Police will also be given power to share New Zealanders'
names, fingerprints, criminal records and, in some cases, DNA
samples to law enforcement authorities in other countries as
part of a bill tabled by Justice Minister Judith Collins
Ms Collins said the amendments would give more tools to crack
down on serious crime and help New Zealand maintain its
status as one of the least-corrupt countries in the world.
One of the key changes was to make all banks and financial
institutions report to the police any international money
transfers of more than $1000 or physical cash transactions of
more than $10,000.
Officials estimated $1.5 billion in crime proceeds was moved
around and out of New Zealand each year.
Since mid-2013, banks have had to report all suspicious
transactions to the police financial intelligence unit.
Official advice to the minister said this system was
problematic because it left banks to judge what was
suspicious activity and because these institutions did not
pick up small, multiple transactions.
The new threshold was set low to block crime groups from
disguising money-laundering through such transactions.
Officials said people who routinely sent money overseas --
such as contributions to relatives in the Pacific Islands --
would not be affected.
Bankers Association chief executive Kirk Hope welcomed the
change and said it was important to note that the amendment
meant no additional requirements for bank customers.
The requirement would cost banks up to $1 million to set up
reporting capabilities if they had not done so already.
- Isaac Davison of the New Zealand Herald