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Signing the GIA Deed


Signing the Deed

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Once the Minister for Primary Industries has agreed that the industry organisation is eligible to sign the Deed, MPI will arrange to publish a notice in the New Zealand Gazette. An industry organisation cannot sign the Deed until the notice is published.

The Gazette is published weekly on Thursday afternoons, and notices must be received by the Monday prior. For this reason, an industry organisation should expect a delay of at least a week from when the Minister makes his or her decision to when it can sign the Deed.

The GIA Secretariat will work with the industry organisation and MPI to arrange the logistics for signing the Deed and any associated event or publicity. 

Each industry organisation will have its own internal requirements as to how it obtains authority to sign the Deed. For example, the industry organisation’s Board may need to make a resolution that its representative can sign the Deed. This should be identified early on and discussed with MPI as the requirements may affect the arrangements for the industry organisation to sign the Deed.

Guidance on witnesses

Section 9 of the Property Law Act 2007 sets out the requirements for executing a deed (see excerpt below). The main points to note are:

  • Where a body corporate with only one director executes a deed, the deed must be signed by its director. In this situation, the signature must also be witnessed in accordance with subsection (7). 

  • Where a body corporate’s constitution authorises a deed to be signed by one person on behalf of the body corporate (s 9(3)(iii)), the deed must be signed by a director. In this situation, the signature must also be witnessed in accordance with subsection (7).

  • If a body corporate has two or more directors, it is correctly executed if at least two directors sign the deed. If this occurs, the signatures do not need to be witnessed.

  • Subsection (7)(a) states that a witness must not be a party to the deed. Where a body corporate is (or will be) a party to the GIA deed, the director(s) and any person who has authority to sign under that body corporate’s rules are not suitable to witness the signing of the deed by that body corporate. A suitable witness could be any other employee of the body corporate, though ideally the witness would be someone not affiliated with that body corporate (an independent person).

    As the GIA Deed is open to any industry organisation to sign (provided they meet the pre-requisites in the Biosecurity Act 1993), the director of one industry organisation should not act as a witness for another industry organisation’s signature, where it is known that both industry organisations are, or intend to become, party to the GIA Deed. 

Property Law Act 2007
9 Deed must be in writing, executed, and delivered
   (1)  A deed must be—  
        (a) in writing; and
        (b) executed in accordance with this section; and
        (c) delivered in accordance with this section.
    (3) A body corporate executes a deed if—
        (a) the deed is signed in the name of the body corporate by—
                  (i) the director of the body corporate if it has only 1 director; or
                  (ii) not fewer than 2 directors of the body corporate if it has 2 or more directors; or      
                  (iii) 1 director or other person or member of a specified class of person if the body
                         corporate’s constitution authorises a deed to be signed in that way; and
        (b) in the case of a deed signed under paragraph (a)(i) or (iii), the signature is witnessed in
              accordance with subsection (7).
    (6) The Crown executes a deed if—
         (a) it is signed on behalf of the Crown by 1 or more Ministers of the Crown or other officers or
               employees of the Crown of Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand having express
               or implied authority to sign the deed on behalf of the Crown; and
         (b) in the case of a deed signed by only 1 person under paragraph (a), the signature is
               witnessed in accordance with subsection (7).
    (7) A witness—
         (a) must not be a party to the deed; and
         (b) must sign the deed; and
         (c) if signing in New Zealand, must add—
                  (i) the name of the city, town, or locality where he or she ordinarily resides; and
                  (ii) his or her occupation or description.
    (8) No particular form of words is required for the purposes of subsection (7)(c).

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0800 80 99 66

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