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The New Zealand Government has passed a law ‘The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (“the AML/CFT law”)’. The purpose of the law aids the Government in detecting crime and deterring criminals from abusing our financial system.

Accountants must comply with the recent changes to the AML/CFT Act that came into effect following 1 October 2018, known as “Phase 2”. The AML/CFT law requires our compliance because the services accounting firms and other professionals (Lawyers, Banks, Real Estate etc.) offer may attract those involved in criminal activity.

The law states that accounting 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 and report potentially suspicious activity. To make that assessment, accountants must now obtain and verify information from potential and existing clients. This is what the AML/CFT law calls “customer due diligence”.


Customer Due Diligence Requirements:

“CDD” requires reporting entities (Accountants, Lawyers, Real Estate Agents, Bankers etc.)  to undertake certain background checks before providing their services to clients or customers. We must take reasonable steps to make sure the information we receive from our clients is correct, meaning we are required to ask for documents that show this.

We will need to obtain and verify that information from you to meet these legal requirements. This information includes (but is not limited to):

  • your full name

  • your date of birth

  • your address


To confirm these details, we will require documents such as your driver’s licence, passport or your birth certificate, as well as documents that show your address e.g. a current bank statement or utility bill.


The above information is for individuals, as well as Companies and Trust businesses. We will also need information pertaining to the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).

In some instances, we may also need to ask you for further information relating to the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to carry out for you. To meet all legal requirements, it is possible that information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary.

If You Cannot Provide The Required Information:

If you are not able to provide the required information, we will not be able to act for you. Should you be a long-standing or existing client of HSW, it is possible that we may need to conduct “CDD” and obtain the information mentioned above.

Before we begin our business relationship, we will let you know what information we need and what documents we are required to collect and photocopy.

Please contact the accountant who will be undertaking your work, if you have any queries or concerns.

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