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Pakihi - te kimi i ngā mōhiohio Kamupene - Business - Finding Company Information

Need to find information about a company? This page can tell you what your best sources of information will be.

Photo of a person smiling at a laptop.

Researching a company

How much information is available?

Information available depends upon the company's status, i.e. whether it is a public or private company, large or small, and whether its activities are mentioned in magazines/newspapers. Usually, large public companies are the easiest to research — by law they are required to produce an annual report.

In New Zealand, small private companies are the most difficult to research, especially if you are looking for financial information, but the Companies Office is a good place to start. This site gives you basic details including company directors. Other information available here is "pay to view".

The news media is often the most easily accessible source of information about a company. Look for media coverage of a company in press releases, and news and feature articles in the magazines, newspapers, periodicals, and journals that cover the industry.

Finding information online

With so much information available online now, it is more important than ever to critically evaluate your source. The following criteria are useful in doing this:

  • Is the source authoritative?
    Is it an established publication with a good reputation; does it outline its credentials and qualifications?
  • Is it accurate?
  • Is it objective?
    Is the site biased? A company's own site will tend not to publish negative information; a third party objective site would treat this differently.
  • Is it current?
    When was the site last updated and do all the links work?

Should I look on the company website?

Yes, but when searching on a company's website, have a good hunt around! The information you are looking for is not always where you would expect to find it. A company's website can be a valuable source of information on what the company is doing and how well they are doing — you may find links to:

  • Their Annual Report and financial information
  • Press releases
  • Newsletters
  • Products
  • Job vacancies

Ultimately though, remember that it is only going to provide you with positive information — it's a biased source.

For unbiased news stories on a company, you need to search newspapers, magazines or trade journals. You can find out about management changes, new products, international ventures, market strategies, etc. Biographical data and personal profiles found in newspapers and magazines on whoever is interviewing you can be very useful.

Business Directories

A basic company profile can be found in a business directory. The vast majority of directories are now only available electronically. The company's annual report is perhaps the best single source of information on a company, but keep in mind that it is written partially as a promotional tool by the company itself and is not an entirely unbiased source.

  • Katalyst (a key resource!)
    We provide access in our libraries to Katalyst — a business directory that covers over 14,000 New Zealand companies. It provides links to company sites, as well as other contact details. Our subscription enables you to email to yourself full company records in pdf format.
    Katalyst is only available for use within our libraries.
  • Finda
    This e-directory lists over 225,000 businesses. It provides a profile and contact details as well as email and website links.

Find newspaper and magazine articles about a company or industry

In addition to business publications held at some of our libraries, our online databases provide access to a large number of full-text metropolitan, national and international newspapers and magazine articles, through a number of databases. These can be accessed within the library, or online from home or work (if you have a current library card).

Find specific sector company/industry information online

On Government sites

The NZ government portal is useful for information on all public organisations. You can also go directly to the websites of local councils to find their information.

Some useful government websites are:

Other useful websites

  • NZTech
    Promotes the growth of the technology industry in New Zealand by taking a leadership role on behalf of members, through direct communication with government leaders, the media, other sector groups and the public both locally and abroad.
  • BIOTechNZ
    Lists companies in nine primary biotechnology industry sectors.
  • Invest in New Zealand
    This site from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise features investment opportunities for New Zealand business, with profiles as well as links to reports and publications for the following: tourism, high value manufacturing, primary production, infrastructure, food and beverage, and technology.

Key information for investors

Questions to ask

If you are an investor, the questions you need answered are:

  • What is the company's financial condition and history?
  • Is the company involved in any legal action?
  • Are there any regional or national trends that might impact the company's financial condition?
  • Have any directors or company officers been involved in company failures, or ever been bankrupt?

Useful sites

  • Search The Insolvency and Trustee Service (ITS) Register
    This provides information and online services on personal bankruptcies and company liquidations that are administered by the Service.
  • The weekly New Zealand Gazette
    This is the official newspaper of the New Zealand government and can be searched going back many years. It publishes a list of bankruptcies and company notices which include appointment and release of receivers/managers/liquidators, removals, and applications for winding up. Look for financial projections, industry trends, and any details of competitive intelligence on the particular company, i.e. any information regarding companies which are in the same business and the current business environment.

Other online resources

  • PriceWaterhouseCooper's Global CEO Survey
    This is the latest survey of 1,201 business leaders across all major industry sectors around the world.
  • Deloittes fast 50
    The 50 fastest growing companies are listed with links through to the company's website.
  • Financial Markets Authority
    New Zealand's main regulator of investments and works to help people make better investment decisions. On their website are brochures about investing, including how to choose an investment advisor, information you are entitled to before you invest, and how to spot a scam.
  • NZ Stock Exchange
  • Sharechat
    A useful site for business news, education, market data, NZX weekly diary and links to financial newspapers and magazines.
  • Statistics New Zealand data for business
    Use the two free tools in the Business Toolbox to investigate a small-business industry in New Zealand or to find your target markets.