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New Zealand fell to fourth place in the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released on 27 January, 2016. This is its second consecutive drop in a survey it has previously topped 7 times because of the corruption-free reputation of its public sector.
Denmark, Finland and Sweden are now perceived to have the least corrupt public sectors. New Zealand which was ranked number one in both the 2012 and 2013 surveys, fell behind Denmark in the 2014 CPI and then Sweden and Finland as well in the just-released 2015 survey.
The CPI is produced each year to highlight the global importance of transparency. Dropping to fourth place has huge disadvantages for New Zealand, both from a governing and economic perspective.
Further downgrades in New Zealand’s scores are likely if areas such as access to information and governance of the environment fail to keep pace with the trends in northern European countries
“A clean reputation makes us attractive to do business with and secures qualified migrants and confident tourists. New Zealand’s high ranking on the CPI is a factor that gives this credibility. The fall in score and rank is a wake-up call to the Government and Public Sector. Only when we make corruption prevention routine and comprehensive can we move ahead of the northern European countries and reclaim a number1 ranking," says Transparency International New Zealand Chair, Suzanne Snively.
The CPI scores and ranks 168 countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of reputable institutions. The CPI is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.
Top performers share key characteristics: high levels of press freedom; access to budget information so the public knows where money comes from and how it is spent; high levels of integrity among people in power; and judiciaries that don’t differentiate between rich and poor, and that are truly independent from other parts of government.
New Zealand score in 2015 was 88 with first place Denmark ar 91.
New Zealand's recent Corruption Perceptions Index ranks and scores:
This ranking of the public sector belies the fact that New Zealand companies are facing increased exposure to risks of corruption as they trade and operate increasingly in countries where corrupt practices exist. New Zealand companies are urged to take the risks to New Zealand’s reputation seriously and to ensure their staff are supported with policies and guidelines about what to do when confronted with corrupt practices such as bribery, foreign agents and facilitation payments.
CPI 2015 Country Map With Scores