Expert group set up to review insolvency law

Paul Goldsmith
18 November, 2015

An expert group will review New Zealand’s corporate insolvency laws and report back to the government, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today.

“A working group of insolvency experts will be set up to provide independent advice to the government on important aspects of corporate insolvency law,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“It is inevitable that businesses get into trouble and fail. When that happens we must have an efficient insolvency law process that can recycle the capital back into the market.

“One of the issues the independent pool of experts will look at is whether the law adequately addresses directors purposely winding up a company and immediately starting up another one overnight to avoid paying their creditors and employees.

“Another issue they will be looking at is whether the current law could be improved so innocent investors can recover more lost money from Ponzi schemes.

“Finally, the group will conduct a re-assessment of the Insolvency Practitioners Bill as it presently stands, and provide a view on whether any amendments could be made.

“I am confident that the highly skilled professionals on the Working Group have the necessary insolvency, legal and creditor knowledge and skills to complete this review,” Mr Goldsmith says.

The members of the group are:

  • Graeme Mitchell (Chair) is a former Deloitte Audit and Assurance Partner. He currently serves as the Chair of the External Reporting Board, and as a Director of CIGNA Life Insurance New Zealand and Barnados New Zealand.
  • Michael Arthur is a highly experienced commercial litigator and a Partner at law firm Chapman Tripp.
  • Crispin Vinnell is an expert in insolvency and recovery matters and a Partner at law firm Anthony Harper.
  • Vivian Fatupaito is a Director at KPMG where she leads the firm’s liquidation practice.
  • John Fisk is Managing Director at Price Waterhouse Coopers with more than 25 years’ experience specialising in business recovery services.
  • David Young is the Executive Director of Debtworks (NZ) Limited and has extensive debt collection and credit management experience.
  • And a nominee of the Official Assignee.

The working group will report back to the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs on any recommended changes to the law by the middle of next year.

“The experts will review these and other important issues, to ensure New Zealand’s corporate insolvency regime continues to promote trust and confidence in the market place,” Mr Goldsmith says.