New Zealand - ‘Keep Our Money Clean’ Campaign

‘Keep Our Money Clean’ Campaign

Offenders that commit crimes for financial gain generally need to launder their illicit funds to make them usable. In New Zealand, the key crimes that generate proceeds that need laundering are those involving drugs, tax evasion and fraud. These offences cause significant harm in our communities. The proceeds of crime generated through laundering pose particular threats to New Zealand’s finance, property and retail sectors, as well as New Zealand’s standing internationally.

Inland Revenue is heavily involved in a wide range of compliance activities to counter tax evasion and fraud – these include work addressing organised crime, the hidden economy, the analysis of suspicious activity reports received from the Police Financial Intelligence Unit, and targeted education work in the hospitality and construction sectors.

Inland Revenue has been working closely with the New Zealand Ministry of Justice for some time on anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism (AML/CFT) measures, especially those now coming into force in respect of lawyers, accountants and real estate agents. A public campaign, ‘Keep Our Money Clean’, was launched recently to help educate New Zealanders on why these AML/CFT measures are important.

There are major synergies between the AML/CFT public campaign and the OECD’s global initiative covering exchange of financial account information which New Zealand implemented in September. The ‘know your customer’ requirements and additional disclosure of information will have a major deterrent effect and make people think twice about trying to hide their money. One of the publicity campaign’s slogans says it very loud and clear – ‘New Zealand may be a sanctuary for wildlife, but certainly not tax evasion.’

John Nash