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“Simply by sailing in a new direction you can enlarge the world”. - Allen Curnow
Around 100 people gathered at Victoria University on 1 December to warmly remember anti-corruption champion Jeremy Pope. Despite his untimely death in August 2012 his advice shaped the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment (NIS) and it was dedicated to him. A formal presentation of a bound copy was made to his wife, Diana Pope.
TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively, Former Ombudsman Liz Brown and NIS Co-Director Murray Petrie outlined the significance of the system devised and developed by Jeremy Pope whose 2000 Source Book has been translated into over 20 languages and used all over the world to understand integrity systems. “The 2013 New Zealand NIS assessment may not have been completed while Jeremy was still with us but it was very much his”.
Former International Criminal Court Judge, legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014 Tuiloma Neroni Slade shared memories and observations of Jeremy as professional colleague friend and mentor.
Mr Slade painted a picture of a highly personal character with a keen intellect , a fertile mind and a powerful ethical compass. Mr Slade also very much recognized what he called the ‘duality’ of the partnership of Jeremy and Diana Pope and their collective life works.
He said Jeremy brought a dimension of unfussiness in his intellectual approach to the law. “He worked to under an unwavering belief in the rule of law as providing protection for all citizens. Law needed to be clear and just, and written in terms that citizens could understand”.
He said Jeremy’s holistic view of governance contributed substantively to our learning through two complementary approaches: at the macro level he focused on strengthening national integrity systems while at the same time he actively worked with citizens on ground up formulation of policies and activities affecting their daily lives.
Jeremy’s partnership with Peter Eigen to establish Berlin-based Transparency International was described as truly “innovative”. Mr Slade said so much of his thinking and beliefs had been formed and distilled in the support systems of the Commonwealth, and that this culminated in his work to eliminate corruption with TI seemed to be “the loudest of accolades”.
Chair of the 2013 New Zealand NIS Independent Research Advisory Group, Helen Sutch, also relayed stories. She recalled the sweet surprise of Jeremy and herself when they found themselves on the same stage in Lithuania speaking about corruption.
Diana Pope received the report and shared memories of Jeremy's curiosity and sense of optimism. “Jeremy enjoyed everything he ever did”. She thanked the New Zealand Chapter of Transparency International and recalled that “when you are on the side of right, good things happen”.
A largely unsung New Zealand hero, Jeremy Pope set the direction and has left much to a large and grateful world. His legacy requires our ongoing attention. There is always room for strengthening. We must not be complacent.