Identification requirements for individuals

AML: What this means for the way we will work together

Law changes apply to lawyers and their clients from 1 July 2018. These laws already apply to banks and financial service providers and are known as AML (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, to be precise).

AML has been in place in New Zealand since 2013 and in addition to applying to your relationship with us from 1 July 2018, will apply to your relationship with your accountant from 1 October 2018 and any Real Estate Agent you deal with after 1 January 2019.

What this will mean for you

The laws requires us to ‘know our clients’ and to collect and verify information to show that we know our client is who they say they are.

AML includes a set of rules that prescribe what we must so to complete ‘customer due diligence’ (CDD). This includes collecting specific information from you, holding proof of ID and verification of your physical address. In certain circumstances we will also be required to obtain evidence of your source of wealth or the source of funds used to settle a transaction.

This document will guide you through what we require from you as an individual or as a person who owns, controls or acts on behalf of a client who is a business entity or Trust.


How to prove your identity

You can choose to prove your ID by providing documents from one of the list:

1.     One of the following primary photo ID:

a)     New Zealand passport

b)     New Zealand certificate of identity

c)     New Zealand firearms licence

d)     Overseas passport*

e)     National identity card*

*These documents must also include your name, date of birth, signature and be issued by a foreign government, the United Nations or an agency of the United Nations.


2.     Your New Zealand drivers licence PLUS one of:

a)     A current signed credit card, debit card or EFTPOS card issued by a registered New Zealand bank with your embossed name

b)     SuperGold card or Community Services Card

c)     A bank statement issued by a registered New Zealand bank*

d)     A statement issued by a New Zealand Government agency*

*These documents must be dated within the last 12 months. Original or online versions are acceptable.

All identification documents provided must be:

  • Original other than 2c & 2d if online versions have been printed
  • Valid, in force and in English
  • In good condition, clear and legible

If you are over the age of 65, we can accept your expired passport or drivers licence along with your SuperGold card.

How to prove your address

We will need a document that verifies your residential address which:

  • Displays your name and residential address
  • Be dated within the last 3 months unless it is from a registered New Zealand bank or New Zealand Government Agency

A document addressed to a PO Box that also includes your name and residential address is acceptable.

Accepted Documents:

  • An original document from a New Zealand Electoral Office
  • A utility bill from your power, gas, water, landline phone, SKY or internet service provider company
  • A New Zealand council rates notice/valuation
  • A document from a registered New Zealand bank (e.g. a statement, bank letter with credit or EFTPOS card, tax certificate, interest rate letter, advice of deposit or loan)
  • A document issued by a New Zealand Government agency
  • A residential rental agreement

Using a Trusted Referee

If you are in New Zealand and not able to meet with us face to face, you can choose to have your identification and proof of address documents certified by an approved trusted referee.

Specific rules apply to trusted referees and the certification they must give is as follows:

Certification must:

  • Include the name and signature of the trusted referee
  • Include the date of certification
  • Have been carried out in the last 3 months preceding us being given the copied documents

The trusted referees must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Sight the original identification documents
  • Make a statement to the effect that the documents provided are a true copy and represent the identity of the named individual (true likeness where photo ID is used)
  • Specify their capacity to act us a trusted referee from the approved trusted referee list below.

If you live overseas and wish to provide certified documents, please contact our AML Compliance Officer for specific instructions.

About Trusted Referees

There are some rules around who can and cannot act as your trusted referee.

The trusted referee you select must not be:

  • Your spouse or partner
  • Related to you or living at the same address as you
  • A person involved in the transaction or business requiring this certification

You are able to select any of the following to act as your trusted referee:

  • Member of the police
  • Justice of the peace
  • Registered medical doctor
  • Kaumatua ( as verified through a reputable source)
  • Registered teacher
  • Minister of religion
  • Lawyer (as defined in the Lawyers and Conveyancers ACT 2006)
  • Notary public
  • New Zealand Honorary Consul
  • Member of Parliament
  • Chartered accountant (within the meaning of s19 of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants Act 1996)
  • A person who has the legal authority to take statutory declarations or the equivalent in New Zealand
  • Commonwealth representative (as defined in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957)

Confirming your tax residency

As part of global measures to counter tax evasion, all NZ banks and financial institutions are now required to collect information about customers’ foreign tax residency and pass that and other personal and account information onto Inland Revenue, which may then be exchanged with overseas tax authorities.

Generally called the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), it has been initiated by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development under the Automatic Exchange of Information regime to achieve the exchange of certain information between participating countries. Currently over 100 countries have agreed to implement the standard, including New Zealand.

Where we hold funds for you in our Trust Account, we are acting as an agent for our Bank and are required to obtain a self-certification form before placing funds on deposit. In this you confirm:

  • Your country or countries of tax residence and corresponding tax number(s) or equivalent(s)
  • If you cannot supply your tax number(s) or equivalent(s), the reason why you can’t (for example, if the country does not issue tax numbers to its residents)

For more information about CRS check out the IRD website.