Articles

With the NZ election behind us and certainty of which party will maintain the lead in government, we move into a busy Christmas period. The wage subsidy is beginning to fall off. From September we are starting to see businesses having to stand on their own two feet once again. From an industry standpoint of the economy what are we expecting to see for businesses over this time and into 2021? As we all know the NZ government has injected massive amounts of cash into the NZ economy in a reasonable short time frame propping up a number of industries and supporting our job market. Because of this, unemployment figures continue to stay subdued with September quarter figures set at…
We know that deciding to let your business close can be hard, whatever the reason. If there are still creditors to pay, it can also be stressful, especially if all of the company’s assets have already been sold. There’s a lot to be done after the company’s doors have shut and its assets have been sold. If you don’t want to be dealing with these issues on a piecemeal basis, we recommend that the company be put into liquidation. We recognise that 2020 has been especially difficult for a lot of business owners. That’s why we’ve decided to offer shareholders our services to liquidate their non-trading, no asset companies for a one-off contribution of $3,000 plus GST towards the cost…
On 24 September 2020, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment on a case taken by the liquidators of Debut Homes Limited (In Liquidation) (Debut) against its director, Leonard Wayne Cooper. In this case, the liquidators alleged that the director had been in breach of duties as director under the Companies Act 1993 (the Act) and were seeking orders against the director. The liquidators were successful in the High Court, but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal. The liquidators were then granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, where they were successful, and the orders made in the High Court were restored. The background to the case was that Debut was a property developer and Mr Cooper…
The October election is fast approaching and campaigning by all parties is underway. As policies and promises continue to be released, economic policies are likely to be front and centre for many voters. Not all parties have released their policies detailing how they plan to guide our economy through the post lockdown period, any tax policy changes they would like to see, and how they plan to pay New Zealand’s lockdown debt. For some, the wage subsidy extension they received will have come to an end in August 2020. For other businesses who did not see a 40% downturn in their income following the end of the first lockdown period, the second lockdown period meant that they have now qualified…
One of the obligations on the liquidators of insolvent companies, whether appointed by the shareholders or the Court, is to review the books, records and affairs of the company to identify any potential causes of action that could lead to a benefit for creditors. This could include identifying potentially voidable transactions, where an individual creditor has received a payment, giving it preference ahead of the body of creditors, or the transfer of assets or property to other parties for no, or insufficient, consideration. It could also include identifying breaches of duties by the directors which has caused creditors of the company to suffer increased losses. While many such causes of action are identified and settled by agreement between the liquidators…
We are expecting August and September to be interesting months with the electioneering that will be taking place, we will see promises from all parties on how they will be spending our taxes if they are elected and hopefully some more details on their plans for how they will guide the economy post covid. The latest unemployment rate figures have been released for the June 2020 quarter showing 4.0%. This is down 0.2% on the first quarter for the year. While the politicians will crow that this is well down on treasurers estimates for the same time frame there was an additional wage subsidy extension introduced which has assisted businesses in keeping people employed with 400,000 employees still utilising the…
On 1 September 2020, the remaining provisions of the amendments to the Companies Act 1993, and Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 (IPRA) will come into force. Some changes that creditors, directors, shareholders, and their advisors need to know about are: Restriction on Shareholders or Board Appointing Liquidators The 10-working day window for shareholders to appoint liquidators from service of winding up proceedings is gone. Once a company has been served with Winding Up proceedings brought by a creditor, the company’s shareholder(s) or board will be unable to appoint liquidators unless they have the consent of the creditor who is pursuing the winding up proceeding. For shareholders needing or wishing to appoint liquidators we encourage them to start the process as…
June 2020 saw the New Zealand Government declare the country “virus free” after 17 days of no new COVID-19 cases and a move to Level 1 on 9 June 2020, ahead of schedule. With the exception of border control restrictions, all COVID-19 related restrictions imposed during Lockdown were lifted. The post-Lockdown experience for SMEs has been varied. Some have seen incredible community support and are feeling confident about their futures, notwithstanding the difficult quarter they have just experienced. Others are struggling to adjust to the post-Lockdown economy and many are being confronted with difficult decisions on what their businesses will need to look like, if those businesses are to survive in the medium term. If you want to have a…
The country is in the process of working its way back from the economic standstill that most industries experienced as a result of the Level 4 lockdown. For those that traded at Level 3 and Level 2, they had to shift their business models to meet the COVID-19 trading requirements. Many of those requirements squeezed margins. In the coming months, many business owners will need to look at their businesses and decide whether to continue to trade going forward. While the Government has provided some support, recovering from lockdown is just one more hurdle for businesses that have been experiencing year on year increases in operating expenses and the minimum wage, both of which have made tight margins even tighter.…
In May 2020, non-essential services reopened for trading. New Zealand moved from Level 4 to Level 3 on 27 April 2020 and the drop down to Level 2 happened on 13 May 2020. The “new normal” at Level 1 started on 9 June 2020. Because of the Government assistance that has been provided to businesses, we anticipate that the economic effects of the Lockdown will be seen over a longer period of time than in previous economic slowdowns. Many businesses experienced a surge in trading activity when they reopened at Level 3 and another spike in revenue at the start of Level 2 but few businesses have seen consistent revenue week on week since reopening. The budget announcement was made…
There has been a lot of commentary around what the COVID-19 global pandemic is doing to countries’ economies. Some economists are predicting a global economic downturn to be the worst recession since the Great Depression and most are expecting this downturn to be worse than the GFC. Today, 14 May 2020, New Zealand is moving from Level 3 to Level 2 and a lot of businesses are re-opening for the first time since the Level 4 lockdown came into effect seven weeks ago. In the weeks and months ahead, we will find out what effect the lockdown has had, so now would be a good time to look at the NZ insolvency figures to April 2020 and how those figures…
The directors of a company have all the powers to decide what will be done, when it will be done and how – but with that power goes the responsibility to the company and its shareholders, to the company’s creditors and last, but not least, to themselves. The Responsibility to Others As a director, whether that be as the sole director of a small company or one of many in a large company, you have duties imposed on you under legislation, such as the Companies Act 1993 (“the Act”), and the company’s constitution. In any circumstances, you must firstly comply with the duties imposed by legislation, which are set out in sections 131 to 138A of the Act. Your first…
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