Wellington, 11 March 2022 (TDI): New Zealand has passed the Russia Sanctions Act. Resultantly, Aotearoa New Zealand can now put sanctions on individuals as well as companies important to Russia, including oligarchs.

Sanctions are a common tool for seeking to influence foreign governments and individuals to change their behavior. As a United Nations member state, New Zealand is bound by the United Nations Security Council’s decisions to implement sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council in a regulation made under the United Nations Act 1946.

In response to Russia’s aggressive violations of international law, New Zealand endeavors to participate with everything tangible possible to oppose Russia’s invasion. New Zealand is heading for an autonomous sanction bill through its Parliament.

The bill will impose sanctions against Russia and its oligarchs. As stated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern “a bill of this nature has never been brought before our parliament but with Russia vetoing United Nations sanctions we have to enact ourselves to support Ukraine and our partners in opposition to this invasion”.

Similarly between New Zealand’s Russia Sanctions Act & Magnitsky Legislation

The Russia Sanctions Act is patronized very much like the Magnitsky Act of Legislation. Magnitsky Act formerly known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik amendment.

The Magnitsky rule of law enables governments to impose sanctions against foreign individuals and countries who have committed human abuses and violations involved in significant corruption.

This is considered to be a very effective and targeted approach to deal with gross human rights violators, kleptocracy as a form of personalized corruption. New Zealand initially responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a targeted travel ban, prohibiting export to the military and suspending bilateral ministry consultations.

The new sanctions would enable the government to freeze assets located in New Zealand and prevent those sanctions from moving assets to the country or using its financial system as “a back door to get around sanctions ” imposed by other countries.

The new law would also impose sanctions on states that are complicit with Russia including Belarus. Sanctions are also applicable to trade and financial institutions, Russia’s superyachts, ships, and aircraft from entering New Zealand waters and airspace.

New Zealand continues to call on Russia to do what is right and cease the military operation in Ukraine and permanently withdraw its forces to avoid catastrophic loss of human life.

By being part of a united front on sanctions New Zealand is considering offering Ukraine logistics support with non-lethal military aid such as medical packs body armor. New Zealand is providing an initial 2 million dollars in humanitarian aid,  prioritizing visa applications, and releasing some emergency oil stocks to help stabilize the turbulent oil market.