Anti-Money Laundering

New legislation affecting real estate transactions commenced on 1 January 2019, requiring us to gather more information from our clients.


To maintain New Zealand’s image as one of the safest and least corrupt countries in the world, the government introduced the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML for short). Knowing that money sent into or out of New Zealand is not funding crime will help ensure other countries continue to transact with New Zealand businesses confidently.


The AML legislation came into effect for banks in 2013 and lawyers in June 2018. Real estate agents must, from January, take steps to assess the risks posed by money launderers, people who finance terrorism and any suspicious financial activity real estate companies encounter. This requires completing “customer due diligence” to verify the identity of all vendor clients to help ensure all the legitimacy of transactions.


It means real estate agents will start asking vendors for personal information that has not previously been required including a full name and date of birth supported by documents such as a passport, driver’s licence or birth certificate and documentation verifying a vendor’s residential address such as a current bank statement or rates notice.

There are no exemptions from the AML legislation. Trusts and companies must also comply with the provisions, meaning your real estate agent will require a copy of your trust deed and will need to identify all trustees. Even if you are a regular Harcourts client, you will need to provide this information, which will need to be updated from time to time.

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