A bill to amend the Companies Act in Aotearoa

This week we’re launching the new legal requirement for B Corps in Aotearoa New Zealand - more on this soon! In the meantime, in case you missed it, a bill was introduced to parliament last month to amend the Companies Act - and it’s right on topic for us.

The Bill would make clear that directors, when when acting in the best interests of the company, can choose to take into account wider matters than the financial bottom line . The bill would permit a director, when determining the best interests of the company, to take into account recognised environmental, social, and governance factors, such as:
(a) recognising the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi):
(b) reducing adverse environmental impacts:
(c) upholding high standards of ethical behaviour:
(d) following fair and equitable employment practices:
(e) recognising the interests of the wider community.

You can find out more about the bill here.

With the B Corp legal requirement launching in Aotearoa New Zealand, it’s the perfect time for B Corps to join the stakeholder governance conversation. The B Corp community is at its best when we use our collective power to change the rules of the game, and demonstrate what business as a force for good looks like. What might the B Corp community say in response? What would you like to see included in this legislation? We’d love to hear from you.

8 Likes

Would it be worth working with Steven Moe from Parry Field lawyers to create a template submission for businesses to fill in and submit?

1 Like

Keen to centre this in the views of the B Corp community Tim, Steven is certainly heavily engaged and will no doubt submit on this from his own perspective. One thing to explore is whether we create a submission template, and ask B Corps to lodge their own, or create a submission as a group of aligned businesses.

I am in contact with the MP (Duncan Webb) and looking to get guidance from him on the process too. I will add more here as I know more.

3 Likes

Perfecto! That all makes sense.

1 Like

This is very cool. And seems to be something we should support! I’ve not been exposed to this sort of thing much before so in general would love to be a part of it but I will need some guidance from you all about how to be useful :slight_smile:

Recently one of the Springload team asked us all to be good allies to the LGBT+ community and sent around a template for us to populate to submit support for a bill. Is that the type of thing we are thinking?

Yes that’s an option Clare, or alternatively we prepare a submission as a group. I am looking into the process being put in place at the moment, so once we know more we’ll come back to those who have expressed an interest in getting involved.

FWIW, I think the legislation is interesting but more work required - but that’s just an initial take from me, input from B Corps will be really helpful so we’ll pull together a group to get wider ideas.

1 Like

Keen to support the bill too and agree that it would be great to take unified approach - open to what would be the most effective way to do that.

The bill itself is incredibly brief and while you can definitely argue that it could be more ambitious I think there is a lot to be said for keeping it simple.

1 Like

That is a smashing idea Tim!! :sunglasses: