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"New Zealand still tops the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index," said Gerald McGhie, Chairman of the New Zealand Chapter of the international organization, on the launching of the 2007 CPI ratings today.
"New Zealand has good reason to be proud of its continuing high standing on the Index," said Gerald McGhie.
"179 countries are rated annually by the global anticorruption movement and countries monitor their ratings very closely."
"The CPI primarily measures corruption in the public sector. Experts see a direct correlation between corruption and the quality of government."
"New Zealand has always achieved a high place on the index since it started in 1995. On the 2007 index we are in the company of Finland and Denmark."
Mr McGhie also spoke about the standing of our neighbouring Pacific island countries, three of which were new entrants to the Index. "Samoa's ranking at 57 reflects the hard work of the Samoan government to get to grips corruption and create a country that is attractive to live and invest in," he said.
"Kiribati (at 84) and Tonga (at 175) make the list for the first time. Their low ranking demonstrates how much work they will have to do to lift their ranking next year."
"These rankings confirm that the New Zealand Chapter in association with the Secretariat of Transparency International should continue to support programmes aimed at strengthening good governance in the Pacific region."
Mr McGhie praised the work of NZAID, the New Zealand Government aid agency for the support they have given the New Zealand Chapter for promoting good governance in the Pacific. TI chapters operate in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu.
TI chapters work, often in difficult circumstances, in their home countries against corruption and spread the message amongst their fellow citizens that good governance means better government.
For further information please contact:
Marcus Pelto, Executive Officer Transparency International New Zealand Chapter at Ph (04) 496 9625; 0211 346 240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Gerald McGhie is available for comment.