URGENT – Modification to the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957

April 18, 2020
On Thursday 16th April, an Immediate Modification Order was made to the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957. The modification allows for audio visual taking of Statutory Declarations and provides for a new class of person authorized to take declarations.
This amendment resolves issues around the requirement for any Kiwisaver Hardship Withdrawal applications to be supported by Statutory Declarations.   There should be no need for clients to approach Justices of the Peace for Kiwisaver Hardship Withdrawals as the Kiwisaver provider will be able to manage this requirement between themselves and their investor.
The Royal Federation position remains that Justices of the Peace are currently unavailable, as there is now an alternative method available for Statutory Declarations to be taken. Direct liaison with Kiwisaver providers is likely to be more efficient for the client and minimize delays arising from verification requirements.   Justices should therefore support this move and offer assistance by referring clients back to the agency (generally at the moment, a Kiwisaver provider).
When the status of Justices changes as a result of changes in the Covid 19 Alert Level it is likely that some Justices will be approached and will agree to take Statutory Declarations using Audio Visual means. The requirements laid out in the Modification Order must be adhered to if this occurs. The Modification Order is available at this link:
Further details below are for reference only.
Covid19 Epidemic – Level 4 to Level 3 change
Royal Federation is preparing information and guidelines to assist with possible changes in Epidemic Levels. This will not be released until after there has been an official announcement of when a change will take effect.
LEGISLATION.GOVT.NZ
on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, made after being satisfied of the matters required by section 15(2) (b) of that Act and after receiving from the chief executive of the Ministry of Justice a written…