Insolvency Regulation in NZ

The Insolvency Practitioners Regulation Act 2019 (the Act) introduced a co-regulatory licensing scheme to promote quality, expertise, and integrity in the profession of insolvency practitioners.

The Act took effect on 1 September 2020.

Under the Act:

  • Accredited bodies are responsible for carrying out the frontline regulation of licensed insolvency practitioners, including licensing, regulating ongoing compliance, investigating complaints about them, and taking disciplinary action where appropriate.
  • NZICA is an accredited body under the Act1.
  • The Companies Office Registrar has responsibility for oversight of accredited bodies. Oversight includes accreditation of bodies, ongoing monitoring and reporting, and corrective action to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the accredited bodies' regulatory systems and processes.
  • Any person taking statutory insolvency appointments must have a licence.

The Registrar maintains a register of licensed insolvency practitioners, which is publicly searchable here.

Who can apply for a licence?

NZICA members (CA ANZ members resident in NZ) who hold a Certificate of Public Practice (CPP) can apply for a licence.

A non-NZICA member can also apply for a licence if they are either:

  • An overseas practitioner; or
  • A member of a "recognised body" such as RITANZ; or
  • A practising member of a religious society or order whose doctrines or beliefs preclude membership of any organisation or body other than the religious society or order of which they are a member

To be granted a licence, a person must then meet the prescribed minimum standards and must be "fit and proper" to hold a licence.

An applicant who is not a member of NZICA must also enter a Compliance Agreement with NZICA. By signing the Compliance Agreement, the non-member agrees to abide by NZICA’s Code of Ethics, Rules, and disciplinary processes. The Compliance Agreement can be found here.

All licences are subject to conditions covering such matters as ongoing competency and training and compliance with relevant professional and ethical standards.

Each licence must also include a condition specifying the types of insolvency engagements in respect of which the person is authorised to act under their licence.

Applying for a licence

To apply for a licence you will need to complete the following forms:

In addition, you will be required to provide evidence of a criminal record check from the Ministry of Justice (or an equivalent for overseas residents) and additional supporting evidence if you are applying via the alternative experience pathway. 

All applicants should read the guidance notes on the application form and ensure they provide as much supporting documentation as possible.

If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply for a licence, please click here

Solvent liquidations?

An insolvency practitioner does not include a person undertaking solvent liquidations. However, to undertake a solvent liquidation a person must be one- of the following:

  • A licensed insolvency practitioner, or
  • A lawyer, or
  • A qualified statutory accountant (e.g. an NZICA member with a CPP), or
  • A member of a professional body recognised under s.69 of the Act. (As at 1 September 2020, the Registrar has not recognised any professional bodies under this section.)

Please note that the requirements of Section 243A of the Companies Act 1993 MUST be met for all solvent liquidations. 

If you have any questions regarding insolvency practitioner licensing, please contact us at [email protected].


[1] NZICA has the statutory responsibilities under the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Act 1996 to regulate members of CA ANZ who are resident, or practising accounting in NZ.