Message from the CEO

Janine McGruddy

Janine McGruddy
TINZ Chief Executive Officer

As progressive minded people all over the world come to grips with the results of the US presidential elections, they are all asking themselves the same question – how can it have gone so wrong? One thing is clear to me as we face the aftermath civil society organisations such as Transparency International New Zealand have now become even more relevant and vital to finding new ways of thinking and doing things.

Before the election, Mike Moore predicted the outcome in a blog and documentary saying, sadly the worst will happen – Trump will be President and that those who saw it as unthinkable were “…living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president…. You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – 77% of the electorate are women, people of colour, young adults under 35 and Trump can’t win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests! – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma”.

At about this stage one of my colleagues wrote similarly to me about the risk of our own echo chamber saying that: “One of the positive things about the conversations for integrity and transparency is they seem to cut across partisan lines. But still we only reach like-minded people. So, how do we get these conversations spread more widely? That's the big question.” Getting the traction TINZ is experiencing is a good start.

Currently here in New Zealand we are having excellent conversations with our public-sector leaders, with the banking and finance sector (see the Chair’s description of FISA), lawyers and accountants about integrity issues. These are occurring in our one-on-one meetings with public sector leaders, as well as by working with our corner stone partner, the Office of the Auditor General.

Events like the release of the Auditor-General's report on the Government's Saudi Sheep Contract provides the basis for a wider public debate about corruption and bribery. The report called for detailed analysis about what happened and how to avoid similar re-occurrences. It is often stated that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes and this clearly is an example of where that needs to happen. I sincerely hope that the necessary analysis takes place and lessons are learned so that we do not see a reoccurrence of this type of lawful but awful behaviour. It will be our ability to progress these kinds of conversations with the wider community in the coming year that will be our way out of the echo chamber.

Ngâ mihi

Janine McGruddy
TINZ Chief Executive Officer
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