Support for Companies Amendment Bill
Today I wrote to Commerce Spokespeople in Parliament seeking their support for my Member’s Bill which was drawn from the ballot recently.
15 September 2016
Dear Commerce Spokesperson
As you will be well aware, my Companies (Annual Report Notice Requirements) Amendment Bill was recently drawn from the ballot.
I am writing to seek the support of your party for this Bill.
The bill seeks to replace an outdated legal requirement for companies to provide a written notice of their annual report to shareholders. Removing this red tape would have an immediate benefit to companies through reducing unnecessary costs; I have been advised by industry stakeholders this could be to the scale of a few million dollars across our economy. Chorus, in communicating their support of this bill to me, have said that less than 10 percent of their shareholders want printed annual reports. Yet every year, under the current outdated legislation, they are required to write and ask every shareholder whether they wish a printed report. Clearly, this puts an onerous and unnecessary cost on our companies.
Today, the reality is digital communication has become the primary means by which investors in listed companies obtain information about a company. Aside from reducing costs for companies, the benefits to the environment in terms of the reduction of the amount of paper being used for these reports are surely significant enough to merit consideration.
This bill proposes that Section 209 be amended so that the requirement to send a s209 notice is removed - provided listed and other issuers are required to maintain a hard copy of the annual report on their websites and send a hard copy on request.
In summary, the Companies (Annual Report Notice Requirements) Amendment Bill will simplify doing business and reduce postage and administrative costs for companies while helping them reduce their environmental footprint, and I would welcome your party’s support for it.
MP for Waimakariri