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Waimakariri MP Member’s Bill seeks to bring legislation up to date with modern business practices.

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says his Member’s Bill, Companies (Annual Report Notice Requirements) Amendment Bill, would reduce costs to companies and would benefit the environment.

The Companies (Annual Report Notice Requirements) Amendment Bill was lodged in Parliament. It seeks to replace an outdated legal requirement for companies to send hard copies of their annual report to shareholders with a requirement for companies to ensure the report is available on their websites.

“Under the Companies Act 1993, companies have to send out to their shareholders either a hard copy of their annual report or a notice asking shareholders if they would like to receive a copy.  One company in my electorate told me it sends out around 32,000 letters every year and gets on average 100 requests for a hard copy of the report. With technology, we can do more online and companies have the ability to make their annual report available online.

“Section 209 of the Act was intended to ensure shareholders had access to information. Today, however, digital communication is the primary means by which investors obtain information in listed companies,” Doocey said.

The Bill would reduce both costs and the environmental footprint of companies, Doocey added.

“The digital age has changed how we do business and we need our legislation to keep pace with these changes,” Doocey said.

Companies would still be able to voluntarily send hard copies to shareholders and would be required to directly notify each member in writing of the choice to receive a hard copy or an electronic copy of the annual report, and would have to ensure    printed copies were available free on request.

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