From the Chair

Suzanne Snively

Suzanne Snively
Chair, Transparency International New Zealand Inc (TINZ)

New Zealand sits at the centre of a perfect storm.

Around the world, leaders of governments, businesses, and organisations are waking up to the need to scour out corruption. Major scandals, such those at FIFA and Volkswagen, have jolted businesses, organisations and governments into being pro-active about strengthening integrity systems as they recognise how quickly hard-won reputations—and economic well-being—can be destroyed by corrupt practices.

Perplexingly, in New Zealand many of our leaders, directors and executives refuse to take seriously the measures that are necessary to prevent corruption and complacency.

When issues are raised to address what appear to be corrupt practices, many New Zealand leaders react defensively rather than correctively. The wider public generally supports them, preferring to shoot the messenger rather than demand accountability.

This low level of willingness to strengthen integrity systems is undermining the legitimacy of our public institutions, civil society organisations and private businesses. One indication is the World Justice Project comparisons with others, foreshadowing the likelihood that both New Zealand’s score and ranking will drop when the 2015 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index is published at the end of January 2016.

There are huge challenges to engaging policy-makers (either elected or employed) and business executives to talk openly about their approach to preventing corruption. Where there are integrity officers, the priority often appears to be enforcing the power of senior management rather than building a trusting internal culture.

For the wider public, corruption it is a topic to be avoided—along with politics and religion— which limits the dialogue concerning ways to achieve greater openness and public accountability.

TINZ’s working hypothesis is that these behaviours stem from lack of knowledge. Its solution is to communicate the huge stakes, and strive to identify and promote key tools and processes that support good governance and transparency.

The TINZ Board was delighted then when the New Zealand Defence Force received an “A” score in the Government Defence Anti-corruption Index.

Speaking at TINZ’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), NZDF’s CEO, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, added to this reassurance. He set out how NZDF intends to not only maintain the “A” grade, but also to address the weaknesses identified by the research, that was carried out to assess the 76 scores that make up the index.

Suzanne Snively, Chair
Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Actions

Recent Activity

Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 TINZ media release
Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Perception Index (TI CPI) has found that the New Zealand and Denmark public sectors are the least corrupt in the world. 25 Jan, 2017

TINZ OGP Submission
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) submitted recommendations for New Zealand’s second Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (NAP). Among the recommendations were a call for more ambition in creating NAPs and developing channels of communication for improving engagement with citizens. 19 Aug, 2016

Safeguarding the public interest in research
1 Aug, 2016

EU and New Zealand tax transparency
1 Aug, 2016

London Summit 2016 NZ Statement Commitments Progress
31 Jul, 2016

New Zealand Country Statement Anti Corruption Summit London 2016
29 May, 2016

Shewan Inquiry Submission Media Release
TINZ has provided its submission to the Shewan Inquiry calling on the government to widen the terms of reference to protect New Zealand's reputation and future proof our laws following the release of the "Panama papers". 21 May, 2016

CPI 2015 TINZ Media Release
Corruption Free? NZ drops again. New Zealand has fallen to fourth place in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). 26 Jan, 2016