COVID-19 relief measures

Government relief measures that were implemented for companies

As part of the New Zealand Government’s response to the impacts of COVID-19 it implemented some temporary relief measures for companies and other entities. These were largely intended to help NZ businesses to continue operating through the restrictions and challenges that COVID-19 presented. The last of these COVID-19 relief measures expired on 30 October 2022, others expired earlier than that.

For the companies that made use of these measures you may see related documents recorded on their public record.

Examples of relief measures that were available to companies

Companies could, for a limited time —

  • make temporary changes to their constitutions.
  • make use of electronic means even if their constitution didn’t permit this.
  • rely on certain exemptions granted by the Registrar of Companies.
  • enter Business Debt Hibernation (BDH) — a process that allowed companies to put debts on hold for up to 7 months. For any company that entered into BDH, the Registrar published relevant BDH notices on the Companies Register.

From 3 April 2020 until 30 September 2020 law changes included provisions for a temporary ‘safe harbour’ from personal liability for directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19. This temporary safe harbour expired on 30 September 2020.