Why we need to ask you for information
New Zealand has passed a law called the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 ("AML/CFT law" for short). The purpose of the law reflects New Zealand's commitment to the international initiative to counter the impact that criminal activity has on people and economies within the global community.
Recent changes to the AML/CFT Act mean that from 1 July 2018 lawyers must comply with its requirements. lawyers must do a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing and to help Police bring the criminals who do it to justice. The AML/CFT law does this because the services law firms and other professionals offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
The law says that law firms and other professionals must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and must identify potentially suspicious activity.
To make that assessment, lawyers must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is what the AML/CFT law calls "client due diligence".