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Dotcom's mega mess: New Zealand's role in a foreign search warrant request

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posted on 14.11.2021, 02:01 by Sothieson, Dhaxna

In January 2012, the United States requested the assistance of the New Zealand government under the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 (MACMA) to execute a search warrant at Kim Dotcom’s residence. A few months later, the High Court held that this warrant was invalid and its execution unlawful. The case illustrates the importance of effective cooperation between two executive authorities. This article will build on the case and argue that the flexibility of MACMA provisions must be used by domestic authorities to ensure that a request accords with domestic law and fulfils the purpose of the Act. The flexibility of these provisions are even more important to utilise under the new landscape of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012, enacted after Dotcom v Attorney-General, to ensure that New Zealand can register and enforce a foreign search warrant request.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Grantor

Victoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka

Degree Name

LL.B. (Honours)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970118 Expanding Knowledge in Law and Legal Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Law