In Insolvency licensing bodies confirmed for New Zealand’s new regulatory regime – Murrays Legal, of August 2020, I explained the new liquidator licensing regime in New Zealand.
This requires insolvency practitioners operating in New Zealand to be licensed by an accredited body, being the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA). As an accredited body, NZICA has regulatory functions under the Act and only it can issue licences. Membership of NZICA is also an avenue by which a person can obtain a licence.
An Australian registered liquidator is exempt from NZICA membership requirements but they must enter into a ‘written arrangement’ with NZICA under s 58 of the Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 in relation to their experience and competency and other attributes. That arrangement is binding as if the Australian IP were a member of NZICA.
Probis v Mars Cap
In a recent case, Australian registered liquidators “A&K” were also licensed insolvency practitioners in NZ.
A&K were appointed as voluntary administrators of Probis, a company incorporated in Australia, under Part 5.3A Corporations Act 2001.
As voluntary administrators of Probis, A&K applied to the High Court of New Zealand to put a claimed debtor, Mars Cap, a NZ company, into liquidation.
They obtained an order from the High Court under NZ law appointing themselves as interim/provisional liquidators, pending the winding up hearing. The knowledge that A&K had of Mars Cap and its dealings was a reason given by the Judge for appointing them as interim liquidators.
A&K are thus voluntary administrators under Australian law of a company that has a claim against a company of which they are also interim liquidators.
The matter is listed again before the High Court on 29 September. Probis Financial Services Pty Limited (Administrators Appointed) v Mars Cap Limited  NZHC 2215 (16 August 2023) (nzlii.org)