Law changes to help businesses through COVID-19

The COVID-19 Response (Further Management Measures) Legislation Bill, introduced to Parliament on 5 May 2020, includes a wide range of measures to support businesses and other entities through the pandemic.

The Bill will now be considered by the Epidemic Response Committee and reported back to the House on Tuesday 12 May. It will then move through the remaining legislative stages as quickly as possible.

The Bill makes changes to the Companies Act and other related legislation to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to continue trading, and keep New Zealanders in their jobs.

There’s also relief for companies and other entities facing difficulties in complying with their statutory obligations, or obligations under their constitutions or rules, because of COVID-19.

Key amendments in the support package include:

  • a ‘business debt hibernation’ period allowing companies and other entities to enter into agreements with creditors in relation to existing debt
  • a temporary ‘safe harbour’ from personal liability for directors of companies facing insolvency owing to COVID-19
  • enabling Registrars to issue exemption notices in relation to compliance with statutory obligations
  • providing relief for entities that cannot comply with rules in their constitutions and rules because of COVID-19
  • allowing electronic means to achieve compliance, such as holding meetings electronically, and the use of electronic voting and signatures, when these are not permitted by an entity’s rules.

How these new measures would work

Related information

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