NZCCL argued in this 2005 submission that the proposed rights of customs to apply seizure and forfeiture powers to goods even without proof of guilt is in breach of fundamental constitutional statutes, including the Bill of Rights 1688, and the Magna Carta, which still have legal applicability in New Zealand. The rights are also made explicit in Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US Constitution and many other statutes including the New Zealand Bill of Rights. “….. the forfeiture and seizure of goods by customs without trial, and as a deterrent is simply a modern form of state theft”.
The Customs and Excise Act was passed in 2006.
The submission by Tony Ellis on 13 December 2004 to The Law Commission on the reforming the Customs Act Forfeiture and Seizure Powers is below.