and ensure active consent from participants, even if you accidentally press the record button or have accidentally given a participant recording ability.
28. Settings -> Recording -> Multiple audio notifications of recorded meeting
Enable this – this setting makes it clear to participants who have phoned in each time recording starts or stops.
29. Settings -> Telephony -> Mask phone number #
Consider whether to enable this option. A New Zealand mobile number will turn into, for example 6422****123. The number is also masked for the host, which may make it more difficult to identify participants telephoning in to the meeting.
Warning about the privacy implications of leaving this setting disabled: If this setting is not enabled anyone in the meeting can see the phone number of anyone telephoning into the meeting.
30. Settings -> Telephony -> Global Dial-in Countries/Regions
Dial-in is generally available on all accounts but Zoom is limiting the availability of this feature on Basic accounts during increased demand due to COVID-19.
Your meetings and invitations will default to including Zoom’s United States telephone numbers. Zoom offers an Auckland and Wellington landline number, and if you pay extra, a toll-free number, for participants to be able to phone in to meetings.
Change the default phone numbers that are listed in your invitations by editing the Global Dial-in Countries/Regions.
1) Click on the pencil icon beside the list of countries – this is probably set to ‘United States’ by default.
2) Search for New Zealand in the list on the left-hand side and tick the box beside it. Click on the Delete button beside other countries in the list on the right-hand side.
3) Click Save.
Scheduling a meeting
You can schedule a meeting a number of ways including through the Zoom web interface, Zoom program/app, and Zoom Outlook plugin.
If you’re sharing a Pro account I suggest scheduling group meetings on the web interface either in an incognito/private browsing window or different browser. This is so you aren’t using the Pro account’s capacity for one-on-one meetings which could be scheduled on a non-paid Basic account.
On the web go to My Account -> Meetings -> Schedule a New Meeting.
The important things to change:
Topic: This will also be the title of the calendar event for your meeting.
When: The start date/time.
Duration: Your meeting will not end when this duration is reached, however try to be accurate for your guests, and especially if you are sharing a Pro account so there are no scheduling conflicts.
Meeting ID: Leave this set to ‘generate automatically’.
Meeting password: Even if you have the option to turn this off I recommend leaving it on.
Video: I recommend leaving these off so the host and participants can choose when to start showing their video.
Audio: Leave this set to ‘Both’
Meeting Options: Consider whether for this meeting to enable/disable the following settings (see explanations above):
Enable join before host
Mute participants upon entry
Enable waiting room
Click Save and you’ll be taken to the manage meeting page.
Sharing a meeting/inviting others
From the manage meeting page either:
1) Click on one of the calendar buttons and invite people to your calendar event, or
2) Click on the ‘Copy the invitation’ link beside the Join URL, then the ‘Copy Meeting Invitation’ button and paste the text into an email (or anywhere else).
In meeting controls
The screenshots below are for the computer Zoom software. The mobile app software will look slightly different.
When you join a meeting, you first need to click on the ‘Join With Computer Audio’ button. You can also test your speaker and microphone.
If it is available there will also be an option on this screen to phone into the meeting to hear others and to speak rather than using computer/device audio.
Hosts and guests both see a black bar at the bottom of the screen (wiggle your mouse if it is not displaying). The bar in the screenshot below may look slightly different for you, and will look different for participants who are not hosts of the meeting.
The key buttons are:
The up arrow beside the Unmute/Mute button is to change which audio device you are using, or test your audio.
The Start/Stop Video button
The arrow beside the Start/Stop Video button is to change which camera device you are using.
Share – this button is to screen share/open a whiteboard
Some buttons won’t display unless you have those settings enabled in the Zoom web interface.
You have options in the participants window as a host to Unmute or Mute a specific participant (hover over their name first), to Mute All participants, and to Unmute All participants. There are additional options to manage a participant if you hover over their name then click ‘More’.
There are other options to manage the meeting available by clicking the ‘More’ button at the bottom of the Participants window:
Note that the Participants window is also where one of the ‘Raise/Lower Hand’ buttons (and ‘Claim Host’ button) is for non-hosts:
Note that private chats between participants are not visible to anyone else, including the host. However, private chats that a person has sent/received will be saved along with the public chat if that person uses the save chat function.
There are also options to control the chat in the chat window – open Chat then click on the three dots:
For the best audio experience use a headset if you have one available.
Test your audio/video in advance (you could use your Personal Meeting ID for this).
Consider your background.
Check your video (your hair, your background) before starting it by clicking on the up arrow beside ‘Start Video’, then ‘Video Settings’.
Mute your microphone when you are not talking.
Have a test meeting with your team before hosting your first meeting.
Have your webcam at eye level and look at it when speaking – it will make people feel like you are making eye contact with them.
If you are lagging/having connection difficulties (you might get a message about your internet connection being unstable) turn your video off and quit other applications you have open.
Double-check who you are sending a chat message to before pressing send/enter.
Further training on Zoom
Zoom offers free training webinars on Zoom – you can sign up for a live one, or watch a recording. See the list here.
There is a 30 minute ‘Getting Started with Zoom Meetings’ training and a 60 minute ‘Zoom Meetings’ training. You can ask questions at the end of the live versions.
What: “Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, collaboration, chat, and webinars across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and room systems.”
Why: You can use it on almost any device (Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, phoning in by telephone), it’s easy to install, your guests don’t need to sign up for an account, you can share your computer screen, and you can easily schedule and send invitations for meetings.
Zoom has a page of resources for beginners and is running daily training as it is so popular because of the current situation.
With a rich feature set, intuitive interface, and advanced security, Nitro Pro enables you to quickly and easily create, convert, edit, sign, review, and protect PDF documents—without the hassle.”
Why: No need to print and scan documents to turn them into PDFs, edit out pages or do bates numbering for bundles. You can email documents for signing electronically. A one off cost instead of AUD$234.48/year for Adobe Standard DC.
What: “Invite other people to sign Docx, Doc, ODT, ODS, Xls, Xlsx, RTF & PDF documents
For many businesses signing contracts or obtaining customer signatures in order to close a deal often proves challenging. The traditional paper process is often time consuming and costly and may take a few days or several weeks to complete. With Secured Signing technology you will be able to close deals and sign contracts within minutes.
Simply create your document, add it to Secured Signing Service and invite your business associate, customers, suppliers, partners or others to sign.”
Why: A New Zealand company. This is the platform that ADLS WebForms signing service is based on. A more robust process than Nitro or HelloSign’s signature request functions. Free for a few documents a month. ID verification (Real Me/NZ passport/NZ driver licence) is extra.
What: “WebForms™ is a web-based legal document creation service, creating efficiency for busy professionals seeking to draw on proven legal forms. WebForms protects the integrity of each document, while allowing users to tailor forms to meet the needs of individuals or specific transactions.
Digital Signing is included with WebForms subscriptions. A secure tool, enabling you to provide legal services to your clients remotely.”
Why: If you want to request signatures electronically, don’t mind paying per document, and want RealMe/driver licence verification of signatories.
What: “HelloSign allows you to electronically request and add legally valid signatures to any document, from new hire agreements to loans, to NDAs. HelloSign is available in an intuitive web interface, a developer-friendly API, or as a Salesforce add-on.”
Why: Email documents for signing, powered by Dropbox. Not necessary if you opt for Nitro above which also includes electronic signing, but useful if you use a different PDF editor.
What: “The best way to manage passwords. Just remember your master password and LastPass remembers the rest. See for yourself how easy password management can be.”
Why: LastPass as in the last password you’ll have to remember. It sounds counterintuitive, but you and your team storing all your work passwords in an (encrypted) database online means you can use secure, long, and unique passwords for each service. Accounts are compromised in data breaches all the time (look up your email here – if you’re using the same password everywhere a domino analogy would apply). Web browser plugins and phone apps available.
Passwords can be securely shared using the team plan.
What: “Crushes cyberthreats. Restores confidence. Traditional antivirus simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Malwarebytes crushes the latest threats before others even recognize they exist.”
Why: Protect your devices from malware. Ransomware will ruin your day and possibly your business especially if you don’t have up-to-date backups. Works with Windows Defender*. If you. have an IT provider they are probably taking care of this for you on work devices – ask.
Price: Free version or Premium from USD$49.99/device/year after 14 day trial.
Caution on relying on the free version: “The free version of Malwarebytes for Windows is great for getting rid of existing infections, but some infections, like ransomware, only need a moment to wreak havoc on your PC. To stop infections before they happen, stay one step ahead with the Real-Time Protection of Malwarebytes Premium.”
*To get Malwarebytes Premium and Windows Defender working together, in Malwarebytes go to Settings -> Security -> untick ‘Always register Malwarebytes in the Windows Security Center’.
What:CERT NZ is “here to improve cyber security in New Zealand. We work alongside other government agencies and organisations — both locally and internationally — to help New Zealand better understand and stay resilient to cyber security threats.”.
What: “Backblaze helps you protect business data. Easily deployed across laptops and desktops. Centrally managed. Securing all your user data for just $60/year per computer for unlimited backup.”
Why: Automatically backup your data to the cloud and protect yourself from natural disasters, theft, ransomware etc. Not necessary if your files are on a server and your IT people take care of offsite backups.
Price: 15 day free trial then USD$60/computer/year.
What: “Millions of people use Signal every day for free and instantaneous communication anywhere in the world. Send and receive high-fidelity messages, participate in HD voice/video calls, and explore a growing set of new features that help you stay connected. Signal’s advanced privacy-preserving technology is always enabled, so you can focus on sharing the moments that matter with the people who matter to you.”
Why: Mobile networks are under strain with phone calls and texts and using an app like Signal over Wi-Fi or mobile data avoids this. Send texts/photos, call, and video chat. Encrypted (your telco almost certainly keeps a record of your text messages) and recommended by Edward Snowden. Clients can easily download it for free. Not WhatsApp (owned by Facebook).
What: 1.25 GB carryover data (hotspotting – using your phone’s data on your laptop – included), 200 carryover minutes, unlimited texts to New Zealand and Australia. Unlimited calling to 2degrees mobiles.
Why: Free calling to your team (if they’re also on 2degrees), no contracts, one hour of free data a day, and unused minutes/data rollover to the next month.
What: “Expensify is the world’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel. Snap a photo of your receipt using SmartScan and Expensify takes care of the rest.”
Why: Create expense reports by taking photos of receipts. The Expensify robots automatically grab the merchant, cost etc. from the photo. Apps for iPhone and Android and you can forward email receipts.
What: “Live a healthier, happier, more well-rested life in just a few minutes a day with the Headspace app.”
“There are a lot of unknowns in the world right now. But one thing is certain — Headspace is here for you. To help support you through this time of crisis, we’re offering some meditations you can listen to anytime.
These are part of a larger collection in the Headspace app — free for everyone — called Weathering the storm. It includes meditations, sleep, and movement exercises to help you out, however you’re feeling. It’s our small way of helping you find some space and kindness for yourself and those around you.”
Why: Headspace brings mindfulness meditation, including specific COVID-19 resources, to your pocket in these uncertain times.
What: “Anyone who works in a legal workplace can contact Vitae if they want to access the Legal Community Counselling Service.
The Law Society has engaged Vitae to provide short-term, solution-focussed counselling by trained and accredited clinicians (counsellors, psychologists or psychotherapists). The service is individual and confidential.”
Why: Free, professional, independent counselling. Your practising certificate fees fund this. Available to lawyers and law firm staff.
Your multifunction device/photocopier probably has an option to forward your faxes to an email address automatically (but you may not be able to activate this remotely). Google the model number and a phrase like ‘fax to email’.
Hide your phone number
Using your personal phone? See the Privacy Commissioner’s page on hiding your phone number (e.g. from clients) when making calls. Doesn’t work for text messages.
Crown Law has provided figures under the Official Information Act on the money and time spent in relation to legal work completed in respect of Kim Dotcom and his associates which amounts to more than $5.8 million.
Crown Law writes that the United States Department of Justice is not reimbursing New Zealand for any of these expenses, even though the cases largely relate to charges that they wish to bring against Mr Dotcom and his associates.
Crown Law hours spent
are as at 8 February 2017;
include work on both domestic and mutual assistance (United States initiated extradition) legal proceedings;
exclude work completed to provide advice to other Government Departments, for example the Police or the GCSB who respectively picked up the bill for Crown Law’s advice to them; and
include most Crown Law legal staff time and some support staff time.
Using a conservative estimate of the value of the time spent ($140 per hour,1 which is the rate a Crown Law junior prosecutor would be billed out as – senior solicitors’ time is likely worth more, support staffs’ likely less), this comes to around NZD $3.6 million.
New Zealand has also covered the bill for work completed by external counsel on Crown Law’s behalf and expenses paid by Crown Law in relation to the Dotcom/Megaupload matters – another NZD $2.2 million.
This includes: $1.98 million on external barrister/solicitor fees, $171,800 on travel and accommodation, $23,151 on Court filing fees, $20,125 on photocopying, and $17,356 on professional fees including research material.
An excessive burden?
At least NZD $5.8 million has been spent on Kim Dotcom et al. by New Zealand so far, and it begs the question: was it worth it?
Should we have refused the United States’ mutual assistance request when it was made? Section 27(g)(i) of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 allows New Zealand to refuse a request made by a foreign country if “in the opinion of the Attorney-General, the provision of assistance would impose an excessive burden on the resources of New Zealand”.
Kim Dotcom had hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets before the raid on his home and it’s not a shock that he has aggressively defended the cases brought against him.
If spending $5.8 million+ has not been an excessive burden on New Zealand, what amount would be?
Providing awesome customer service to buyers on Trade Me involves being super responsive. One way to help with this is to set up a text that’s sent to you by your bank when a buyer pays you so you know you can ship an item. Follow the two easy steps below to do that – they should work with all banks.
1) Set up a separate bank account for Trade Me payments to go into.
You should be able to do this through your bank’s online banking.
Keep in mind you don’t have control over how money is deposited into your account and in-branch or manual deposits might cost you – consider using an online savings account to avoid fees. Generally banks will stop buyers from depositing to online savings accounts in a branch, and electronic deposits are free.
Giving out your main account to Trade Me buyers might mean you’re charged transaction fees if they deposit at a branch.
2) Set up a text alert through online banking.
Set up a text to be sent to you when your balance goes over $0 on this account or a deposit is made to it that’s greater than $1.
Text alerts are generally free, but a minority of banks charge per text sent to you. As an alternative, email alerts are almost always free.
2.1) Reset the alert.
If your alert relies on a balance increase, transfer the money out of the Trade Me account after you’ve received it.
This post contains personal opinions and advice of a general nature which are not intended to reflect the position of any organisation I am related to. No responsibility is taken for any loss suffered by following it.
Not the person, it’s just DailyGrace isn’t Grace’s channel anymore and since the start of 2014 no new content has been uploaded. The videos being uploaded Monday to Friday on that channel are reruns (first reruns on YouTube?) and presumably Grace isn’t receiving any of the ad revenue from them. Until recently, Grace had a contract with a company called My Damn Channel, who are going through an identity crisis and rebranding as Omnivision Entertainment. She made videos on the YouTube channel DailyGrace and they paid her a salary and maybe a commission based on YouTube views.
“Grace leaving Daily Grace is kinda like a Pokemon evolving. You’re sad because you liked how cute it looked before, but you’re also excited because it can shoot lasers out of its eyes now.” –killmeeko
After five years, Grace and My Damn Channel have chosen to part ways which, as VideoInk says, is probably the hardest decision Grace has made in her career. My Damn Channel owns the content and intellectual property Grace created while in their employment, including the YouTube channel DailyGrace, 2 million+ subscribers, themed days (Sexy Friday etc.), catch phrases (you’ve been hazed, new viewser alert…), and Facebook page–her Tumblr and Twitter are still hers, presumably because they aren’t under the Daily Grace brand.
How do you deal with suddenly not being able to use any of the intellectual property you came up with? Compare a 2013 ‘commenting on your comments’ video with a 2014 one:
“Here’s the lesson: Many corporations think that by owning YouTube channels, they’ll have something valuable. But the value is not in the channel or in the number of subscribers. On YouTube, despite the corporatization of everything, the value is in people.” –Tim Helbig
The brand that My Damn Channel is asserting ownership over is effectively a person. People subscribed to DailyGrace for Grace, and have been steadily unsubscribing because of the new content drought and My Damn Channel/Grace drama. Grace is continuing to upload videos daily on her used-to-be-second-but-is-now-main channel ItsGrace, something she wasn’t allowed to talk about while she was still in charge of the DailyGrace accounts. Viewers were left with a cryptic goodbye on December 27 where Grace said she would be back making videos from January 6 after a break. She couldn’t say that these new videos wouldn’t be on the DailyGrace channel.
Is it fair enough that My Damn Channel is enforcing their rights under a mutually agreed contract which Grace would have either received legal advice over or had the opportunity to seek legal advice over? Probably. An arrangement that guaranteed an income for making YouTube videos would have looked pretty great five years ago, but as time goes on you’d start to realise that perhaps you could be earning more without the middleman taking a cut… and for doing what exactly? My Damn Channel is a business and they’ll want to get all the ad revenue they can from the old DailyGrace videos which they’re rerunning on YouTube. Grace is going independent, at least for the time being, and will have full ownership over the content she creates from now on. And at least 1.7 million subscribers have found their way to ItsGrace.
Thanks to the internet, I now have two sisters!! One is real and the other is a corporate entity.
The sad thing is that some fans might never find Grace’s new channel (My Damn Channel hasn’t changed the about page for DailyGrace from “I vlog everyday! Five days a week!”, except for the removal of her social media links and stripping the themed days from the header image), Grace was faced with rebuilding her subscriber base from the 100,000 she had on her second channel, and that the day has come where My Damn Channel is exercising the control they have over a whole vault of content Grace made in an intimate setting–inside her home–by reuploading it in an attempt to keep up the appearance that Daily Grace is still alive.
But Grace still has herself, and maybe that’s all the matters.
“DailyGrace is Grace Helbig, which is me. DailyGrace [the channel] was a concept owned by My Damn Channel, but Grace Helbig is my personality, owned by myself…so that’s what I’m moving forward with and that’s what, to me, is priceless.” –Grace Helbig
Hi. I was at TEDxChristchurch today. If you couldn’t make it, The Press was live streaming the day on their website, and videos will be up on TEDxChristchurch’s website soon. Coming to TEDx each year is like watching a child grow up because the quality of the event gets better every year – like design of the slides introducing speakers, audience participation methods, and the name tag/programme.
Here’s why you need to watch the videos of the talks when they go online… (And also because I’ve missed bits, I’ve misinterpreted and I’ve probably misquoted a little.)
Air New Zealand is a quality brand. I like their in-flight snacks, don’t mind paying slightly more for their reputation of reliability compared to their domestic route competitor JetStar, and I appreciate their creative safety videos and the fact they are slightly more interesting to watch multiple times.
Then there is POLi. POLi sounds friendly.
If you can use POLi, it saves you from Air New Zealand’s excessive credit card surcharge fees by letting you use a bank transfer to pay for flights. You can’t use it if you’re in New Zealand and have a Mac. This rules me out. Apparently the Australian POLi now works with Macs fine.
Interestingly, Air New Zealand isn’t even listed in that Stuff article, even though they’re likely the biggest company using POLi in New Zealand, and are featured on POLi’s website.
Providing your log in details to a third party will be in violation of the internet banking terms and conditions you’ve agreed to, and potentially opens you up to being liable for losses.
There is the possibility of an additional motive going on here: banks sell credit and debit cards, and those cards make them money. POLi is quite an attractive alternative because it saves you something like $8 on a return domestic flight.
Air New Zealand’s Surcharging
This surcharging is extortive, misleading, and unlike airplanes that come on time, Peter Jackson spoofs, and free-but-not-really-free cookies, doesn’t endear Air New Zealand to me. Especially on domestic flights.
It’s presented as a transaction charge to recover costs (“Air New Zealand needs to recover this cost”), but it gets charged multiple times in the same card transaction. When I pointed this out to Air New Zealand they ignored me.
Air New Zealand pay something to accept credit cards, but that is not $4 per person flying, per direction they are flying. Instead of passing on the percentage they are actually charged, which Bernard Hickey’s industry experts say would be less than 1%, they charge a fixed fee multiple times in the same card transaction.
A group booking shows how ridiculous this gets. I once flew with a dozen or so people, and each person was charged $4 there, and $4 back, even though the flights were booked over just two transactions. To their credit Air New Zealand refunded close to $100 of fees after I called them.
Air New Zealand even issued a press release in 2008 chastising Pacific Blue for, among other things, their $4 per sector card surcharge because Pacific Blue offered no alternative payment. Kind of like what Air New Zealand does to Mac users. Or what they do to anyone following the advice of banks. (I’m ignoring Airpoints and Travelcard as payment methods because they aren’t accessible forms of payment for a lot of people.)
The ComCom have “investigated” the matter, concluding that the “card payment fee is used to recover all of the direct and indirect costs associated with credit cards payments.” The key word here being indirect, I think.
To be fair to Air New Zealand, JetStar charges $5 per flight for card transactions, but let’s be honest, JetStar are a hot mess, and Australian, and you shouldn’t be booking with them anyway.
Either way, it’s interesting to see these surcharges creep up over time, for cost recovery purposes, I’m sure. Are the airlines poor negotiators when it comes to their merchant agreements? I wouldn’t think so.
The sign at the door clearly indicates the policy, but Mr Delancaster-Swinbank-Slack is 83 and is no “young thug”, so he chooses to ignore it.
He puts ANZ staff into a difficult position because they can’t apply the policy discriminately to just the people they think look a bit dodge.
He notes that staff “usually relented because of his age and non-menacing appearance”. He puts the other staff working in the branch into an even more difficult position. Say someone else comes into the branch. Maybe they look dodgy, maybe they don’t. They’re also wearing a hat.
How do you explain to them that you’d like them to remove their hat when a couple of metres away Anthony is over there rocking his sports hat? Do you choose to ask the person who just walked in, potentially really offending one of your customers with the insinuation that they look suspect? Or do you not ask, knowing that the large majority of bank robbers cover their face/head in some way?