Chapter 4
The relationship with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act

How the Mutual Assistance Bill reflects NZBORA

4.20The relationship between NZBORA and our Mutual Assistance Bill is easier to state. Our Bill does not abrogate the current principle that assistance cannot be granted unless it is consistent with New Zealand law, including NZBORA and statutes like the Search and Surveillance Act 2012. There can, for instance, be no searches other than by normal New Zealand legal processes. Where because of the subject matter the normal New Zealand procedures cannot apply directly to a foreign request, we have closely aligned the requirements of the equivalent processes provided for in our Bill with those in the law applying to domestic cases. For example, in our provisions relating to foreign criminal proceeds claims, we have been careful to set out the same protections that would apply in the domestic context.

4.21A request that would compromise New Zealand values should not make it through the Central Authority’s vetting process, and if the Central Authority is concerned about the possibility of, say, evidence provided from New Zealand being used in a death penalty case, then it should seek assurances as to how that risk might be mitigated.