Global FinTech Guide
Country Name
New Zealand
Signature requirements
The signature requirements pertain the legal or contractual requirements in order to make a legally effective declaration of intent or a legally binding contract.

Possibility to replace a specific formal requirement of making a binding declaration of intention

Where a formal requirement is imposed by legislation it can only be amended by legislation. If it is imposed under the common law then it can either be amended by legislation or by the appropriate court, in all cases legislation prevails over the common law in New Zealand. Beyond this subject in all instances to any relevant legislation or regulations, the terms of the contract and the capacity of the parties to contract legally binding obligations, a contract can be amended by agreement of all of the parties who have privity.  

Presence of any specific formal requirements to effectively conclude a loan agreement

Lenders have disclosure obligations under the CCCFA, and they must discharge these prior to executing a loan agreement. Where guarantees are provided, lenders are generally cautious to ensure that either independent legal advice is obtained by the guarantor, or the guarantor signs a waiver acknowledging they were advised to obtain independent legal advice.

Process of conclusion of a contract by using a qualified electronic signature in practice

Generally, contracts are executed once signed by all parties. There are no reservations in relation to electronic signing and execution by counterparts is the norm in the modern era. There are no specific vendors, but DocuSign is commonly used by professionals where an extra level of formality is seen as prudent.

Legal consequences to a contract in case of not fulfilling formal requirements

Legal consequences could be numerous or nil, it depends upon the relationship of the parties and their actions they perceive the contract to be executed. The consequences, we would expect, would generally be more commercial than legal. Legal consequences would likely be more indirect, for example if a party was reliant upon the repudiated contract to fulfil their contractual obligations with third parties. This would result in a default under the third-party contract and give rise to the risk of being sued for specific performance and/or damages.

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2B sector

We often see them signed by counterparts but by handwritten signature.

Usual practice of signing contractual agreements in the B2C sector

We generally see them signed by handwritten signature. The average consumer does not have much use for setting up an e-signature.



© 2022, Tompkins Wake. All rights reserved by Tompkins Wake as author and the owner of the copyright in this chapter. Tompkins Wake has granted to Multilaw non-exclusive worldwide license to use and include this chapter in this guide and to sublicense Lexis Nexis, a division of RELX Inc. and its affiliates certain rights to use and distribute this guide.

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.


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