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The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys."
New Zealand has fallen to fourth place in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (TI-CPI). This is its second consecutive drop in a survey it has previously topped with the corruption-free reputation of its public sector.
Denmark, Finland and Sweden are now perceived to have the least corrupt public sectors. New Zealand was ranked number one in both the 2012 and 2013 surveys, falling behind Denmark in the 2014 survey then Sweden and Finland in the just-released 2015 survey.
The TI-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.
Produced annually by Transparency International the CPI ranks countries on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt) based on external surveys and assessments from 13 reputable international organizations. The CPI measures perception of corruption due to the difficulty of measuring absolute levels of corruption.
First released in 1995, it is the best known of TI's tools. It has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.
The Index has consistently shown New Zealand as a country with low levels of corruption in its public sector. Since its inception, the country has always scored in the 98th percentile, with a score of 90 in 2012, and ranks either at the top or within the top three countries in the world.
The CPI focus is on corruption of public officials and government entities.
The TINZ 2013 Integrity Plus National Integrity System Assessment provides insight into the strengths of New Zealand's institutions and their contribution to our corruption intolerant society.
Factors that contribute to New Zealand's strength include:
There are a number of factors that could lead to increased levels of corruption in New Zealand and a lower international perception.
Note: There is a highly significant correlation between real gross domestic product per capita and CPI ranking; New Zealand is an exception with a markedly lower GDP/Capita.