New Zealand has a special place in the Pacific, says Transparency International NZ

11 September, 2007

"TINZ considers that political solutions can only arise from within a country and only through ongoing dialogue between different political interests. This is the Waitangi lesson, and the Bougainville lesson," said the Chair of the NZ anti-corruption organisation today, giving evidence before the Parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence looking at NZ's Pacific policy.

"The best thing that supportive external powers such as NZ can do is to take the long-term view and ensure that NZ policy is making room for this domestic dialogue to take place in a transparent way, so that domestic institutions can be built on solid foundations. The TI model uses the same philosophy," Mr Gerald McGhie went on to say.

"No other metropolitan power in the world can speak with the Pacific nations from the same background of
experience that New Zealand can."

Mr McGhie urged the Parliamentary Committee to focus on the special relationship NZ has with the Pacific.

"The countries in the Pacific are undergoing a rapid social, economic and political transformation, and New
Zealand needs to apply all its political wisdom that comes from its history, including the hard lessons of the Waitangi treaty negotiations, the success of the NZ-brokered Bougainville peace process, and of course its deep Polynesian roots."


For further information contact:
Marcus Pelto, Executive Officer TINZ @ phone (04)4969625, or

Transparency International is a global anti-corruption movement with autonomous chapters that arise from within countries. TINZ manages a programme funded by the NZ government which supports TI chapters in the Pacific with both financial and technical resources. The TI Pacific chapters are often exposed to intense political pressure. They require all the support they can get just to stay alive. TI believes that government works best when its institutions are tied inextricably to the citizenry through transparent and accountable political systems such as open and democratic elections.


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