In Polymers International Limited v Toon & Ors [2013] NZHC 1897 Asher J considered whether the registration of a financing statement under the Personal Property Securities Act 1999 (PPSA) was invalid because of errors and omissions in the statement that was filed. These errors included a failure correctly to classify the debtor company as a "Company", failure to include the debtor company's unique incorporation number and misspelling the debtor's name.

Asher J considered that what is required for a registration to be "seriously misleading" under section 149 of the PPSA turns on the effectiveness or otherwise of information provided in the statement, which allows an effective search using the PPSA's search criteria set out in section 172. He doubted whether the failure to classify the debtor company as a "company" could, in itself, lead a searching party to obtain no results and be regarded as "seriously misleading". Similarly, the misspelling of the debtor name did not have any effect on the search results and therefore could not be described as seriously misleading.

On the other hand, failure to register the company number was not just an error in registration; it was an omission of an item that the PPSA provided "must" be in the financing statements. The company's incorporation number is one of the limited section 172 search criteria by which searches can be conducted. Therefore it meant that those who searched the register by company number, or through the Companies Office, would not discover the relevant financing statement. Asher J concluded that the failure correctly to record the incorporation number meant that the financial statement was not validly registered.

See Court decision here.