6 Jul 2015

Accountants' organisations in defamation battle

1:55 pm on 6 July 2015

A stoush between two professional accounting bodies has resulted in a defamation action in the High Court in Wellington.

Certified Practising Accountants Australia (CPA Australia) claims the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA) defamed it in two presentations and a flier given to accounting students.

The Australian body's lawyer, Alan Galbraith, told the High Court both organisations had been operating for more than a century and in recent times members of CPA Australia had been able to do all the work done by NZICA members.

He said at a careers presentation to students at Massey University's Albany campus, NZICA claimed its members earned more than those in the Australian organisation and also made other incorrect comparisons.

Mr Galbraith said CPA Australia is seeking a declaration that it was defamed, along with costs.

He said a third part of the court action related to an advertisement from the New Zealand accountants which denigrated CPA's training.

Mr Galbraith said nominal damages of $50,000 are sought over that defamation, along with costs.