In case you missed it

Democracy

Transparency, civic participation vital for democracy, say leaders at UN (United Nations, Sep 21): Transparency and civic participation in decision-making are vital for democracy, the economy and sustainable development, government and civil society, leaders said on Tuesday as they celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) here.

Karl Kane and Richard Bartlett - E-Democracy With voter participation at an all-time low among digital natives is there a digital fix to a growing crisis of democratic participation? Richard Bartlett is a co-founder of group decision making tool Loomio and recently spent time in Taiwan where e-democracy is flourishing. Karl Kane is a Massey University lecturer in visual communication design and the director of the Design+Democracy Project which recently developed Vote Local to help young people identify mayoral candidates with similar priorities to themselves.

New book asks how much power the government should have Former Prime Minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer and Dr Andrew Butler are seeking New Zealanders’ views about whether this country should have a written constitution and, if so, what should be in it.

Give me some election cash, and I'll promise to forget who you are: If you have a suspicious mind about the possible connections between donations to candidates and future decisions of elected officials, by the time you see the electoral returns, it'll be too late to do anything

Govt wants 'free and frank advice': PM Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally.

Corporate transparency

A growing call from business for company ownership transparency: With the release of its latest Economic Contribution and Payments to Governments Report today, BHP Billiton becomes the latest in a growing list of companies and business leaders highlighting the importance of company ownership transparency, and starting to walk the talk by being transparent about elements of their own company structures, entities and ownership.

Corruption in New Zealand

'Unremorseful' Ngatata Love jailed for 2.5 years: Sir Ngatata Love could be stripped of his knighthood after being sentenced to jail for obtaining property by deception.

Corruption at council widespread - Crown: A rare prosecution of alleged corruption in the New Zealand public sector has heard of a claimed cascading culture of bribery that saw a senior Auckland Council manager collect $1.1 million and his subordinates taken for a $3000 lunch.

RM30mil more in cash found overseas: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized RM114 million worth of assets – RM53.7 million in cold cash from two senior Sabah Water Department officials. Six days later it traced RM30 million more to foreign banks and another RM30 million in land titles. Investigations led to the money trail in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.

The Real Scandal Behind the Panama Papers: Governments and many in the corporate sector thrive on secrecy and do whatever they can to expand its scope. In contrast, among citizens in general there is a widely shared vision of an “open society.” It is a never-ending battle. Those of us who have grown up in a world where there is more than lip service to transparency are sometimes inclined to take it too much for granted—we don’t always appreciate its significance or its power. If nothing else, the experience in Panama is a reminder of how frightening transparency seems in the eyes of its enemies.

Citizen Yan strikes deal with police over $40 million of assets William Yan has reached a settlement with the police over the $40 million of assets seized following a money-laundering inquiry.

New Zealand housing crisis

Westpac and ANZ stop lending to foreign property buyers: Westpac and ANZ have stopped issuing home loans to foreign buyers in a move that could help first home buyers. A Westpac spokeswoman said the bank would no longer lend to non-resident borrowers with overseas income.

Police and officials warn of property laundering: Police research concludes a loophole is allowing lawyers, accountants and real estate agents to be increasingly used to launder $1.6 billion in dirty money annually - including into New Zealand's booming property markets.

Families with children now 53 percent of NZ's homeless: More than half of New Zealand's 41,000 homeless people are now families with children, according to new University of Otago research.

Mood of the Boardroom: Bosses to Government - act on housing: It's time the Government did more to dampen house price inflation, say 70 per cent of New Zealand chief executives.

Revealed: The truth about foreign buyers: Across all of New Zealand, 3 per cent of houses sold between January and March 2016 went to people who were not New Zealand citizens or holders of a residency, student or work visa.

Rachel Smalley: London's Sadiq Khan shows way on foreign house buyers: “Sadiq Khan is approaching this issue from the right angle, I think. He's seeking transparency. He's not anti-foreign investment. And he's not anti-Chinese. He's simply pro-transparency. He wants to get an accurate picture, and he's bypassed central government to do so. There's a lesson there.”

Indexes

Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2016: Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Transparency Index, 2016.

France comes out on top in JLL’s Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Index: The FINANCIAL -- France has topped JLL’s Real Estate Environmental Sustainability Index for the first time, ranking in the “highly transparent” category alongside Australia, the United Kingdom and Japan, thanks to the consistent roll-out of legislated mandates to transition to a low carbon economy.

New Zealand 13th most competitive nation: New Zealand is the 13th most competitive country in the world, according to the 2016 Global Competitiveness Index.

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