A Bill to tackle money laundering and terrorist
financing has been introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Amy
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering
Financing of Terrorism Amendment Bill will bolster New Zealand’s existing
anti-money laundering laws, which help protect businesses and make it harder
for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activities.
“This puts in place the second phase of the
Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act (AML/CFT),
which we fast-tracked work on last year,” says Ms Adams.
“Money laundering allows criminals to fund their
lifestyle and it fuels re-investment in criminal ventures. Extending the law
will improve our ability to prevent, detect and prosecute many types of
criminal activity and help protect New Zealand’s reputation as a good place to
The Amendment Bill extends the Act to lawyers,
conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, and sports and racing betting.
Businesses that deal in certain high value goods, including motor vehicles,
jewellery and art, will also have obligations under the Act when they accept or
make large cash transactions.
Ms. Adams says the Bill strikes the right balance
between combating crime, minimising the cost of compliance and meeting
“It is estimated that the reforms in this Bill
could disrupt up to $1.7 billion in fraud and drug crime over the next 10
years. Estimates also suggest they may prevent up to $5 billion in broader
criminal activity and reduce about $800 million in social harm related to the
illegal drug trade.
“Over the past several months, we have worked
with affected sectors to better understand how the changes will impact their
businesses and refined options to help them meet their obligations. This has
significantly reduced the predicted compliance costs – the initial estimate of
up to $1.6 billion over 10 years has been lowered to between $800 million and
will have a period of time to prepare for the changes. The Government will
provide guidance and information to help businesses understand, prepare for and
comply with the law.