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If you have lost money through business dealings with a director who mismanaged the company, will the Registrar get your money back?

Unfortunately no.  The issue of reparation or repayment of monies is up to the Courts.  If the company has been placed into liquidation you should contact the liquidator.

If you make a complaint to the Registrar, will you be guaranteed that a prosecution will be taken against the individual or company?

No, there is no guarantee of a prosecution.  Matters such as the public interest, the likelihood of success, the severity of the offending, the availability of resources and the opinion of the Crown Solicitor need to be taken into consideration first before an investigation and prosecution would be considered.


If you make a complaint, will there be any costs to you?

No.  There is no cost to make a complaint.


What are the implications of you making a complaint?

If an enquiry is initiated after a complaint is considered, an investigator will obtain a statement from you.  Once an investigation has commenced, there is an obligation on you as either the complainant or witness to continue to assist the enquiry.  This may include giving evidence in court.


If the person you complain about is prosecuted and convicted, will you get your money back?

If a prosecution is successful and you have incurred a loss of funds, the courts will consider making an order for reparation.  Such an order is reliant on a number of factors, primarily whether the offender has the ability to make such repayments.


Court procedures

Do you have to appear in court?

Should you need to appear in court, the investigator will provide advice and support about the entire process and make sure you understand what will be expected of you before appearing.


Will you get paid when appearing in court?

Schedule A to the Witnesses and Interpreters Fees Regulations 1974 sets out the rates.  Absence from your residence or business for a period not exceeding three hours results in a payment of NZ$25.00.  For a period exceeding three hours, the amount is NZ$50.00.

Expert witnesses such as doctors, psychologists and accountants who give expert evidence may receive a fee in excess of the statutory scale but special criteria apply and, if you are not giving expert evidence, you should ask the investigator about this.


How should you address the judge?

The formal way a judge should be addressed is 'Your Honour' or 'Sir' or 'Ma'am'.


Do you have to swear on the Bible?

No. Section 4 of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 provides that every person shall be entitled as of right to make an affirmation instead of taking an oath.  The words of an affirmation are “I, (name) solemnly sincerely and truly declare and affirm…”


Can you have someone with you for support?

The usual procedure is for witnesses not to have support people, but that does not mean you cannot come to court with a friend or member of your family who can sit with you outside the court while you wait to be called, and that person will be able to sit in the public gallery while you give your evidence.


Last updated 5 September 2013