Over the last two years the global pandemic has taken us to unheralded places.
The highs and lows of human emotion and tolerance have tested us all. Everyone has lost someone or something precious to them. For me it is not being able to hug our now three-year-old granddaughter in New York. I am very thankful to be able to talk to her through the wonders of technology.
While the impact of the pandemic is obvious in terms of people and technology, there are also consequences for our transparency and integrity systems some of which are apparent now, some that may take years or decades to manifest themselves.
A couple of examples come to mind. The growth in cyber-crime is very apparent in New Zealand and globally. And while the level of public debt and the size of private mortgages and indebtedness is generally transparent, the medium to long term consequences of that debt are less clear.
There will be other examples with consequences for our transparency and integrity systems. I encourage you to think about the opportunities those situations present to TINZ and its supporters, to actively improve the transparency and integrity of our nation.
On a related topic, we have traditionally experienced low levels of bribery and corruption in New Zealand. Will the circumstances we now face lead to more bribery and corruption? I sincerely hope not, but it will need active leadership to maintain our high standing on indexes such as the Corruption Perception Index.
As my term as Patron draws to an end, I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone in Transparency International New Zealand. I have watched with admiration the dedication and hard work of the Board, members with delegated authority and members, all who provide their time on a voluntary basis. The support provided by the staff under the leadership of Julie Haggie underpins the many and varied achievements of the organization.
I couldn’t finish without acknowledging the major contribution Dame Suzanne Snively made over the ten years she led TINZ as chair of the board. I wish Anne Tolley (Chair) and Gillian Greer (Deputy Chair) the very best as they lead TINZ into the future. Keep up the great work everyone and thank you for your contribution.