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[FYI request #12247 email]
6 March 2020
Dear Edmund Dantes
Thank you for your email of 16 February 2020, received by New Zealand Trade and
Enterprise (NZTE) on 17 February 2020, making a request under the Official Information Act
1982 (the Act): You requested:
“Has NZTE, or any representatives of or people associated with NZTE, formed business
relationships with transnational criminal organizations or persons over the past year, and
have any meetings between representatives of NZTE or people associated with NZTE
been held in New Zealand since Christmas?
If any such meetings were held and I am sure they have been - did any concern the IT
sector, and, in particular online payment systems? If so, who was present at those
meetings, where were they held, when were they held, and what was discussed?
NZTE, along with a number of government departments, have a long and lucrative history
of forming relationships with transnational human traffickers and exploiters of migrant
workers to the benefit of the New Zealand economy and various international mafia
figures, corrupt diplomats, and officials in respect of the fishing industry, export education
sector, and beyond. More generally, how does New Zealand stand to benefit from
international money laundering for the Eastern European mafia and corrupt Asian
officials, for instance, through nebulous IT front companies, and what other growth areas
does NZTE see in the mid-term going forward?”
To the best of our knowledge, neither NZTE, nor any representatives of or people associated
have formed business relationships with transnational criminal organisations or
persons over the past year. Nor have any meetings been held with such organisations or
people in New Zealand since Christmas. We are not aware of any of these things
happening outside the specific timeframes in your request either.
NZTE certainly does not engage with or form relationships with criminal organisations.
You also asked how New Zealand stands to benefit from international money laundering for
the Eastern European mafia and corrupt Asian officials, and other growth areas NZTE sees
in the mid-term going forward.
NZTE does not engage in international money laundering or with organisations or people
that it knows are involved in international money laundering. Money laundering is a criminal
offence in New Zealand. NZTE does not see any benefit to New Zealand in engaging with
money laundering or other il egal activities. NZTE does not monitor such areas in any way,
including for growth opportunities, so is not able to answer this question in respect of such
1 We have defined ‘representatives of or people associated with NZTE’ to be employees, contractors
or consultants representing or acting on behalf of NZTE.
For growth areas in legal industries that NZTE engages with, we are seeing strong growth by
New Zealand exporting companies in the areas of technology, including agritech, fintech and
Software as a Service (SaaS), and specialised manufacturing. Food and Beverage is a
traditionally strong area for New Zealand and continues to be an important industry for New
Zealand exports. For investment growth sectors, NZTE focusses on areas where New
Zealand has a clear competitive advantage. The sectors we currently focus on are tourism,
technology, food and beverage, wood processing, advanced transportation and renewable
You have the right under section 28(3) of the Act to seek an investigation and review by the
Ombudsman. Information about how to make a complaint is available at:
or freephone: 0800 802 602.
Director - Ministerial
: +64 4 816 8100
: +64 4 816 8101
Level 15, The Majestic Centre, 100 Wil is Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand, PO Box 2878, Wellington 6140, New Zealand