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Business Law Reform Bill passed

Business Law Reform Bill passed

Commerce Minister Margaret Wilson welcomed last night's passing of the Business Law Reform Bill, which amended 13 business law statutes.

"The passing of the Bill is part of the government's commitment to ensuring New Zealand has up-to-date and modern business law to support growth and innovation, by providing certainty to business and keeping compliance costs as low as possible.

"Taken together the amendments have a significant and positive impact on the body of law under which businesses must operate in a rapidly changing global environment," Margaret Wilson said.

The passing of the Bill has amended the following acts: Building Societies Act 1965 Commerce Act 1986 Companies Act 1993 Co-operative Companies Act 1996 Distress and Replevin Act 1908 Financial Reporting Act 1993 Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982 Life Insurance Act 1908 Personal Property Securities Act 1999 Securities Act 1978 Securities Markets Act 1988 Superannuation Schemes Act 1989 Unit Trust Act 1960

"The bill was the result of close and on-going consultation with the business community. It addressed what the business community has indicated were some of its concerns with business related legislation.

"One of the key issues addressed by the passing of this bill is that of voided allotments. A supplementary order paper was put forward in October last year to address problems associated with the interplay of the Securities Act 1978 and the Illegal Contracts Act 1970.

"The passing of the bill last night will provide overseas and domestic issuers with an effective avenue to seek relief through the courts. It allows the court to consider prejudice to investors as well as the materiality of the breach in deciding relief orders. This provides an appropriate balance between the interests of investors and issuers," Margaret Wilson said.

"Since taking up the commerce portfolio, I have endeavoured to progress this bill through the House as quickly as possible. I am conscious of the need for business law to be clear, effective and efficient. Other bills I intend to introduce this year include a Securities Trading Law Reform Bill and an Insolvency Law Reform Bill, both of which will be the result of extensive consultation with business and form part of our incremental business law reform programme," Margaret Wilson said.

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