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Minister: Time To Rebuild Neglected SFO

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Judith Collins
Judith Collins

The Minister Responsible for the Serious Fraud Office, Judith Collins, today said it is crucial the SFO rebuilds its capabilities after years of political neglect.

Speaking to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle in Auckland, Ms Collins said recent experiences of investors had shown that the oversight and enforcement of rules designed to protect investor interests were not up to scratch.

"I can't help but think how many investors might still have their life savings today if business regulations had been more robust and the SFO had been well supported, well resourced and backed politically over the past decade," Ms Collins said.

"At a time when there was a pressing need to boost oversight of the financial services industry, the Clark Government signalled its intentions to disband the SFO."

Ms Collins said the SFO had an important role to play in maintaining New Zealand's reputation as a safe place to invest and do business. She said the SFO has strong support from the Government as it rebuilds its capabilities.

"There is no place for cowboys when it comes to people's savings, New Zealand's international reputation or its future prosperity," Ms Collins said.

"This Government recognises that New Zealand's future growth will rely on good access to capital for young businesses to get started and for established businesses to expand.

"Investors must have the confidence that their money will be safe in the productive sector.

"I will be expecting the SFO to work closely with receivers, the business community, professional organisations and others who have an interest in a corruption free New Zealand.

"It will also be crucial that the SFO works more effectively with other regulators to ensure a speedier, united response to cases of suspected fraud.

"Perhaps most importantly, it will be expected to set clear priorities based around their impact on the public and the New Zealand economy."

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