Last week the Limited Partnerships Amendment Act 2014 was enacted. The Act amends the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 to help guard against New Zealand limited partnerships being misused by overseas criminal organisations and to assist the Government meet New Zealand’s obligations as a member of the international Financial Action Task Force.

The dates on which the amendments to the Limited Partnerships Act 2008 will come into force are still to be determined by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The Amendment Act provides for a 12 month implementation timeline (to 2 July 2015), with provision for amendments to be brought into force earlier through Orders in Council.

One of the key measures being introduced is a requirement for both new and existing limited partnerships to have at least one general partner with a relevant connection to New Zealand or to a prescribed "enforcement country". Limited partnerships which are in place before this requirement comes into force will have an additional 180 days to comply with the requirement. The intention behind this measure is to provide the Registrar of Companies and other parties to be able to more readily confirm the credentials of those behind limited partnerships and (where appropriate) hold someone to account for any breaches of the law. In addition, the Registrar of Companies has been given further powers to identify the true owner of a limited partnership by enquiring about individuals controlling limited partnerships and their general partners, as well as individuals that general partners may have delegated their powers to.

The Government has also taken the opportunity in this Amendment Act to further align the Limited Partnerships Act with the Companies Act 1993 by requiring all natural persons who are general partners, or who are directors, partners, or general partners of a general partner to meet qualification requirements equivalent to those set out in the Companies Act for directors.

For further details on the amendments to the Limited Partnerships Act see our earlier update here.