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New laws show government is listening to business

Hon Lianne Dalziel
Minister of Commerce, Minister for Small Business,
Minister of Women’s Affairs, MP for Christchurch East

16 November 2006 Media Statement

New laws show government is listening to business

Laws to fine-tune business legislation and reduce compliance costs were passed by Parliament yesterday.

Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel said the passing of the Business Law Reform Bill showed the government's willingness to listen to business.

"The benefits provided by this legislation are tangible because the business sector, legal practitioners and enforcement agencies have suggested them. The passing of this legislation is yet another strong signal that the government is prepared to improve the regulatory environment for business," Lianne Dalziel said.

The Bill introduced changes to five separate Acts in order to clarify and update their intended purposes and remove unnecessary compliance costs. Some of the changes include:

*Most small companies will in future be eligible for the Exempt Companies regime, meaning much simpler financial statement requirements.

*SMEs with 25% or more overseas ownership will no longer be required to file financial statements, e.g. a company owned in equal amounts by four family members will not be required to file if one of them emigrates to Australia, as they are now.

*Overseas registered companies will no longer have filing requirements in excess of those required of New Zealand registered companies.

*Introduces an infringement notice and fine system for directors who fail to file their company’s annual return by the due date, thereby increasing the incentive for compliance.

*Extends the management and director banning provisions to those banned in certain overseas jurisdictions.

*Broadens the field of membership as set out in a credit union’s rules (commonly referred to as the “common bond”); and

*Allows credit unions and their associations more flexibility on administrative matters such as the ability to determine the minimum deposit holding for members and removes the need for Ministerial approval when offering new services.

Lianne Dalziel said the changes would reduce compliance costs, an objective which is an important part of the government's wider business law reform programme and economic transformation agenda.


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