There are strict requirements governing who can be a director of a New Zealand company.
Where directors live
All New Zealand companies must have at least 1 director who lives in:
- New Zealand, and has been physically present in NZ for a total of more than 183 days in a 12 month period, or
- Australia, and who is a director of a company incorporated in Australia.
If you're unsure whether a proposed director meets this requirement, seek legal advice before commencing the process of incorporating your company or registering a director.
In most cases if you have been present in New Zealand for a total of more than 183 days in a 12 month period the Registrar will consider that you satisfy the lives in New Zealand rule.
If you're not present in New Zealand for the required period, that doesn't mean the Registrar automatically considers that the NZ resident director rule can't be satisfied. The Registrar will consider a number of factors in determining that issue, including:
- the actual time you spend in NZ
- your connection and ties to NZ
- how you live when in NZ, and
- whether the combination of these factors will allow us to determine whether you've met your company's obligations.
Who can't be a director
Some of the reasons you can't be a director include if you're:
- under 18 years of age
- an undischarged bankrupt
- subject to a property order under Section 30 or 31 of the Protection of Personal and Property Rights Act 1988
- prohibited from being a director, general partner or promoter under certain statutory provisions
- prohibited from being involved in the management of a company or limited partnership under certain statutory provisions.
This includes, but isn't limited to people who've been:
- convicted of a crime involving dishonesty in the last 5 years, or
- prohibited from managing a company or limited partnership by the Registrar of Companies or Financial Markets Authority.
It also includes people who've been prohibited from being a director, general partner or promoter of, or taking part in the management of, an overseas company or overseas limited partnership under Australian law.
Other disqualification criteria can be found in the Companies Act 1993.
Search the Insolvency Register
The New Zealand Insolvency and Trustee Service lists people who are, or have previously been, declared bankrupt.
Search the Companies Register
Using the Advanced search option on the Companies Register you can also search for banned or prohibited persons.
- Select the Advanced search button.
- Under Enter your search criteria select the Search for Directors and Shareholders option.
- Specify that you want to search for Disqualified director/Prohibited company manager.