Harris Tate is not just any old law firm. They are the proud hosts of two beehives, which are located on-site at their Brown Street office. Alan Tate, one of Harris Tate’s founding partners, supplies the hives and uses honey from his own hives to share with Harris Tate clients. The honey is labelled “LLBee” honey – LLB as in the law degree.
This goes hand in hand with other environmentally friendly projects driven by the firm itself, including the development of an environmentally sustainable building in 2007. Harris Tate’s building was Tauranga’s first privately-owned building that achieved five-star status under the Green Star Certification system, an internationally recognised ‘green’ rating system. Harris Tate also has a couple of e-bikes on-site for staff to use when running errands around Tauranga City.
The Harris Tate Directors and staff are also passionate about giving back to the community. Numerous staff have volunteer roles throughout the community, including on local boards, sports and business associations, trusts/charitable trusts, and Māori entities. They also provide pro bono legal services, both via Harris Tate and other organisations. Each year staff are also encouraged to take a day’s paid leave, to help within the community or a specific organisation of their choice.
As a firm Harris Tate also supports many community events and associations including Mountain Bike Tauranga, Wake NZ, Tauranga Pump Track Incorporated, Age Concern Tauranga, Film Bay of Plenty Trust Incorporated, Summerhill A1 Youth Academy, Bay of Plenty Chinese Business & Commerce Association, Tauranga City United Football, Child Cancer Foundation and Tauranga Property Investors Association Incorporated.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Harris Tate provided pro bono legal services to clients who were impacted by the lockdown and published articles more widely on the legal issues facing our community. Harris Tate, alongside many other local businesses, also registered with Regional Business Partners to provide legal assistance via the Covid-19 Business Advisory fund.
Like many local and national businesses, Covid-19 created a number of challenges for Harris Tate. The Harris Tate Directors feel extremely fortunate that they were able to work through those challenges, with the support of their families and staff, and have staff working from home during the lockdown period. The future is looking a lot brighter now with the property market booming and many projects on foot and on the horizon. The office is buzzing in the lead-up to Christmas!
Harris Tate has always had a huge family focus, and you will often see children and dogs (one in particular) in the office. Harris Tate staff have always had the opportunity to have flexible working arrangements to accommodate family commitments, but since the lockdown, working from home has been more widely encouraged.
Despite the Covid-19 set-backs, Harris Tate is growing with a couple of exciting appointments this year. Leone Farquhar, of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu iwi, and who leads Harris Tate’s Family and Māori Legal Teams, was appointed as Harris Tate’s newest Director in April. Michelle Igasan, who is in our commercial and property teams and is building a Sports Law practice, has also more recently been appointed an Associate.
There are other changes and projects afoot, which the Harris Tate Directors are very excited about. Watch this space!