Commerce Minister Craig Foss today welcomed the passing of a bill to protect New Zealand’s international reputation as a trusted place to do business.
The Companies and Limited Partnerships Amendment Bill creates the Companies Amendment Act (No 4) 2014 and the Limited Partnerships Amendment (No 2) Act 2014.
“Protecting New Zealand’s international reputation as one of the best and most trusted places to do business is essential to the growth of our economy. The World Bank Doing Business Index ranks New Zealand number one for starting a business and number three, behind Singapore and Hong Kong, for overall ease of doing business,” Mr Foss says.
“New Zealand now has a robust regime that will limit the opportunity for dodgy individuals to use shell companies to exploit our good name.
“The introduction of offences for very serious misconduct by directors and the changes to company reconstruction rules will promote investor confidence.”
The new Acts will:
- require all New Zealand registered companies and limited partnerships to have a director or general partner who lives in New Zealand or is a director of a company in a prescribed enforcement country
- give new powers to the Registrar of Companies to better investigate companies and limited partnerships
- introduce offences for very serious misconduct by directors that results in serious losses to the company or its creditors
- align the company reconstruction provisions in the Companies Act with the Takeovers Code.
“These changes are an important part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda to improve regulation and lift confidence in New Zealand’s capital markets,” Mr Foss says.
The offences for directors and provisions for company reconstruction will come into force after Royal Assent.
The registration provisions will come into force by Order in Council, with a further six month period for existing companies to comply with the resident director requirement.