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Module Six - New Zealand business information

NZ company information

Before starting your search, it is useful to know what type of company information you need. Chances are you will want a range of information:  Source: Britannica Image Quest

  • Company profiles
  • News and articles
  • Financial information, including annual reports, and share prices
  • Ownership structure
  • Mergers and acquisitions activity
  • Case studies involving companies
  • Historical information
  • Consumer information and market share

Company information can be sourced from a variety of places.
Look at Module 2: Business information sources.

New Zealand company structures

First, understand what sort of company you are researching. New Zealand company structure can take several forms:sole traders, partnerships, limited liability companies, and others. Unlike privately owned companies, those listed on a stock exchange or State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) are legally obliged to make their financial and other data available to their shareholders and the general public. The legislation which covers company structure in New Zealand is the Companies Act 1993. This lays out the rules for registering and operating a company in New Zealand.
To see more about the regulation of companies, see New Zealand Companies Office.

For small and most unlisted companies in New Zealand, information is very limited, particularly financial information. Confidentiality or commercial sensitivity will be the most likely reasons for some information not being available.

Piecing the information together

Sometimes you need to build up a picture of a company by analysing information from journal and newspaper articles. You may not always be able to find the exact information you require and you may not find an instant answer. You may have to state in an assignment that you could not find the exact information, or you may have to surmise by analysing the information gaps.


You will find a lot of detailed information about the research process in the Library's guides:

Listed or unlisted?

Students have been asked to find information on a New Zealand company of their choice.

Group A decide to research Contact Energy, a publicly listed company.
Group B decide they are going to study the juice producer Pinto, an unlisted company.

Look at the charts below to see which databases and other sources provided useful information. Note the difference in the amount of information available.

Both groups found industry data, news and articles, and company profile information for their respective companies. Group A found more information, including share price data and annual reports, because Contact Energy is listed on the NZ Stock Exchange and is obliged to make financial and other data publicly available. Pinto, as a private unlisted company does not have to do so, and therefore information about the company is scarce.

Checklist of sources for companies and industries

Use this chart to quickly find out where you are likely to find the kinds of information you are looking for.You can go to Module 3: Starting a search to find out how to locate a database.

Key:Best possible source of information, May provide basic information


A'Courts business handbook






















Business Source Premier (BSP) database






Companies Office website

















Index New Zealand database












Katalyst Business directory








Library Catalogue










MarketLine Advantage



Mergent Online


















Newztext Plus database












NZ Business
Who's Who










NZX Company Research






Osiris (Bureau van Dijk)




Key:Best possible source of information, May provide basic information.

Based on a graphic produced by the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

NZ industries and products

Finding information on New Zealand industries and products can be like fitting together a jigsaw puzzle. You will find pieces of information using a variety of sources. Sometimes a piece of information may be missing and you won't get a complete picture of an industry.

For information on conducting industry research see the Industry and product information guide.

Activity: Click on each piece of the jigsaw to reveal a rich source of useful industry or product information. The links inside take you further ...

Having looked at the puzzle pieces you will have discovered the range of industry information resources available, such as industry associations and organisations, reports, market share information, statistics, ANZSIC codes. They will all help in building up a picture of your chosen industry.

Test yourself

Well done! You have now completed Module Five on finding New Zealand business information. Have a go at the quick practice quiz to see how much you have learnt.

1. In New Zealand, a listed company is required to ...?

2. Why would some NZ company information not be available?

3. There is more information easily available for a NZ private unlisted company than a NZ public company.

4. One of the following resources will not have NZ company annual reports. Select which one.

5. Which of the following types of company information could you find on Business Source Premier (BSP)?

6. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Code Classification (ANZSIC) is used for ...?

7. Where are current and previous NZX company announcements available?

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