COVID-19 information

Find out about the Government’s relief measures for companies and other entities, and what the Companies Office is doing to help those affected by COVID-19.

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Last updated 3 November 2021 


Temporary relief from certain compliance requirements

Latest news 3 November 2021

The Government has reinstated the temporary compliance relief measures contained in the COVID-19 Response (Requirements For Entities—Modifications and Exemptions) Act 2020, which expired earlier this year.

The temporary legislation takes effect from 3 November 2021 and allows registered entities affected by COVID-19 restrictions to make certain changes to their constitutions or rules, and to carry out certain tasks electronically. It also enables the Registrar to grant exemptions from compliance obligations, where appropriate.

If you’re one of the eligible entity types, you can make use of these temporary provisions up until 30 April 2022.

Eligible registered entities include:

  • building societies
  • charitable trusts
  • companies
  • credit unions
  • friendly societies
  • incorporated societies
  • industrial and provident societies
  • limited partnerships (NZ and overseas).

If you do decide to make use of one of the relief measures, there are a few things you’ll need to do. Read our help guides for full details.

Business Debt Hibernation (BDH)

Latest update 1 November 2021

BDH was introduced by the Government in 2020 to support businesses affected by COVID-19.

BDH provides a month’s protection while businesses talk with their creditors. During this period, most creditors cannot take legal action to enforce their debts, for example, by applying to have the business liquidated. If your creditors agree with your proposal, you can get a further 6 months’ protection.

Learn more about Business Debt Hibernation

Operating during Alert Levels 2 to 4

During COVID Alert Levels 2 to 4 there are restrictions on gatherings, and a need for physical distancing.

Visit business.govt.nz for guidance about workplace activities at different alert levels

Unite against COVID-19 also has information on gatherings and physical distancing at the different alert levels

Holding meetings

When COVID restrictions are in place that affect the size of gatherings and require people to maintain physical distance, you may need to change the way you hold meetings, including your annual general meeting (AGM). You may even need to cancel some meetings.

Temporary legislation enables entities affected by COVID-19 restrictions to make certain changes to their rules, and allows the use of electronic means such as online meeting platforms, where not normally permitted. Read more above.

In the long-term, you may wish to make changes to your constitution or rules, especially around using electronic means.

Updating incorporated society rules for holding meetings

If you’re an incorporated society and you need to make significant changes to your rules, you may wish to use our Constitution Builder  — a ‘do-it-yourself’ online tool.

Meetings with retirement village residents

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, 199 KB]

If your society needs more time to file its financial statements

COVID-19 restrictions may mean you can’t file your annual financial statements on time. If so, you can request an extension to your filing deadline.

Statutory declarations made remotely

In response to the need for physical distancing during COVID Alert Levels 2 to 4, the Companies Office will accept statutory declarations that meet the requirements of the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 but are taken by alternative means. This provision continues until further notice.

COVID-19 information for businesses

Business.govt.nz is the government’s central resource for COVID-19 business information with updates about COVID-19 and guidance to help businesses. You’ll find information about:

  • operating at alert levels
  • business travel across regional boundaries
  • contact tracing
  • financial support for businesses
  • employment and work visas
  • leases and tenancies
  • exporters and importers
  • working from home.

Please refer to the Ministry of Health for health-related information and covid19.govt.nz for all other information from government .