The Maritime Powers Bill aims to give New Zealand law enforcement agencies powers to respond to serious criminal
offending in international waters. The powers to enforce New Zealand’s criminal law will address a range of serious
criminal offending including:offences that take place on board a New Zealand-flagged vessel in international watersoffences that take place on board a foreign-flagged vessel or stateless vessel in international waters for which New
Zealand has extraterritorial jurisdictionsituations where an alleged offender or evidence of criminal offending is located on a New Zealand, foreign, or
stateless vessel in international waters.
The bill targets serious criminal offending at sea, particularly focusing on transnational organised crime. This is
reflected by the bill only allowing powers to be used in cases when the penalty for offending is imprisonment for life
or two or more years’ imprisonment. It is important to note that fisheries enforcement in New Zealand waters and on the
high seas will remain subject to the Fisheries Act 1996 and will not be covered by this bill.
The bill also aims to uphold New Zealand’s rights and obligations regarding international law, particularly the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and international human rights obligations.
Tell the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee what you think Make a submission on the bill by midnight on 15
August 2021. For more details about the bill:Read the full content of the billWhat’s been said in Parliament about the bill?Follow the committee’s Facebook page for updates