From the Chair

Suzanne Snively

Suzanne Snively
TINZ Chair

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TINZ new banner outside Auckland February event with Mark Sainsbury, Master of Ceremonies for the event

An engaged audience at TINZ’s first Auckland panel discussion of the year, How New Zealand Can Prevent Corruption and Why it Matters (25 February), highlighted the range of areas where the wider public believes that corruption exists in New Zealand.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

A challenge is that limited resources for investigation and few forums for discussion have fermented uncertainty about whether these beliefs are based on anecdote or could be supported with independent evidence.

In a recent public corruption case, a new immigrant, who pleaded guilty, was let off on the basis of lack of knowledge of the appropriate behaviour when dealing with the Auckland Council. This means that until there are cases before the Courts, there will continue to be little case law surrounding corrupt behaviours of this nature.

A new report published by PwC last month reveals that 55% of New Zealand firms have no incident response plan for cybercrime, or have one that is not yet operational. Yet there was very little public response from businesses regarding the PwC report.

Similarly, there was only limited response from the around 90,000 New Zealand independent sporting organisations to the voluminous Global Corruption Report: Sport published by the Secretariat of Transparency International on 23 February (see next story for further discussion).

Instead of leading to constructive responses from businesses and sporting bodies, the published reports have instead aroused angry feedback from individuals who regard themselves as long-standing victims of other forms of corruption. Their seething anger is tying up processes designed to provide resolution.

At the Auckland event, there was considerable discussion about the potential to channel some of this anger by setting up effective whistle-blowing channels backed up by a strong protective disclosure regime.

TINZ’s view remains that the best antidote for corruption is prevention. While preventing corruption is an objective of any modern democracy, the positive reputational and branding impact, resulting from low levels of corruption and trusted systems, creates opportunity for everyone. This means a greater tax base to support the public sector. It also means more organisations with the sustainability to provide careers, better wages and engaging work.

TINZ effort and priority is directed towards the prevention of corruption, as well as activities to harvest and share the benefits of strong integrity systems. This is the way to move from a spiral of anger to one of hope.

Suzanne Snively, Chair
Transparency International New Zealand Inc.


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