Australian Court confirms obligation to make contributions to New Zealand Bankruptcy

Where a person who is bankrupt in New Zealand and earning income in Australia, the Federal Court of Australia have ordered that contributions from the bankrupt’s Australian income are to be paid to the Official Assignee in New Zealand.

In reaching its decision, the Federal Court of Australia concluded;

  1. That the Official Assignee (NZ)’s appointment and thus property vesting under the Insolvency Act 2006 (NZ) is recognised in Australia;
  2. Any and all property located in Australia is declared to be vested in the Official Assignee (NZ);
  3. For the purpose of realising any property, including contributions, the Official Assignee (NZ) is empowered to exercise the same powers as though they had been appointed a “Trustee” under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).
  4. In terms of the income contributions assessed by the Official Assignee (NZ) the quantum of these contributions are to be the same as the bankrupt would be required to make had they been bankrupted under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).

This judgment will make it more efficient in the future for the Official Assignee to pursue a bankrupt’s property, including contributions, in Australia, as well as clarifying what levels of contributions a bankrupt with Australian income would be required to pay.

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