Established by the Serious Fraud Office Act 1990, the Serious Fraud Office is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of suspected cases of serious or complex fraud. Suspects questioned by the SFO have no right to silence and must answer questions and produce requested evidence, even if it incriminates them.
The New Zealand Government announced in September 2007 that the SFO would be replaced by a new Organised Crime Agency.
However, the bill to disband the SFO was delayed by the inquiry into donations received by the political party New Zealand First. After the November 2008 election the new Prime Minister John Key informed Parliament that the SFO would not be disbanded.