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abandoned property NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand has a long history of legislation pertaining to dormant and unclaimed assets. The original Unclaimed Monies Act of 1908 was amended in 1958, since replaced by the Unclaimed Money Act of 1971, amended in 1988 and again in 1990.

It applies to unclaimed money owing or held by companies incorporated in New Zealand, as well as those incorporated elsewhere but doing business in the country.

Administered by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, abandonment is generally declared after six years, except in the case of interest-bearing dormant bank accounts, which are allowed 25 years. Dividends and pension benefits are generally excluded.

Banks are required to maintain a register and notify the Commissioner of all "unclaimed money." Proceeds remitted under the Act go to the Consolidated Fund. Claimants are not entitled to receive interest.

Contact: Unclaimed Monies, Inland Revenue, P.O. Box 2848, Wellington; or search the missing owner database at:

Matters concerning companies no longer in business are handled by the Trustee & Insolvency Service of the Ministry of Commerce, which administers a fund to help liquidators mount legal action on behalf of unpaid creditors. A searchable National Insolvency Database is available at: or contact:

Insolvency and Trustee Service
Private Bag 4714
Christchurch 8140
0508 467 658