2017 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks New Zealand Number One

New Zealand #1 least corrupt public sector in the world

Steve Snively

Transparency Times Newsletter Editor

New Zealand’s public sector is ranked the least corrupt in the world, according to Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released globally in late February.

Compiled annually by Berlin-based Transparency International, the CPI ranks countries worldwide by perceived levels of public sector corruption.

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) Chair, Suzanne Snively, says “Transparency International’s top CPI score for New Zealand reflects the integrity of our public servants. Our public sector leaders are inspiring their own people and others to harness the value that integrity and resultant good business contributes to a more prosperous New Zealand.

“All of New Zealand benefits from investments being made by public sector leaders, as well as regulators and businesses. They build public trust and business confidence by identifying and eliminating bribery and corruption and enable industry to leverage off our positive ranking.”

“Complacency, however, remains our biggest challenge. The prevention of corruption is too often a low priority. Work to enhance transparency must continue for New Zealand to maintain leadership in the fight against corruption. This includes more open public involvement in government decision making and a publically accessible registry of the beneficial owners of companies and trusts”, says Ms Snively.

TINZ Patron and former Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Don McKinnon, says that “Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index rankings are independent and objective assessments. Today’s announcement reiterates the importance of New Zealand having strong integrity systems in place. A perceived lack of corruption and active examples of good business practices make it easier for kiwi organisations to gain market access offshore, all of which ultimately benefits all New Zealanders.”

TINZ has identified seven important benefits for the New Zealand economy based on having strong integrity systems. These are: positive reputation and brand; greater customer loyalty; committed and engaged staff; easier market access; lower cost of business; increased returns on investments; and improved access to capital.

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, independent from other parts of government.

Key areas of assessment where New Zealand can improve include:

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  • Access to Information
  • Open Government
  • Order and Security
  • Fundamental Rights and Civil Justice
  • Absence of Corruption
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Lack of Constraints on Government Powers and Criminal Justice.

Detailed information about the Corruption Perceptions Index is at www.transparency.org/cpi