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On 3 December 2013, The Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin released its annual Global Corruption Perceptions Index. The Index, which ranks the public sector of 177 countries across the world, has consistently shown New Zealand as a country with a strong reputation for clean government. For 2013 Denmark and New Zealand tie for first place in the index due to perceptions that their public sectors have the lowest levels of corruption.
While welcoming this recognition for New Zealand, the local chapter of Transparency International is promising that its soon to be released assessment of New Zealand's integrity, Integrity Plus New Zealand 2013 National Integrity System Assessment, will provide a much more detailed report on the country's vulnerability to corruption.
Chair of Transparency International New Zealand, and Co-Chair of the National Integrity System assessment, Suzanne Snively said, "The annual perceptions index ranks New Zealand highly. Our collective role now is to ensure the reality and the perception match.
"The ambitious National Integrity System assessment to be released on 9 December gives the most comprehensive answer yet to the question, 'What factors cause New Zealand to rank consistently at the top and in which areas are we weak?"
The National Integrity Assessment will provide a measure on how well various state and other institutions contribute to preventing or mitigating corrupt activities. Transparency Internationalís is running a ruler over institutions such as Parliament, political parties, the judiciary, the public service, the watchdog organisations, media and the private business sector to assess where the integrity of New Zealand society and government is both strongest and weakest.
Ms Snively said "New Zealanders are recognizing that not only is this perception ranking of our integrity a source of pride, it represents a significant competitive advantage and economic benefits for New Zealand business.
"The extent to which our income producing sectors can leverage the potential offered from this enhanced reputation will however be determined by how we actively protect and treasure our reputation.
"Valuing our countries integrity based on perceptions of others is one thing; however having our integrity valued by our actions and deeds is a completely different matter. It is up to us all to ensure we promote good governance and ethical practices in our region".