Liquidation is a process where the assets of a company that cannot pay its debts, are distributed by a liquidator or by a Crown authority called the Official Assignee (AO). The AO only deals with liquidations where it has been appointed liquidator by the court or, in certain circumstances, by itself. A company is placed into liquidation when it is unable to pay its debts. This is done voluntarily or by a court order. A liquidator is appointed to investigate the company’s financial affairs, establish the reason why the company failed, investigate possible offences, and identify and sell any assets to help repay creditors. Officers of the company must assist the liquidator by providing information and answering questions.
Failure to assist the Official Assignee is a serious offence and may lead to prosecution. It is an offence for a director to conceal or remove property with the intention of preventing or delaying the Official Assignee from taking custody of it, or to destroy, conceal or remove records or other documents. Penalties can include fines and imprisonment.
Bankruptcies are managed by the AO and normally last for three years. Bankrupts are unable to direct a company and are not allowed to manage a business without the OA’s consent. [Source: http://www.insolvency.govt.nz/]
The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. is concerned that the ability of liquidators serious about fulfilling their statutory duties to investigate and report possible offences by company officials against the Companies Act 1993, the Financial Reporting Act, the Securities Act and the Insolvency Act 2006; are being undermined and thwarted by a number factors including: [Read more…]