New Zealand Second Equal in Latest Corruption Perceptions Index

(Infographics are available at the end of this Media Release.)

New Zealand is ranked second equal with Finland in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index, Denmark is now clearly at the top of the ranking. New Zealand’s score dropped one point to 87 while Denmark improved by 2 points scoring 90. This is only the third time since 2006 where New Zealand has not ranked first or first equal in the annual index.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index scores 180 countries and territories based on expert perceptions of public sector and judicial corruption. This year’s index reveals that most countries have made little to no progress in tackling corruption in more than a decade.

New Zealand’s score is affected by a gradual decline in its score on three of the eight component indexes that contribute to its ranking. These three indexes all survey business leaders – international and domestic - about their experience with public service corruption.

“While New Zealand remains among the least corrupt countries in the world, the drop from first is a reminder that complacency is not an option in our battle against corruption,” Says Anne Tolley, Chair of Transparency International New Zealand. “The gradual decline in our ranking among the component indexes that measure business perceptions is particularly troublesome. Maintaining low levels of corruption is essential for our trade dependent economy,” she adds.

Denmark’s surge can be attributed in large part to its recovery  from previous dips in their score on the same three component indexes where New Zealand is gradually trending down.

Globally we have also witnessed a new wave of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuing climate crisis and rising tensions between many major powers. Many the source surveys were conducted in the midst of the pandemic.

Australia recovered by 2 points bringing its rank from 18th to 13th least corrupt. In the Pacific countries covered by the CPI, the perception of corruption persists without significant progress in curtailing it.

Background information for journalists

  1. Media Contacts
    Julie Haggie
    Chief Executive Officer
    Transparency International New Zealand
    +64 27 498 9126

  2. About the Corruption Perceptions Index

    Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and business people. For more information, visit

    The process for calculating the CPI is regularly reviewed to make sure it is as robust and coherent as possible, most recently by thr European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2017. All the CPI  scores since 2012 are comparable from one year to the next. For more  information, see this article: The ABCs of the CPI: How the Corruption Perceptions Index is calculated.

  3. About Transparency International

    Transparency International is a global civil society coalition based in Berlin, leading the fight against corruption. It compiles a number of measures of different aspects of corruption including the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Global Corruption Barometer, and the Bribe Payers Index. Information on Transparency International can be found at

  4. About TINZ, the New Zealand chapter of Transparency International
    The local chapter of Transparency International works to actively promote the highest levels of transparency, accountability, integrity and public participation in government and civil society in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Find TINZ at
    Transparency International New Zealand has several projects designed to support greater integrity. These can be viewed in our Annual Report, and include
  • National Integrity System Assessment, a risk assessment of the pillars of democracy
  • Development of a Financial Integrity Systems Assessment Tool, for use with the financial sector;
  • Leaders Integrity forums for senior public leaders
  • Submissions and advocacy
  • Thought leadership through communications and events.
Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 World Map and Country Scores
New Zealand CPI Score and Rank since 2012
CPI Top Performers Score Trends
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