Upcoming Elections and Transparency in Government

As we approach the elections, political parties and their leaders need to commit to fighting corruption and promoting transparency in all levels of governance. New Zealand deserves a government that is honest, open, and accountable to its citizens. 

In an age where information flows freely, and citizens are more engaged than ever in the political process, the call for integrity in government has never been more critical. There are practical ways to see these qualities translated into concrete policies and actions.

Transparency isn't just a buzzword; it's the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Citizens have the right to know how their government operates, how taxpayer funds are allocated, and how decisions are made on their behalf. Moreover, trust in political leadership hinges on their ability to combat corruption effectively. Therefore, we are urging all political parties and their leaders to rise to the occasion and commit to a robust framework for combating corruption and enhancing transparency at all levels of governance.

We are urging parties to support this vision by taking concrete policy actions.

“Promises to Policy to Action” details the urgent action needed as shown below and is available to download.

Promises to Action 

In the 2023 Call to Action for political parties Transparency International New Zealand encourages political parties to include these concrete public policy actions in their policy platform.

  1. Stop flows of dirty money within and in/out of New Zealand
    • Establish a single agency to address public and private financial crime in New Zealand.
    • Take a more coordinated response to criminal fraud.
    • Create a public register of beneficial controllers of companies and trusts in New Zealand.
    • Toughen up on New Zealand’s approach to foreign bribery.
    • Review trade agreements to ensure consistency with New Zealand’s commitment to international agreements and mechanisms.
    • Promote corruption risk assessments for New Zealand businesses.
  2. Improve political Integrity and enhance democracy
    • Enhance Standing Orders to limit the ability of Ministers to ignore or direct Select Committee advice.
    • Reduce the use of urgency and short consultation periods by both Parliament and the public sector which limits citizen engagement and undermines the Select Committee process.
    • Respond urgently to disinformation that is aimed at corrupting our democracy.
    • Make political party funding and lobbying more transparent.
    • Empower the Electoral Commission to run local body elections.
    • Establish a Public Service Commission-like role for local government.
    • Promote proactive engagement with groups that feel left out of decision-making and develop deliberative democracy for policy development.
  3. Protect public resources and secure integrity in the public and private sectors
    • Ensure both financial and regulatory impact statements are met for new legislation.Ensure co-governance models are workable and understood. Learn from models already in place in local government. Elevate the Māori voice in decision-making.
    • Improve transparency and integrity of procurement at central and local government levels.
    • Fully review the OIA and LGOIMA to be ready for the changing information age.
    • Reduce the use of legislative clauses that exempt legislation from the OIA.
    • Monitor and report on the success of whistle-blowing legislation and initiatives.
    • Step up enforcement to reduce labour exploitation in New Zealand and in supply chains.

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