Good read: New Zealand’s enforcement philosophy

From the Departmernt of Internal Affairs (DIA), it’s entitled “Minimising Harm – Maximising Benefit”…

Minimizing Harm (Highlighting the AML section):


We are concerned about the harmful effect objectionable and restricted material can have on the community – especially families, children, and young people.

We are particularly concerned about the link between the demand for child/youth abuse content and the actual sexual or physical abuse of children and young people.

We work with local and international organisations and agencies to identify and stop abusers, and identify and help victims.


We are concerned about the harm that gambling can have on people, their families, and their communities. We are particularly concerned about problem gambling and the disproportionate negative impact it can have on vulnerable people and communities.

Studies indicate that most people gamble without negative effects. However, problem gambling can result in the loss of wealth, health and well-being and this impact can extend beyond gamblers to include others. It may even lead some to commit crimes or to neglect important responsibilities.

We are concerned about the potential for criminals manipulating gambling to

support their illicit activities. Stopping criminals from exploiting the gambling sector is an important way we can make our communities safer.


We are concerned about the burden unsolicited commercial messages can have on New Zealand’s Internet users and systems, and the link between

unsolicited messages with deception, fraud and the propagation of harmful computer viruses and malware.

To gain a partnership with international regulators, we must play an active part in international efforts to combat this activity.

Anti-money laundering

We are concerned about criminals and terrorists abusing New Zealand’s financial system to hide or move money, so that they can sustain or profit from their harmful activities.

We are concerned about the adverse impact on New Zealand’s reputation if our financial system is easy for criminals and terrorists to exploit.

Private security personnel & private investigators

We carry out investigations and participate in hearings relating to the licensing of private security personnel and private investigators.

It is important that people working in these industries can be trusted by those businesses and the public who need to rely on them. Unlicensed, untrained entities can endanger people and businesses.

And Maximizing Benefit:


We want people to be well-informed and to have a reliable means of choosing age-appropriate films, videos and publications, including those available through the Internet and other forms of electronic entertainment.

We want to support local content producers and distributors to produce and distribute content without unnecessarily burdensome or costly compliance frameworks.

We support the information and communication sector to manage the challenges of objectionable and restricted publications effectively.


We support the gambling industry to enable the public to enjoy gambling as a safe and responsible form of entertainment.

We want to make it easy for community groups to continue to use traditional forms of smaller-scale gambling, such as raffles and Housie, in a safe and responsible manner.

We continue to work with the community and the Class 4 gambling industry to ensure that maximimum net proceeds are returned to genuine and diverse community needs.

A well-regulated and responsible gambling industry can contribute to New Zealand’s economy through employment, tourism and a vibrant, diverse community sector.


The Internet is a great way of doing business and for staying in touch via social networks. We want people and businesses to use the Internet for commerce and social connections in a way that promotes a safe and secure environment.

We want customers to engage with businesses they choose without being overwhelmed by unsolicited and potentially harmful messages.

We support the information and communication sector to effectively manage the challenges of unsolicited commercial electronic messages.

Anti-money laundering

New Zealanders need a financial sector that is trustworthy, operates with integrity and keeps criminals out.

There is a global benefit in preventing local and international criminals and

terrorists from exploiting the New Zealand finance sector to fund criminal terrorist acts.

Private security personnel & private investigators

Trained, licensed private security personnel help New Zealanders to be safer at work and in their homes, and to participate in social and recreational events.

The document also includes a number of models thet DIA applies., Here’s model 1 (diagram and some explanatory text removed):


We believe that you do not want to comply or are wilfully negligent

We believe you do not want to comply but will if we pay attention

We believe you genuinely try to comply but do not always succeed


We use the full force of the law

We deter non-compliance through detection

We assist you to comply

We make compliance as simple & straightforward as possible, & supply guidance & advice when required


How we might respond

Prosecution, licence suspension or cancellation, fines & pecuniary penalties

Auditing, intelligence, inspections, monitoring, formal warnings, infringement notices & fines

Guidance, information, templates, codes of practice, simplified compliance & notices

Providing guidance, online services, longer licensing, compliance cooperation agreements & collaborative initiatives

And their approach to compliance and enforcement:

Outcomes focused

Our compliance work and enforcement is heavily influenced by a desire to have maximum impact on delivering our outcomes.

We want people to comply with the law in a way that best delivers the outcomes we are interested in achieving.


We are fair and reasonable. Our people act with the highest level of integrity and in accordance with the Department’s and public sector’s codes of conduct.

Being fair means giving people affected by our enforcement and compliance work opportunities to contribute to our thinking and decision-making processes.

It means our responses are fair, reasonable, unbiased and made in accordance with the principles of good administrative practice and natural justice.

We are interested in using our regulatory activities to ensure that the sectors we regulate operate fairly and that there is a level-playing field for all participants.


We are consistent. This means we take similar approaches in similar circumstances. It does not mean uniformity. Each case and set of circumstances is unique and must be handled as such.

We may pursue some non-compliance more vigorously than other superficially similar cases; some breaches may receive firmer sanctions than other similar offending.

The key is that our approach and decision-making is consistent and responsive.

Public expectations

Our response to non-compliance, while consistent and fair, may be informed by the public’s expectations for firm action.

The public expects that offending that adversely affects or has the potential to adversely affect vulnerable individuals, such as children and problem gamblers, to be dealt with in a firm way.

Transparency & openness

We are clear about our approach to compliance and enforcement and how we make our decisions.

Those affected by our decisions have opportunities to ask questions and to seek review.

We will analyse, identify risks, & use intelligence to target effort

Most people willingly comply with legal requirements if they are well-informed and supported to comply. We sustain

this compliance but also focus our regulatory efforts on those parties we have reason to believe are unwilling to comply or are willfully negligent. We use risk and intelligence analyses and our own knowledge and expertise to target and prioritise efforts and interventions on the areas of greatest harm, or where we believe we can have the strong- est effect on maximising compliance.

Goal focused

Our primary interest is obtaining long-term sustainable compliance. This does not mean we will not take action against serious breaches. We are likely to take firmer action against non-compliance that we consider is deliberate, deceptive or negligent. Breaches that create or have the potential to create harm, or involve criminal behaviour, or where they adversely affect the interests of people or communities, are more likely to attract more serious action.

Simplifying compliance

We make compliance as straightforward and simple as possible in the circumstances. We are clear about our expectations.

We are committed to continuously improving our systems and working with the regulated community to reduce the cost and burden of compliance that has been created by unnecessarily complex or demanding requirements and processes.

We provide the tools and guidance necessary to support compliance.

Supporting responsibility & excellence

We support organisations that take on greater responsibility for positive community outcomes and that are striving for excellence by spreading information about good practice, supporting responsible initiatives and actions, and recognising excellence.

We support individuals and organisations needing help to comply. We provide a lot of information and guidance and make compliance as simple as possible. We tolerate unintentional errors and mistakes. We understand mistakes happen and can help rectify them when they are brought to our attention openly and early.

Trust & confidence

The public and our local and international stakeholders can trust and have confidence in our work because we are recognised as an effective, competent and principled modern regulator. We use a full range of regulatory/enforcement tools in a smart and focused way to obtain compliance and achieve positive community/public outcomes.

We can help

We support compliance by:

• engaging with regulated parties and other stakeholders

• providing guidance and support

• minimising the compliance burden

• connecting regulated parties with their communities

• encouraging and supporting disclosure of unintentional non-compliance.

There’s more, of course, including case studies. But, as you can see, it’s very accessible and not as dry as, say, the OFAC Enforcement Guidelines.


Minimising Harm – Maximising Benefit

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