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Business Law Reform Bill 2001

Commerce Minister Paul Swain has welcomed the release of a discussion document looking at proposals to amend various business law statutes under a new Business Law Reform Bill.

“Regular business law reform bills are a way to improve business law,” Paul Swain said.

“In a rapidly changing business environment, business law needs to be regularly reviewed to maintain efficiency, be responsive to the needs of the business community and reduce unnecessary compliance costs.

"For example, the residential addresses of company directors must be disclosed under the Companies Act 1993. With the move to electronic registers, this information is readily available. There is a detriment to directors' privacy. It is proposed to amend the Companies Act to remove the requirement.

"And technological developments mean that there is a rapid increase in the level of cross-border offending against consumer protection laws. It is proposed that the Fair Trading Act be amended to facilitate cross border information and evidence gathering and cooperation agreements between enforcement agencies. It would also facilitate the introduction into court proceedings of evidence gathered by overseas enforcement agencies for the Commerce Commission.

"The Bill is one of a number of omnibus bills used for the ongoing reform of legislation. The Statutes Amendment Bills and Local Legislation Bills have also been used for the same purpose," Paul Swain said.

Submissions will close on the Business Law Reform Bill on Friday 6 July 2001.

An electronic copy of the discussion document is available from the Ministry's website at www.med.govt.nz

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