The New Zealand and Australian governments have concluded the Trans-Tasman e-Invoicing Arrangement. This will allow businesses invoicing one another between the countries that use Australian and New Zealand Business Numbers to directly exchange invoices between their financial systems. The change could affect up to 1.3 billion trans-Tasman invoices sent annually, with efficiency gains exceeding $30 billion over 10 years. Companies are encouraged to ensure they can benefit.
The interim liquidators of a company have been denied permission to enter a commutation agreement with the company's largest creditor, with the High Court ruling it was outside of their power. It was held the liquidators could not make an agreement significantly affecting other creditors' positions when the agreement was not the indisputably best way for liquidators to proceed.
The majority shareholders of a property development company have been sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for using forged documents and obtaining by decisions. The men were found to have fraudulently created records of SPAs for unit titles in a property under development by the company to secure financing, which required proof of pre-sales.
The owner of a pet food plant convicted of allowing his employee to ill-treat bobby calves has been sentenced to 6 months community detention, a $90K fine and a 5 year ban on farm animal management. The Court found the man had sought to avoid a slowdown in production by instructing his staff to bludgeon animals to death to avoid a slowdown in production when the abattoir ran out of bullets.
A former realtor has been sentenced to 7 months' home detention for assisting her husband to defraud the Selwyn District Council by billing to obtain 13 commission payments for property sales she purportedly facilitated that were in fact never made. The woman and her husband received over $300K for their "work" facilitating a commercial development.
Company directors and IT managers have been warned by CERT NZ, the national cybersecurity advisory body, that over 700 cyber security incidents were reported in Q2 2018. The largest ever volume of incidents for a single quarter featured a large number of attacks on the financial sector, but wider infrastructure weaknesses have also been noted.
A parliamentary Select Committee has reported favourably on strengthening ComCom's powers. The proposed law allows the Commission to compel businesses to participate in "competition studies", and to clarify the Commission's powers to make out-of-court settlements following the decision against WorkSafe's Pike River settlement bargain. The law will now almost certainly pass as now written.
The High Court has approved an application by the FMA to liquidate 18 companies in a forestry group in order to allow for over $16M to be distributed to shareholders. The sole director of the companies is under investigation by the FMA over their provision of information to shareholders regarding a major sale and the rate of return to investors.
The former director of a company that was penalised nearly $430K for exploiting workers has been made personally liable for $120K of this amount, which remained unpaid at the time he liquidated the company in order to attempt to evade the penalty. In a similar case, three company owners were recently found personally liable for $70K in ERA penalties.
An Auckland farmer has been held personally liable for $120K of a $430K penalty imposed on his former company, and given 3 months to pay. The man had liquidated his company, against which the award was made, after the ERA imposed the penalty. Company owners have also been made personally liable for employment breaches in other cases.