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What is AML and how does it affect me?

  Aug 04, 2022

What is AML and how does it affect me?

What is AML and how does it affect me?

What is AML and how does it affect me?

The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 – or “AML” as it’s more commonly known is part of a worldwide initiative to crack down on illegal activities, including money laundering and terrorism.  

The aims of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act 2009 are to:

1. detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism; and

2. maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation by adopting, where appropriate in the New Zealand context, recommendations issued by the Financial Action Task Force; and

3. contribute to public confidence in the financial system.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is responsible for administering the AML/CFT Act and its six Regulations.

The Act places obligations on certain types of businesses, known as reporting entities, to detect and deter money laundering and terrorism financing.


Since 1 October 2019 all accountants have been obliged to seek specific information from our clients so we can continue to act for them.  If your business is held in the name of a company, a trust or has overseas ownership we’ll need specific information about the entity in question, including the associated people with it, - such as directors and shareholders, trustees, and beneficiaries.  We are also required to ask you to confirm the source of fund for such entities.

The AML Identity Verification process starts with asking our clients to present in person original documents which verify who you are and where you reside. 


  • Option one: Passport, NZ Firearms Licence; or
  • Option two: either NZ Drivers Licence, or Proof of Age Card with secondary document such as a bank statement, Government Agency or Local Council, ie EFTPOS card, bank statement, rates notice or power bill.
  • Option three: either a birth certificate or citizenship certificate, and a written statement verifying the identity, complete by someone who has been identified under option one or two above.
  • Proof of Address document with your residential address (for example a utility bill, bank statement, IRD Statement).
  • Date and place of birth


  • Full copy of the Trust Deed and any subsequent Deeds of Retirements and Appointment.
  • Proof of ID and Address documents (as detailed in “Individuals”) for all trustees, individuals with the power to alter the Trust Deed, person acting on behalf of the Trust, authorised signatories; and individual who can act as a trustee on behalf of a trustee company.
  • Information and documents to verify the Trust’s source of funds or wealth are required.  This refers to how the Trust obtained its wealth, or depending on the purpose of the Trust, how the Settlor or Trustee obtained their wealth.  A PDF fact sheet on Source of Wealth and Funds documents is available on request.


  • The Key Individuals that require verification will vary depending on the structure of your Company, please contact us to confirm
  • Proof of ID and address documents (as detailed in “Individuals”


  • Proof of ID must be current, valid and include your signature, ie a passport or drivers licence.
  • Proof of address must be dated within the last 3 months, ie a power or rates bill with current living address on it.
  • We can accept copies that have been certified by a trusted referee (ie a JP, solicitor, teacher, accountant, minister of religion, doctor, policeman) and must have the following information on it:

Trusted Referees 

In New Zealand, a trusted referee must be at least 16 years of age and one of the following: 

a.    Commonwealth representative  

b.    Member of the police  

c.    Justice of the peace 

d.    Registered medical doctor 

e.    Kaumatua 

f.     Registered teacher 

g.    Minister of religion 

h.    Lawyer  

i.     Notary public 

j.     New Zealand Honorary Consul  

k.    Member of Parliament 

l.     Chartered accountant 

m.   A person who has the legal authority to take statutory declarations or the equivalent in New Zealand 

Outside of New Zealand, a trusted referee must be a Justice of The Peace (or similar), or someone with legal authority to take statutory declarations. AML for Trusts is updated every three years and for Companies is every five years. Thank you for your understanding with this regulatory process.”   

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