TINZ New Year’s Wishes

TINZ Staff

New Governments tend to bring with them fresh optimism and hope for further reform, and New Zealand is no exception.  We are very pleased with the commitments this government has made for better practices around issues of transparency.  Several Members of Parliament have promised to work directly with Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) in advancing our mutual corruption prevention interests.

There are opportunities to demonstrate that a trusted society is a productive, more prosperous and harmonious one. Here are several areas where we will be looking for progress:

  1. Advance of the recommendations in the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment (NIS). It provides research-based evidence about the attributes of governance, mandate and capacity to improve personal and family inclusion, and ability to participate, work and prosper in a cohesive society. Of the NIS recommendations, two in particular are worth highlighting – Parliamentary oversight and the funding of political parties:
    • The NIS finds that Parliament’s administrative arrangements and officers are not subject to the Official Information Act 1982, nor is there a code of conduct for members of Parliament or transparency of lobbying of members of Parliament.
    • How politicians raise and spend their funds, including indirect state funding provided opaquely to the parties in Parliament, and how the state attempts to regulate their activities. Legitimacy is a major problem with low levels of membership of and public trust in political parties.
  2. Progressing the commitment to the Open Government Partnership and deepening the public consultation on it so that civil society, the wider community and business sectors work together to ensure that the associated National Action Plan engages people throughout our country to become involved, bringing in their voices as contributors to policy development.
  3. Building-in transparency around the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement – this is both important for maintaining our local sovereignty as a democracy, and engaging the wider business sector, including SMEs, in the wider free-trade opportunities.
  4. To ensure that the public has access to the tools that empower them to build strong integrity systems.  For example, TINZ has developed a free on-line anti-corruption training programme and is working with the Serious Fraud Office, BusinessNZ and law and accounting firms.
  5. Help sustain our democracy with a broad initiative for civics in schools to empower children – rich and poor – to engage, express their rights, and exercise their power.

 

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