31 Jan 2018
A new bill intended to make trust law more accessible to everyday New Zealanders may have implications for arts organisations.
Parliament is seeking submissions on Trusts Bill 2017 which is being considered in the Justice Select Committee. The new bill may be of interest to the arts sector due to the large number of arts organisations legally structured as trusts.
Introducing the bill in 2017, then Minister of Justice Hon Amy Adams outlined some of the changes the bill introduced. These include:
- a description of the key features of a trust to help people understand their rights and obligations
- mandatory and default trustee duties (based on established legal principles) to help trustees understand their obligations
- requirements for managing trust information and disclosing it to beneficiaries (where appropriate) so they are aware of their position
- flexible trustee powers, allowing trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way
- provisions to support cost-effective establishment and administration of trusts (such as clear rules on the variation and termination of trusts)
- options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court to do so.
Minister of Justice Hon Andrew Little encourages submissions to ensure all interests are considered.
“Because of the extensive number of trusts we have, which have a broad range of issues, it [is] important to encourage submitters from a wide base of interests to come forward.”
Those wishing to make a submission on the bill have until 5 March 2018.
The bill is expected to pass into law although at this stage it is unclear when. Once passed into law there will be an 18 month delay before it takes effect. This will give trusts at least two years to ensure they are in compliance.
Beehive: Bill to update New Zealand trust law introduced (August 2017)