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Disclosure documents in English and te reo Māori

Exemption passed to enable disclosure documents in English and te reo Māori

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has granted a class exemption to enable companies who offer investments to publish product disclosure statements (PDS) in both te reo Māori and English (dual-language PDS).

The FMA sought submissions on its proposal for an exemption earlier this year. Without an exemption, issuers are effectively prevented from providing a PDS in more than one language due to prescribed length limits.

These limits were introduced to address issues with disclosure documents prepared under the Securities Act. The exemption exempts issuers from these length limits where a PDS is offered in both te reo Māori and English.

The FMA received 12 submissions on its proposal to grant an exemption. There was broad support for an exemption to enable dual-language PDSs in te reo Māori and English.

The FMA also consulted with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori/Māori Language Commission and certified te reo Māori translators on the exemption. The accuracy of the translation must be confirmed to the FMA by a translator certified by Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori/Māori Language Commission.

As an additional proposal, the consultation also sought initial views on enabling dual-language PDS for languages other than te reo Māori and English. While the FMA sees potential future demand for other languages, we consider an exemption for languages other than te reo Māori would be broader than necessary, as there is no current demand.

Nick Kynoch, FMA General Counsel said: “We have carefully considered the feedback provided by industry and the potential impact of these changes. The exemption promotes the confident and informed participation of investors in financial markets who are more engaged and have a better understanding when information is provided in both te reo Māori and English.

“We also considered the unique status of te reo Māori in New Zealand, and the purpose of the Māori Language Act 2016 to provide means to support and revitalise te reo Māori.”

A copy of the Exemption can be found here

A copy of the Regulatory Impact Statement can be found here

The FMA would encourage any companies who are considering relying on the exemption to contact the FMA as early as possible in the process to discuss their plans.

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