Julie Read, anti-corruption advocate

By Dame Suzanne Snively, DNZM
TINZ Lifetime Member

Julie Read has quietly left the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after her full term of nine years at the helm.

She was well equipped for the role based on her  previous experience with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This included work as Special Counsel, Litigation, responsible for the conduct of major litigation for ASIC. Prior to that she was Senior Executive, Major Fraud and International.

Julie brought huge expertise and experience to identify and prosecute serious fraud. She made major progress in leading the Government to address the wider concept of corruption.

In an incoming ministerial briefing she pointed out that

“The SFO’s work helps guard New Zealand’s international reputation as a society where public institutions are trusted and widely respected for transparency and integrity. Our performance safeguards the country’s financial system and institutions against criminal activities capable of destroying that trust.”

She performed admirably in preserving trust in New Zealand’s public institutions and through this New Zealand’s reputation as a trusted place to do business.

Julie and TINZ

Julie was a strong supporter of Transparency International New Zealand through her participation, presentations and other contributions to the Public Sector Leadership Integrity Forums.

SFO Accomplishments

Through the SFO, Julie was a major initiator and contributor to the development of a national anti-corruption strategy for New Zealand. She understood and articulated that an effective anti-corruption strategy builds public trust and contributes to strengthening peoples’ wellbeing and the economy.

Julie succeeded in gaining additional resources to expand the role of the SFO to better address corruption and identifying  ways that education about the nature of corruption can contribute to the prevention of corruption.

Political Party Funding

In her last years as CEO at the SFO, Julie prosecuted several cases aimed at clarifying the rules for political party funding. This aligns with the findings of TINZ’s National Integrity System Assessments that political party funding is one of New Zealand’s major corruption risks. 

TINZ wishes to acknowledge the major contribution Julie Read made to widening knowledge about corruption in New Zealand and on showing how to effectively identify and prosecute perpetrators.

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