Law & Regulation

Explore the latest legal news by BusinessDesk, covering legal rulings, important court cases, and more.
Fiduciary duties highlighted as responsible investment increases
Victoria Young | Tue, 09 Jul 2019

By Victoria Young July 10 (BusinessDesk) - Fund managers say the growing market for responsible investment may bring potential conflicts with their fiduciary duty toward clients.  The responsible investment market in New Zealand rose by 2.5 percent to $188 billion last year...

UPDATE: Mercury faces $2 mln charge after losing tax dispute
Victoria Young | Mon, 08 Jul 2019

(Updates to show Mercury's extra tax charge in 1st, 4th & 5th paragraphs; corrects headline; updates share price in last paragraph.) By Victoria Young July 8 (BusinessDesk) - Inland Revenue has won a tax case against Mercury NZ over the tax classification of two of its turb...

Foreign buyers to pay $3 mln over unlawful rural land purchases
Paul McBeth | Fri, 05 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 5 (BusinessDesk) - Foreign buyers will end up in the red after agreeing to pay almost $3 million in penalties for purchasing rural land north of Auckland without Overseas Investment Office consent.  The High Court yesterday ordered Chinese businessmen Zh...

RBNZ will have to be more sceptical in regulatory oversight - Orr
Paul McBeth | Wed, 03 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 4 (BusinessDesk) - Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr says the prudential supervisor will have to be more sceptical in its oversight of the insurance and banking sectors given the lack of self-discipline shown in the CBL Insurance case.  The central bank y...

CBL failure a 'dramatic' example of need for stronger supervision
Paul McBeth | Wed, 03 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 3 (BusinessDesk) - The failure of CBL Insurance was a "dramatic" example of the inadequacies of prudential regulation and supervision for insurers and backs the case for greater resourcing, according to a report on how the Reserve Bank handled the case. ...

QV watching for impact of healthy homes law as property market slows in June
Paul McBeth | Tue, 02 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 3 (BusinessDesk) - Quotable Value has a watching brief on whether new law requiring proper insulation on rental properties will drive up rents as expected, at a time when Auckland's slowing housing market is dragging down national prices.  Regulations re...

NZ joins like-minded countries to promote cyber security
Paul McBeth | Mon, 01 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 2 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's government will buddy up with like-minded countries to build a rules-based order supporting a peaceful and stable online environment at a time when state-sponsored cyber attacks are on the rise.  Broadcasting, Communicati...

PM dishes a light bank-bashing in response to ANZ claims
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 01 Jul 2019

By Pattrick Smellie July 1 (BusinessDesk) - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took an opportunity to show how low the ANZ Bank's stocks have fallen with the government, turning a question about the bank's fears about the impact on the economy of Reserve Bank capital-holding rules...

BNZ will need to raise new equity under RBNZ proposals, NAB wary
Paul McBeth | Mon, 01 Jul 2019

By Paul McBeth July 1 (BusinessDesk) - Bank of New Zealand says it will need to raise equity if the Reserve Bank's proposals for stricter capital requirements go ahead, and may not be able to rely on parent National Australia Bank. BNZ told the regulator that the proposals...

Reserve Bank to ease lending restrictions if risks decline
Paul McBeth | Sun, 30 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth July 1 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank will loosen its curbs on mortgage lending provided it sees stable household debt-to-income levels, prudent lending standards from banks, and moderating house price inflation.  Deputy governor Geoff Bascand says the ban...

Gabs's last hurrah - Makhlouf apologises, agrees he erred
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 27 Jun 2019

By Pattrick Smellie June 27 (BusinessDesk) - The departing secretary to the Treasury, Gabriel 'Gabs' Makhlouf has issued an apology for his department's lax website security and agreed that he got it wrong in describing the resulting breach of Budget security as a case of bein...

FMA says NZX market surveillance has improved
Rebecca Howard | Thu, 27 Jun 2019

By Rebecca Howard June 27 (BusinessDesk) - Stock exchange operator NZX has made positive changes to its market surveillance since concerns were raised a year ago, the Financial Markets Authority's latest annual review found.  "This year’s review acknowledges the positive ch...

Banks, insurers should expect more intrusive RBNZ - Bascand
Rebecca Howard | Wed, 26 Jun 2019

By Rebecca Howard June 26 (BusinessDesk) -  Banks and insurance companies regulated by the Reserve Bank can expect the central bank to be more "intrusive" as institutional self-discipline has been lacking, says the central bank's deputy governor Geoff Bascand.  "Regulated e...

McConnell to pay $1.1M: used Hawkins' insolvency as a weapon - judge
Paul McBeth | Wed, 26 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 26 (BusinessDesk) - The parent company of the former Hawkins businesses tipped into receivership has been ordered to pay $1.1 million of court costs for exploiting the looming failure and delaying a leaky school claim brought by the Ministry of Education. ...

Milk testing firm GEA Milfos to pay $925k for fixing prices
Paul McBeth | Tue, 25 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 25 (BusinessDesk) - Milk testing technology firm GEA Milfos International will pay $925,000 in penalties and costs after admitting that it fixed prices on milk sensors with rival Dairy Automation.  In the High Court in Auckland last Thursday, Justice Edw...

Bank executive incentives a key focus for regulators
Paul McBeth | Mon, 24 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 24 (BusinessDesk) - The Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank want a better grasp of how bank executive incentives have evolved and what controls are in place to avoid conflicts with sales practices.  The regulators today said all banks have outli...

Appeal Court puts ANZ back in the gun over interest rate swaps
Paul McBeth | Mon, 24 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 24 (BusinessDesk) - The Court of Appeal has overturned a ruling that ANZ Bank New Zealand doesn't have to compensate a Taranaki farming family for the way it had represented the risk attached to interest rate swaps.  The High Court turned down a bid by S...

RBNZ demands assurance ANZ New Zealand is operating prudently
Rebecca Howard | Sun, 23 Jun 2019

By Rebecca Howard June 24 (BusinessDesk) - The Reserve Bank is demanding ANZ Bank New Zealand provide assurance it is operating in a prudent manner after it was censured in May and the bank says it will work with the regulator.  The central bank is using powers under sectio...

Spark using 'free' rugby offer to lock out competitors, says 2Degrees
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 18 Jun 2019

By Pattrick Smellie June 18 (BusinessDesk) - Spark's offer of free access to streaming coverage of the Rugby World Cup in return for signing up for broadband or mobile phone services is undercutting competitors in exactly the way Spark warned would happen had Vodafone and Sky...

Hisco's departure from ANZ becomes permanent amid personal expenses concerns
Jenny Ruth | Sun, 16 Jun 2019

By Jenny Ruth June 17 (BusinessDesk) - ANZ Bank’s New Zealand chief executive David Hisco’s sick leave has turned into his permanent departure as board concerns about personal expenses surface. The bank has confirmed Antonia Watson, who previously headed retail and business...

Govt to introduce new film worker law next year
Paul McBeth | Thu, 13 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 13 (BusinessDesk) - The government expects to have a new legislative framework in place next year to let film workers negotiate collectively but it won't include all screen work.  Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today announced...

ComCom doesn't see need for heavier regulation of Chorus backhaul
Paul McBeth | Mon, 10 Jun 2019

By Paul McBeth June 11 (BusinessDesk) - The Commerce Commission won't impose tougher regulation of Chorus's backhaul services after finding no evidence that higher costs in low traffic areas were driving up retail prices.  The regulator started a study into backhaul service...

Media merger rejection "not difficult at all", says outgoing ComCom boss
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 10 Jun 2019

By Pattrick SmellieJune 11 (BusinessDesk) - Rejecting the proposed merger between New Zealand news publishers NZME and Stuff was “not one of the most difficult decisions at all” for Mark Berry in his 10 years at the helm of the Commerce Commission.Speaking to BusinessDesk as he p...


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