Establish a public register of company and trust beneficial ownership information

The New Zealand Government will establish a publicly accessible central registry of company and trust beneficial ownership information. The registry will contain information about who ultimately owns and controls companies, trusts, and other legal entities.

Why the contribution is important

The Panama Papers have made people aware of how secrecy around the beneficial ownership of assets such as companies and trusts facilitates tax evasion, money laundering, terrorism, and other transnational crime. The answer to this problem is public transparency on beneficial onwership. This enables the public, civil society, the media, and foreign governments to detect, report, and act on such crime, increasing both public integrity and corporate accountability.

A number of OGP parties have already commited to such actions, including the United Kingdom and South Africa. New Zealand would thus be a follower rather than a leader, but would not lag behind in the OGP's "race to the top".

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment would be responsible for this commitment, as they are responsible for our corporate registries.

by IdiotSavant on August 12, 2016 at 04:06PM

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Comments

  • Posted by JanRivers August 24, 2016 at 23:06

    This idea was strongly endorsed by ECO's OGP survey.
    In the question "How importance is it to increase transparency around disclosure of beneficial ownership of trusts? " 60% regarded the action as essential and a further 31 % said it was important.

    This action could be achieved if the government implemented all of the Shewan recommendations which ensure the ownership registers are public and, I believe, that this would put foreign business owners on the same basis as local owners.
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