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Limited spaces available



Directors’ duties: Acting in the best interests of the company

Join this live-streamed discussion on the proposed changes to the Companies Act 1993

Dr Duncan Webb
5:30pm — 6:30pm, 18 October 2021
Price members
$0.00 incl GST
Price non-members
$0.00 incl GST


Directors have a duty to act in good faith and in what they believe to be the best interests of the company, as set out in section 131(1) of the Companies Act 1993. 

The Companies (Directors Duties) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill fronted by Labour MP Dr Duncan Webb, seeks to clarify that directors can take into account environmental, social and governance factors in determining the best interests of the company.

The Bill proposes an additional subsection to section 131 of the Companies Act, which would state:

“To avoid doubt, a director of a company may, when determining the best interests of the company, take into account recognised environmental, social and governance factors, such as:

  • recognising the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi)
  • reducing adverse environmental impacts
  • upholding high standards of ethical behaviour
  • following fair and equitable employment practices
  • recognising the interests of the wider community.”

The Explanatory Note to the Bill notes “This Bill makes clear that a director, in acting as the mind and will of the company, can take actions which take into account wider matters other than the financial bottom-line. This accords with modern corporate governance theory that recognises that corporations are connected with communities, wider society, and the environment and need to measure their performance not only in financial terms, but also against wider measures including social, and environmental matters.” 

Dr Webb joins us, via live-stream from Christchurch, to discuss the proposed amendments and to hear your thoughts on this matter. 

You can read the Bill here:

Register for the in-person Christchurch event

The recent IoD and MinterEllisonRuddWatts whitepaper Stakeholder governance: A call to review directors’ duties also addresses the evolving corporate governance landscape in relation to stakeholders and called on the Government to review the framework for directors’ duties in the Companies Act 1993.

Dr Duncan Webb MP

Dr Webb is a former partner at Lane Neave where he specialised in civil litigation, especially homeowner insurance claims following the Canterbury earthquakes.  He is the author of several law texts, was New Zealand’s first Legal Complaints Review Officer and is acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s leading experts on legal ethics.   

Dr Webb is currently the Labour MP for Christchurch Central, elected in 2017.  He chairs the Environment Select Committee and has a particular interest in issues around access to justice, social justice and human rights.

Additional information


We have been monitoring government updates regarding COVID-19 and are keeping up to date with Ministry of Health guidance with regard to events and public gatherings.

For the latest updates on face to face courses and our safety planning see our response to COVID-19 page

Branch event cancellation policy

Regrettably, registration fees cannot be refunded when cancellations are received within two working days prior to any branch event.

See our standard terms and conditions for more information.


Sharynn Johnson
Canterbury Branch Manager

+64 3 968 6468

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Book this event

  • limited spaces available


    18 Oct 2021
    Members — $0.00
    Non-members — $0.00

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