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Director, Transparency International New Zealand
Charles Hett was appointed to the TINZ Board from March 1 2015 and welcomed at its February meeting.
Charles believes sunlight and transparency are critical features of social environments and the benefits of a low-corruption society can easily be lost (like reputation) and are hard to regain - so he sees them as worth applying energy and effort to maintain.
Charles comes from the financial sector and has experience of financial services businesses in New Zealand, Australia, UK and Asia; both as a consultant and holding various insurance company roles. Charles established and has led the Deloitte NZ actuarial team since 2008. He is currently the Appointed Actuary to two insurers - one general insurer and one life insurer. He is a qualified actuary and holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics from Oxford University. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
Charles has undertaken significant research into complex adaptive systems, the nature of knowledge-sharing and how to help groups of people improve things that are important and help them achieve their goals. Much of this involves narrative, collaboration and transparency; Charles is a Director of Storymaker Research Institute.
Here are some of Charles's responses to our questions:
What motivated you to Join TINZ? I am excited about the chance to provide real support to TINZ governance alongside necessary services to help us focus on the important issues.
Why does New Zealand have such a strong international reputation for transparency and good governance and how does New Zealand benefit? I think it is partly size. It is easier and safer I think for smaller governments to be more open and we also benefit from being a relatively new society. Our reputation provides an open door for almost all NZ activities including trade. The fact so many New Zealanders' have noticeable roles in global organisations links to New Zealand's bold, independent and transparent society.
What challenges do we face? Timeframes and visibility are major challenges to our effort of promoting transparency, good governance, and ethical practices in New Zealand. These values and behaviours take time to build and enhance and yet are comparatively invisible. Losing them, however, could happen quickly and visibly.
What steps do you think we can take to safeguard us from corruption in New Zealand? Vigilance, discussion and encouragement are key steps. It is imperative we help wider society see and gain benefits from our positive environment and also be encouraged to demonstrate that corruption in New Zealand is not acceptable in any way at any time.