Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi has released two discussion documents on measures to increase transparency and combat misuse of New Zealand companies.
He says Cabinet has approved a discussion paper on what requirements there should be on New Zealand companies and limited partnerships to hold and disclose information about their beneficial owners.
“We need know who owns or effectively controls corporate entities," Mr Faafoi says.
"This is crucial to detecting and countering criminal activity. Ownership information is also important for other businesses, and can help assess the risk of doing business with it."
Mr Faafoi says it is known that there are still people in New Zealand acting as directors when they have been banned from doing so in other jurisdictions.
“This isn’t acceptable and we need to strengthen our corporate governance to stop this erosion of New Zealand as a good place for honest business. The discussion paper we have now released looks at measures both at a company and director level – I have seen evidence that we need to act on both.”
He says the discussion document is also seeking feedback on other issues. “This includes improving regulation of directors which I understand could be enacted relatively quickly.”
The other discussion document seeks views on whether the residential addresses of New Zealand company directors should continue to be published on the companies register if a director identification number is introduced.
Submissions close on Friday, 3 August 2018.