Historical Corruption in New Zealand

Historical corruption in a ‘non-corrupt’ society: Aotearoa New Zealand recently published by Robert Gregory (School of Government, VUW), and Daniel Zirker (School of Social Sciences, University of Waikato) looks at corruption in the colonisation of New Zealand.

This paper asks the question: Were the actions of European settlers and parliaments corrupt - i.e power used for personal gain? Does legalised governmental action become

corrupt when those actions are – in this case, the alienation of Māori land – based on deceit or abuse of legal power, or should it instead be understood as just a form of realpolitik? 

It’s a colonial story, but with current relevance as Māori face inequity and seek co-governance and restoration.   The Transparency International definition of corruption is the abuse of power for personal gain.  The passing of discriminatory laws on land sales and communal land use; land and resource appropriation; and legal constraints on language use and on cultural expression, driven by a desire to acquire resources and political power, do fit within the corruption definition. .

Read the full article: Historical corruption in a ‘non-corrupt’ Society: Aotearoa New Zealand as Published in Public Administration and Policy. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited

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