Chief Executive Officer
Transparency International New Zealand
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) recently completed its final New Zealand monitoring report for the Anti Corruption Pledge Tracker.
This civil society tool tracks the progress of how 20 governments have performed on the commitments they made at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit. The Tracker led by Transparency International UK (TI-UK) is a collaborative effort with Transparency International chapters or partners in each relevant country.
As this was the final Tracker, TINZ took an overall look at the pledges, and agreed that despite good progress across all of the commitments, there is still work to do.
Asset recovery is one area where New Zealand has made progress, with good cooperation between New Zealand agencies as well as with overseas enforcement agencies. One notable result is that during lockdown, the NZ Police froze NZD140 million from Canton Business Corporation and its owner Alexander Vinnik who were holding funds in a New Zealand company. It is alleged Vinnik operated this company from the United States. This is the largest restraint of funds in New Zealand Police history. Vinnik was arrested on money laundering allegations in Greece in 2017 and has since been extradited to France where he remains in custody.
There has been some - but insufficient - overall progress is in Sports Integrity. New Zealand is working closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency to protect the international anti-doping system from corruption. However we have not yet joined the International Sports Integrity Partnership.
New Zealand’s commitment towards implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption is also ongoing. There has been good progress in several areas, but plenty of room remains to more fully meet our commitments. One area in particular is the need for more transparency of beneficial ownership.
The final tracker will be published later this year.