COVID-19 information

We’ll be providing guidance and support — and where necessary, making changes to our services — to help New Zealanders through COVID-19.

This page will be updated regularly with the latest news and information.

Last updated 29 April 2020

COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation

Published 3 April 2020, updated XX XXXX 2020

The Government is passing legislation to introduce a COVID-19 Business Debt Hibernation regime to the Companies Act 1993. This regime will enable companies and some other entities affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again.

Learn more about Business Debt Hibernation

[PLACEHOLDER] Other COVID-19 Response Bill provisions

Published 3 April 2020, updated XX XXXX 2020

The Government is introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable, with the aim of keeping New Zealanders in jobs.

The temporary changes include:

  • giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties under the Companies Act
  • allowing the use of electronic signatures where necessary due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • giving the Registrar of Companies the power to temporarily extend deadlines imposed on companies, incorporated societies, charitable trusts and other entities under legislation
  • giving temporary relief for entities that are unable to comply with requirements in their constitutions or rules because of COVID-19.

Read more about the COVID-19 Response Bill measures

Updates for specific registers

Charitable Trusts Register

Insolvency relief for charitable trusts

Published 3 April 2020

The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to help charitable trusts facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable. Read the latest on the insolvency relief package.

Companies Register

Insolvency relief for companies

Published 3 April 2020

The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable, with the aim of keeping New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include:

  • giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency duties, and
  • enabling businesses affected by COVID-19 to place existing debts into hibernation until they are able to start trading normally again.

Read the latest on the insolvency relief package.

Filing your annual return or financial statements

Published 22 March 2020

If you are able to file your company's annual return or financial statements on time, we would encourage you to do so. However, for the foreseeable future, we will not be taking any enforcement action, or removing companies from the register, should they fail to file on time.

Financial Service Providers Register

Implementation of the new financial advice regime has been delayed

Published 30 March 2020

The start date for the new financial advice regime has been delayed from June 29, 2020 to early 2021. This means that the transitional licensing application window will also be extended until then. The existing regime under the Financial Advisers Act 2008 will continue to apply until a date is set for the new regime to commence. Read the full update on the Financial Service Providers Register website

Filing your annual confirmation

Published 22 March 2020

If you are able to file your annual confirmation on time, we would encourage you to do so. However, for the foreseeable future, we will not be taking any enforcement action, or deregistering financial service providers, should they fail to file on time.

Incorporated Societies Register

Insolvency relief for incorporated societies

Published 3 April 2020

The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to help incorporated societies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable. Read the latest on the insolvency relief package.

Holding annual general meetings

Published 1 April 2020

The current situation may mean you need to change the way you hold your society's annual general meeting (AGM). In some cases you may need to cancel or postpone your meeting. Read the full story on the Incorporated Societies Register website

Filing your financial statements 

Published 1 April 2020

If, due to the challenges presented by COVID-19, you're unable to file your financial statements in time don’t worry, we won’t be removing your incorporated society from the register. Read the full story on the Incorporated Societies Register website

Insolvency Practitioners Register

Published 8 April 2020

COVID-19 impact on Insolvency Practitioners Regulation legislation

The Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 and the Insolvency Practitioners Regulation (Amendments) Act 2019 are scheduled to come into force on 17 June 2020. While the Government remains committed to implementing the legislation as soon as possible, circumstances related to COVID-19 may cause it to be deferred, by up to 12 months.

Further announcements will be made once the commencement date is confirmed. Read the full story

Limited Partnerships Register

Insolvency relief for limited partnerships

Published 3 April 2020

The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to help businesses facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable, with the aim of keeping New Zealanders in jobs. Read the latest on the insolvency relief package.

Filing your annual confirmation

Published 22 March 2020

If you are able to file your annual confirmation on time, we would encourage you to do so. However, for the foreseeable future, we will not be taking any enforcement action, or removing limited partnerships from the register, should they fail to file on time.

Personal Property Securities Register

Financing statements that are about to expire

Published 26 March 2020

If you have any financing statements that are due to expire shortly and need to be renewed, please make sure that you attend to this as soon as you can. Don’t leave it too late. You can only renew or maintain a financing statement before it expires. Read the full story on the PPSR website.

Court orders are still required for certain situations

Published 26 March 2020

To prevent the automatic acceptance of a change demand, or to restore an expired or discharged financing statement, you must obtain a court order. The courts are continuing to operate , as they are an essential service. Read the full story on the PPSR website.

Retirement Villages Register

Holding meetings with residents

Published 9 April 2020

During COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 - 4 all operators and statutory supervisors of registered retirement villages are recommended to follow the practice note released 9 April 2020 when holding meetings with residents. Read the practice note for meetings [PDF 162KB]

Filing your annual return

Published 7 April 2020, updated 29 April 2020

Retirement Villages Operators that have an annual return due up to and including the month of September are able to seek regulatory relief by requesting an alteration of their annual return month where appropriate. Read our news article for full details.

More information

business.govt.nz is providing comprehensive guidance and information for New Zealand businesses impacted by COVID-19.

For everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place, visit the COVID-19 website