Non-publication of directors' residential addresses – developments in 2021
A new bill will give directors the choice to make their residential address publicly available on the companies register, or not.
Directors will be able to remove their home addresses from the Companies Register as part of a package of proposed changes announced by Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark.
Directors’ home addresses are currently available to the public via the Register, which has led to concerns directors and their families could be targeted by disaffected shareholders, customers or protest groups.
The change has been proposed as part of a wider set of measures to make company ownership more transparent, which include assigning a unique identifying number to each beneficial owner and director of a company.
“We welcome the news that the government wants to make it easier to see who the beneficial owners of a company are. This is a positive step in the fight against fraud and money laundering,” says Institute of Directors CEO Kirsten Patterson MInstD.
“Allowing directors to supply a service address to the Companies Register, rather than a residential address, is another positive step and something we have advocated for a number of years. If the ownership and governance team of a company is clearly identified on the Register, there is no need to put directors and their families at potential risk through the publication of other personal information.”
Announcing the changes, Minister Clark said: “The changes we’re making sit in line with the Government’s National Security Priorities to help identify threats, risks, and challenges to New Zealand’s security and wellbeing. It will also help to bring us in line with other jurisdictions.”
A Bill containing the proposed legislation will be introduced in late 2022, following a consultation with industry stakeholders and the public.
Govt cracks down on misuse of NZ companies - Press release (Beehive, 22 March 2022)