Sports minister Murray McCully has confirmed match-fixing will be acknowledged as a criminal offence in New Zealand, with a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment, ahead of next year's World Cup in Australasia.

McCully noted that some elements of match-and spot-fixing are covered by existing laws guarding against crimes such as fraud, they were not designed to deal specifically with sports.

"Seeking to gain unfair advantage to illegally profit from sports betting, these activities compromise athletes and tarnish sport," said McCully.

"It would be naive to think that we are immune from these international risks. Therefore, it is important to take pre-emptive steps to safeguard our athletes and international sporting reputation."

Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi has confirmed verified fast bowler Mohammad Amir's ban will be reduced from five years to four. The reduction will occur when the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption laws are revised at a board meeting in June.

Amir was banned in 2010 for deliberately bowling no-balls during the Test match against England. He pleaded guilty, unlike team-mates Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt, who unsuccessfully contested long bans.

"After the report is presented in June we will make a petition of Amir according to the news laws. My understanding is that his punishment will be reduced by one year and he will be able to play domestic and first-class cricket," said Sethi.

Amir's suspension from international cricket until August 2015, however, is likely to stand. Chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed insisted the PCB are not hopeful about the ICC clearing the seamer to play for Pakistan until after the World Cup.