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.