18.32While MACMA contains provisions for the taking of evidence for a criminal proceeding under oath before a court, it does not expressly regulate the taking of evidence when an oath is not required, for example, a voluntary Police interview during an investigation. The Central Authority commonly receives requests of this nature and, similar to information requests, can respond under the general assistance provision in section 5.
18.33On receipt of such a request, Crown Law checks compliance with sections 26 and 27 of MACMA and will then, if it deems appropriate, authorise the New Zealand Police to visit the witness and obtain a signed statement or sworn affidavit, on a voluntary basis, which contains the requested information. We understand that the lack of regulation for this type of assistance in MACMA causes some concern for the Police, who are unsure whether the individual needs to be told about their rights. Concern also arises around ensuring that the foreign country’s officers have not said anything to make the person think they are required to talk.
18.34Our preliminary view is that a specific provision in MACMA could easily resolve this issue.
Q78 Do you think MACMA needs a statutory framework for collecting voluntary evidence?
Q79 Are there any other forms of assistance that MACMA ought to specifically to provide for?