Insolvency by the Numbers: NZ Insolvency Statistics February 2023

Economic recap

February saw another lift in the Official Cash Rate by 50 basis points, with a further 75 basis points expected to be added this year. The language from the reserve bank indicated that they had not seen the expected signs in inflation pull back and were continuing on their chosen path from 2022 to get inflation under control as quickly as possible.

The extreme weather events experienced in January continued into February with considerable damage to parts of the North Island. While the immediate effects have been considerable in certain areas the long term effects and costs will have wide reaching repercussions as additional spend will be necessary and likely increase demand on limited supplies and pressure on inflation figures.

Company Insolvencies – Liquidations, Receiverships, and Voluntary Administrations

February's company insolvency figures are slightly above those of the past two years. The breakdown in the types of appointment is where the real difference can be seen with court liquidation making up 47 of the 134 total appointments. This is above the 2021 and 2022 levels, more in line with 2020’s February court liquidation numbers before Covid and lockdowns became an issue.

Receiverships saw an increase with 8 for the month returning to levels not seen since 2020. What we can take from this along with the court appointments is that while there remain shareholder appointments there has been an increase in creditors (including IRD) taking action against derelict debtors either through winding up applications or secured creditors appointing receivers under their financing documents they hold against company assets.

Winding Up Applications


February has shown growth on the elevated levels displayed in January 2023. The corporate winding up applications portion of total applications have remained above the IRD share of the applications for the second consecutive month. Traditionally IRD may take a few months to warm up following the Christmas break with their winding up applications as staff return to the office. It is normally from March onwards that IRD applications track up to exceed the corporate applications. Of interest the 64 winding up applications seen in February 2023 have exceeded 2/3rds of the monthly totals in 2022 and 5/6th of the 2021 monthly applications.

Personal Insolvencies – Bankruptcy, No Asset Procedure and Debt Repayment Orders.


For another month personal insolvency stats continue their downward track to under 50 total in January 2023. While corporate insolvencies continue to move upwards this is not yet reflected in the personal insolvency stats. Over time the corporate stats increasing will likely flow through to personal insolvencies as personal guarantees get called up and collections actions continue. This has not happened yet but may increase as 2023 progresses.

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