Anti-Money Laundering Laws Reviewed

The Ministry of Justice has reviewed the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act. A review of the Act was required by law 5 years after the 2017 amendments had been in place.

Overall, the report concluded that the Act provides for a generally sound regulatory regime that can effectively detect and deter money laundering and terrorism financing. However, there were also some issues that we considered prevented the regime from being the best it can be for New Zealand.

Most significantly, the report found that the AML/CFT regime was not sufficiently risk based, in that efforts by agencies and businesses were not always prioritised towards areas of highest risk. In addition, aspects of the AML/CFT regime were not always sufficiently resourced, according to feedback from agencies.

This means that the regime is not as effective as it could be, and it is harder (and likely more expensive) than it needs to be for businesses to comply with the Act. Ultimately this undermines efforts from businesses to detect and deter money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Ministry of Justice was supported in the review by other government agencies that have roles in the AML/CFT regime, the Department of Internal Affairs, Financial Markets Authority, New Zealand Customs Service, New Zealand Police, and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The report is available to view here [PDF, 5.4 MB].

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