Chapter 12
The Structure of the new Bill

Requests from New Zealand

12.17In the Issues Paper, we questioned the value of the substance of what is contained in Part 2 of MACMA, governing outgoing requests.409 Much of Part 2 specifies the types of assistance that New Zealand can seek from another country; however, this has no bearing on what a foreign country will or will not agree to provide.

12.18We were urged, however, to retain these provisions in some form on the basis that they make the law easier to apprehend, indicating the types of assistance that may be requested and any criteria to be assessed in relation to that request. Consequently, we have retained this guidance in Part 3 of our Bill, but have simplified the way in which the Bill outlines the types of assistance that may be requested, and the requirements associated with outgoing requests.

12.19Clause 53 gives a non-exhaustive list of the examples of types of assistance that New Zealand may request, making it clear that any requests must be lawful in both the foreign country and in New Zealand, and must relate to a criminal matter or to the recovery of criminal proceeds. For criminal matters, clause 54 provides a general requirement that the Central Authority must be “satisfied that a request is appropriate given the level of seriousness of the criminal matter that is subject of the request”. Clause 64 provides the general requirements for outgoing requests in relation to criminal proceeds, for which the Central Authority must be satisfied that:

(a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that criminal proceeds or information that is likely to lead to the recovery of criminal proceeds (whether these are located in New Zealand or overseas) are or is in the foreign country; and

(b) the request relates to an investigation or proceedings arising from conduct that constitutes significant criminal activity or a qualifying instrument forfeiture offence.

12.20In addition, we have retained and refined the particular procedures related to outgoing requests, specifically in relation to requests for persons to travel to New Zealand from a foreign country to assist in an investigation or to give evidence,410 and in relation to the admissibility of evidence.411
12.21While we have refined the provisions dealing with requests for persons to travel to New Zealand, we accept that these provisions remain lengthy. This is not entirely consistent with our principles-based approach, but was necessary to reflect our international obligations.412 It may be that some of the content of these provisions could be moved to regulations.
12.22Finally, we have retained the guidance that MACMA provides as to the standards New Zealand will apply to outgoing requests; for instance, demonstrating New Zealand’s commitment to the concept of speciality.413
409See Issues Paper, above n 395, at [22.7] and [22.10].
410Mutual Assistance Bill, cl 56–60.
411Mutual Assistance Bill, cl 55.
412Scheme Relating to Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters within the Commonwealth including amendments made by Law Ministers in April 1990, November 2002, October 2005 and July 2011 [Harare Scheme].
413Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992, s 23; and Mutual Assistance Bill, cl 61. See the discussion in Issues Paper, above n 395, at [22.8]–[22.9].