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A director resident in New Zealand

  • January 21st, 2010

It was good to see Minister Simon Power's awareness of the superb performance of our Companies Office in his announcement of enquiry into the possibility that NZ companies might require a NZ resident director.

There may be some sound reason to insist that all NZ companies have a director resident here, but if so it has not emerged as an issue in my nearly 30 years of law practice. I've never come across a situation where the benefit from that requirement could not be secured equally well by simplifying address for service of document requirements and telling the Courts to go ahead without any response from a defendant who fails to respond to messages to the official address for service.

Compliance will establish a lucrative new market niche for nominee directors.

Maybe I have not come across enough crooks.

I have certainly faced the frustrations of the regimes that do require a resident director, and develop suitably costly mechanisms to circumvent the presumed intention of the rule, so as to allow innocuous business to continue.

There are many ordinary business reasons to have a company overseas, in Australia, for example, without having an Australian director. A New Zealander may spend more time in Australia yet not be resident there, than an Australian based director who spends much of his time in Monaco and Las Vegas

Residency and citizenship stuff often makes weird law. A few years ago Harry Duynhoven fell foul of our crude law on eleigibility to be an MP when he sought to preserve or gain his qualification to go back to Holland as of right. Labour forced through a retrospective law to save his seat.

Our OIA, for example does not allow a foreigner to use the Act. The similar provisions of the Local Government Official Information and Meeting Act do allow foreigners access.

Is this for national security concerns? It might have been easier to make them a specific exception to the obligation to disclose. There is an express exception for disclosure that would prejudice substantial economic interests of New Zealand.

But I look forward to the cost/benefit analysis of complicating our admirable company registration requirements. I bet they do not compare the proposal with the costs and benefits of enforcing the law we have.


  • Mike Mckee
  • January 25th, 2010
  • 10:51 pm

The society of community standards has a damming report about Porn King Steve Crow on their website.
Apparently he has been dealing with an American and they’ve used companies that registrations have lapsed or cancelled both there and here.
It all looks very fishy to me especially with the companies he has liquidated.

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