The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office (NZSFO) was set up in 1989 in response to issues arising out of the 1980s financial crisis, in particular the share‐market crash of 1987. In the short period of about a year the total sum thought to be involved in corporate fraud schemes in New Zealand had increased dramatically, from NZ$10m–15m before 1988 to NZ$50m–70m in 1989. Consequently, the Department of Justice proposed setting up a specialist institution and legal mechanisms for the investigation of serious or complex fraud.
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