Emma moved into private wealth originally from a background in property and property finance.

Emma specialises in private wealth, real estate and overseas investment. She principally advises clients on their property rights and obligations;  whether they arise through:

  • Being a settlor, trustee or beneficiary of a trust  
  • Relationships between spouses, civil union partners and de-facto partners
  • Investment in New Zealand real estate or land related assets; or
  • Lending or borrowing within families

Emma has advised on a wide variety of business and lifestyle assets including forestry, coastal farmland, quarry/mining assets and greenfield residential development.  This expertise is valuable for clients because so many of these assets are held in New Zealand through trusts.

With increased scrutiny on trusts, proper trust governance is very important, as is determining whether a particular trust still serves the right purpose.  Emma can review your existing trust to help you develop a plan for the future.  She can also assist you with other parts of the estate planning process; including preparing wills and enduring powers of attorney.

Emma is also an expert in relation to the Overseas Investment Act 2005 (as amended).  She guides clients through the often complex process of working with the Overseas Investment Office on both applications and enforcement matters.

Emma advises both vendors and purchasers in relation to their regulatory obligations, and has worked closely with overseas investors over the past few years where change has been a constant. 

As an advisor, Emma brings an empathetic approach to her work.  She is adept at understanding family dynamics and, enjoys helping generations with their succession planning, particularly as a large part of the private wealth market in New Zealand matures. 

Emma is a regular speaker at seminars on Trust Law.  She is also a member of the Auckland District Law Society Trust Law Committee.

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Examples of work completed by Emma include:


Insights & Opinion / Emma Tonkin

The End of Life Choice Act 2019: What you need to know
The End of Life Choice Act 2019 (Act) came into force on 7 November 2021, giving people who are experiencing unbearable suffering from a terminal illness the option to legally request medical assistance to end their life.
22.02.2022 Posted in Private Wealth
Putting all your assets in trust? What can your children do about it?
The High Court holds that a fiduciary duty can be owed to adult children.
22.02.2022 Posted in Private Wealth
Final changes to the overseas investment regime now in force
The Overseas Investment Amendment Act 2021 came into force on 5 July 2021.
24.11.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Foreign Investment & Property
Fencing Disputes: Neighbours and Notices
After obtaining a formal survey, many New Zealanders may be surprised to find out that the fence between their property and that of their neighbours’ is not located exactly on the legal boundary.  ...
04.03.2021 Posted in Property
Trustee Meetings Key: Duty on Trustees under the Trusts Act to consider exercising their powers
The Trusts Act 2019 ("Act") comes into force on 30 January 2021 and with it comes the partial codification of trustee duties.
16.04.2020 Posted in Private Wealth
How will the Trusts Act 2019 affect me?
The Trusts Act 2019 comes into force in less than a year
20.02.2020 Posted in Private Wealth
Take Care with Beneficiary Loan Accounts in Credit
It is common for family trusts to resolve that a distribution be made to beneficiaries but the actual amount paid to the beneficiaries is less than the authorised “distribution”.  In the ...
04.02.2020 Posted in Private Wealth