Autonomous Sanctions back on the agenda

National is committed to ensuring New Zealand shares the same diplomatic tools and capabilities as its Western counterparts, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.

Mr Brownlee’s Autonomous Sanctions Bill would allow a New Zealand government to impose sanctions on foreign individuals, entities or regimes responsible for situations of international concern.

“This is a revival of a Government Bill introduced by the National Government in 2017, left on the Order Paper by Labour for three years before being dropped in 2020,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Legislation of this kind, also known as Magnitsky-style regimes, exist in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union, and were used in a coordinated effort earlier this year to sanction those involved in the Uyghur abuses.

“New Zealand was unable to join this effort, as we do not have the same legal mechanisms, which are also expected to come before the Australian Parliament this year. 

“New Zealand has always had a strong independent foreign policy outside of forums like the United Nations, which will always be subject to veto powers.

“We should have the ability to stand with like-minded nations and impose sanctions on actors involved in situations contrary to international law and our values.”

You can find a copy of the Autonomous Sanctions Bill here.