Newsletter - In case you missed it

In case you missed it

16 March 2020

Banking

RBNZ Monetary Policy Handbook internationally recognised for transparency

  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has won the ‘Transparency Award’ at the international Central Banking Awards 2019 for its work on the Monetary Policy Handbook.
  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand - Media Release - 7 February 2020

Political Party Financing

Reputation vs reality: how vulnerable is New Zealand to systemic corruption?

  • I have reason to believe that New Zealand’s reputation for being corruption-free and its sense of well-being do not fully align with reality. This article focuses on the influence of money in NZ politics.
  • Timothy K Kuhner - The Spinoff - 6 March, 2020

Political Roundup: Fixing the problem of money in politics

  • New Zealand has a problem with money in politics. National and NZ First have been the subject of Serious Fraud Office investigations. And now that Labour mayors Phil Goff and Lianne Dalziel have been added to the list of fraud investigations, this should cement in the fact that we have a problem across the political spectrum, and at central and local government levels.
  • Commentary with Links - Dr Bryce Edwards - 6 March 2020

It's time to end the secrecy over political donations

  • Future historians of New Zealand politics may look back on 2020 as the year in which voters finally lost patience with the arcane secrecy that surrounds donations to parties and candidates. 
  • Editorial - Dominion Post - 29 February 2020

To build a new politics, we must break the grip of big money

  • Action Station’s Laura O’Connell Rapira argues that the existing system simply cements the interests of the richest and most powerful.
  • Laura O'Connell Rapira - Guest writer- he Spinoff - Commentary - 20 February 2020

Cat MacLennan: Time for state-funded political parties to replace donations

  • For donations to two of New Zealand's largest political parties to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office in the same year, appears to be more than an unfortunate coincidence. Rather, it seems like a clear signal that something is seriously wrong with our political party funding rules.
  • Cat MacLennan - Opinion - RNZ - 20 February. 2020

Transparency International warns need for political funding reform is urgent

  • Transparency International is warning that the need to reform political funding structures is more urgent than ever - and that complacency is leaving the country more vulnerable to corruption. TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively is quoted extensively
  • Yvette McCullough - political reporter - RNZ - 27 February, 2020

Political donations law must be tightened to prevent abuses

  • Our political donations rules are wide open for abuse and corruption, and they need to be changed.
  • Chris Smith - Opinion - stuff.co.nz - 20 February, 2020

Political Roundup: NZ's latest political lobbying problems

  • Commentary with Links - Dr Bryce Edwards - 19 February 2020

Should the political donation system change?

  • Both National and NZ First are facing Serious Fraud Office investigations related to political donations - Tranparency International's Suzanne Snively joins The Panel to talk about whether things need to change.
  • RNZ - "The Panel" - 19 February 2020

Vested interests in New Zealand politics are too big to ignore – we need a Royal Commission

  • Our whole parliamentary and political system is deficient, especially when it comes to how political parties operate
  • Bryce Edawrds - Opinion - The Guardian - 19 Feburary, 2020

Sport

Despicable them: sport’s worst cheaters

  • Manchester City and the Houston Astros are latest inductees into the sports hall of shame.
  • newsroom.co.nz - 19 February 2020

Transparency

'Never again' says whistleblower about lifting lid on large-scale wine fraud

  • The employee who exposed large-scale fraud at a North Canterbury wine company says she will never take on the role of whistleblower again after her experience in this case.
  • Stuff.co.nz - 13 March, 2020

Mike Bush: Police announce anti-corruption unit

  • It's hoped a dedicated anti-corruption unit will put a stop to growing organised crime, and catch out bent cops.
  • Newstalk ZB - 8 March 2020

New Zealand's Turn For The Worse On Financial Transparency

  • New Zealand, along with Japan, has made the largest turn for the worse between 2018 and 2020 among 133 countries on the Index of Financial Security released today by the Tax Justice Network.
  • Scoop.co.nz

Financial Secrecy Index 2020

  • The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. Remaining and systemic issues in New Zealand law on trusts continues to allow their use as vehicles for tax avoidance.
  • Tax Justice Network - February 2020

In case you missed it

20 February 2020

Climate

Corruption and climate action

  • While the outcomes are not clear yet, one thing is: Governments have to urgently spend billions of dollars on climate mitigation measures, from flood shelters to reforestation and renewable energy. We can’t afford to lose that money to corruption.

Corruption is destroying the world’s forests

  • 13 million hectares of forest are lost every year — equivalent to a football field every two minutes. Corruption is a significant cause.

TI's Corruption Perceptions Index

Corruption index result is not a laurel to rest upon

  • Justice Minister Andrew Little scarcely chose his words wisely when he declared New Zealand "as close as you could possibly be" to being free of corruption.

Least corrupt country ranking a testament to public servants

  • Public servants work every day to earn the trust and confidence of New Zealanders, so the news that New Zealand’s public sector and judiciary has regained its position as the least corrupt in the world is a great start to the New Year. Peter Hughes - State Service Commission

New Zealand ranked world's least corrupt country

  • New Zealand has regained its spot as the world's least corrupt public sector (joint at the top with Denmark) in a major annual study, but Justice Minister Andrew Little admits there's still work to be done and a more powerful anti-corruption agency may be needed.

New Zealand ranked world's least corrupt country

  • NZ Herald - New Zealand has regained its spot as the world's least corrupt public sector in a major annual study, but Justice Minister Andrew Little admits there's still work to be done and a more powerful anti-corruption agency may be needed.

Corruption index with NZ on top 'biased' - academic

  • University of Waikato political scientist Olli Hellmann told Stuff that the TI-CPI survey is biased towards western nations and it was impossible to really know which country was the "least" corrupt.

Governance

The top five issues for directors in 202  Institute of Directors

International

Saudi G20 Pursues International Cooperation to Fight Corruption

  • The G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group (ACWG) will pursue international cooperation on global anti-corruption challenges including the cost of corruption and its impact on the global gross domestic product (GDP). The ACWG met for the first time under the Saudi G20 Presidency this week, following the announcement by the Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (NAZAHA). The working group will hold a Ministers' meeting this year. (MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, February 06, 2020, SPA --

Automated welfare fraud detection system contravenes international law, Dutch court rules

  • A Dutch court has ruled that an automated surveillance system using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect welfare fraud violates the European Convention on Human Rights, and has ordered the government to cease using it immediately. The judgement comes as governments around the world are ramping up use of AI in administering welfare benefits and other core services, and its implications are likely to be felt far beyond the Netherlands.

Danish anti-corruption watchdog recommends higher penalties for abuse of trusted power

  • In the wake of a series of high profile cases involving the embezzlement of millions of Danish Kroners by Danish public employees, the watchdog organisation Transparency International Denmark, issued five recommendations for politicians on Thursday.

Top 10 International Anti-Corruption Developments For January 2020

  • A Summary of some of the most important international anti-corruption developments from the past month, with links to primary resources. (Morrison Foerster Law)

The Luanda Leaks documents

  • A leaked trove of financial and business records reveals the inside story of how Africa’s wealthiest woman moved hundreds of millions of dollars in public money out of one of the world's poorest countries on the planet and into a labyrinth of companies and subsidiaries, many of them in offshore secrecy jurisdictions around the world. (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)

TI-DK: Five concrete proposals for reactions to the misuse of public authority

Sweden's Ericsson to pay over $1bn to settle US corruption probe

  • Sweden's Ericsson to pay over US$1 billion to settle a foreign bribery case over its sixteen-year-long cash-for-contracts campaign.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment 

Building Accountability: National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update

Donna Grant pleads guilty to million-dollar fraud

  • Serious Fraud Office media release

Serious Fraud Office: 'Billions in public funds likely lost to fraud'

Uber is a case study in our complicity with tax avoidance

  • Opinion: Uber’s habit of pushing tax rules to breaking point is the reason Terry Baucher refuses to use the ridesharing service. But price and convenience outweigh most people’s moral indignation, he writes.

New Zealand seeks more powers to monitor banks, increase transparency at RBNZ

  • The New Zealand government plans to expand its powers to monitor banks and hold directors and executives more accountable for their actions. (Statement from Minister of Finance Hon. Grant Robertson)

RBNZ Monetary Policy Handbook internationally recognised for transparency

  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has won the ‘Transparency Award’ at the Central Banking Publications annual awards for its work on the Monetary Policy Handbook. (RBNZ Media Release)

More than $17m transferred from Bahamas to NZ bank account following corruption, money laundering scandal in Venezuela oil company

  • A corrupt lawyer living in Spain took $24 million in bribes to arrange lucrative contracts with Venezuela's state-owned oil company. He pleaded guilty to corruption and money laundering, with millions of dollars being laundered through Swiss bank accounts. Now New Zealand police allege his wife sent $17 million of dirty money to a Hamilton accounting firm. The case is the latest example of police testing their powers under the Criminal Proceeds Recovery Act, which came into force in 2009.

New terrorism bill could breach press freedom

  • The Terrorism Suppression Bill, designed to deal with terrorists returning from overseas, has hit its latest speed bump as Amnesty International raises concerns it could be used to stifle press freedom.

Yield-hunting offshore investors put NZ on the map

  • The global hunt for higher-yielding commercial property assets has propelled New Zealand onto the world stage, leading to a significant uptick in offshore investment at the top end of the market.

New Zealand faces real threat to ‘real’ democracy

  • Christopher Luxon in Indiannewslink.com. Christopher Luxon has held top positions in multinationals, the last of which was a Chief Executive at Air New Zealand. His entry into politics was rewarded with a win in the contest for the National Party seat in Botany, East Auckland.

Money in Politics

  • Money in politics is a major issue when releasing the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index. "Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems". (Delia Ferreira Rubio - Chair Transparency International).

Transparency: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is known for punching well above its weight in the central banking world. Some 30 years ago, it was the first central bank to adopt an inflation targeting regime, starting a trend that was followed by institutions in many of the world’s largest economies. Now that inflation is so low, RBNZ is focused on maximising employment.

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity

NZ's new aid policy 'encouraging' but more transparency needed - watchdog

  • More transparency in New Zealand's foreign aid spending would boost the positive changes within its new aid policy, academics say. (RNZ)

Building Accountability: National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update

Transparency of Political Party Funding Essential

New Zealand needs to show it's serious about addressing Chinese interference

  • Wellington has restricted foreign political donations but its lax approach to Beijing suggests economic interests still trump national security concerns.

Local Body Elections: Questions for Candidates

  • This set of questions focus around integrity, transparency and accountability, including encouraging broader community participation in decision-making. The questions were well received, yet often suprising to local candidates that tended to focus on issues and were unused to respond to questions about how they would govern if elected.

Transparency Questionnaire 2017 General Election: Party Responses

Pacific

PNG maintains its position as most corrupt Pacific country

  • Papua New Guinea has again maintained its position as the most perceptibly corrupt country in the Pacific. That's according to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, which rates it at 137 out of 180 countries.

Cautious optimism about reducing corruption in PNG

  • Transparency International Papua New Guinea says long-term commitment to good governance is critical if efforts to fight corruption can succeed.

NZ govt to establish 'Pacific-led hub' for public sector

  • New Zealand has announced the creation of a Pacific-led hub aimed at strengthening public services across the region.

Trainee law students join Transparency International

  • Three law students from the UPNG Law School have now embarked on the Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) Legal Internship Program (LIP), as they seek to bolster the functions of the anti-corruption body. - PNG Post Courier

Political Party Funding

The foreign donation ban is a good thing – but it won't protect NZ from political corruption

Donations made to NZ First Foundation referred to police for investigation

  • The Electoral Commission said, based on the information available, it had formed the view that the New Zealand First Foundation had received donations that should have been treated as party donations. (RNZ)

The overseas donation ban is a excellent issue – but it will never defend NZ from political corruption | Pete McKenzie

Serious Fraud Office files criminal charges against four people over donations paid into a National Party electorate bank account

National integrity at risk over political funding

  • In November 2019, Transparency International UK launched the updated Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker. This global Tracker monitors the progress of the commitments made by governments at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit held in London. (Indian News Link)

NZ First Foundation dodging electoral rules?

  • Records suggest breaches. Almost half a million dollars in political donations appear to have been hidden inside a secret slush fund controlled by a coterie of Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' trusted adviser.

Four out of every five dollars donated to big parties in secret, sparking new push for transparency

  • Stuff.co.nz

Second SFO inquiry into donations a worry for NZ democracy

  • Newsroom - opinion

Sport

ICC tackling '50 live cases' of potential corruption as T20 leagues targeted

  • Cricket's anti-corruption unit is investigating 50 cases of possible wrongdoing and is acting on intelligence gathered from players at last summer's World Cup. (stuff.co.nz)

Transparency International

Condemnation of harassment against anti-corruption campaigner in Mozambique

  • Transparency International condemns the intimidation and harassment of Edson Cortez, Executive Director of Centro de Integridade Publica (TI Mozambique), and his family.

Next week governments can take a step to close down secrecy jurisdictions. Will they?

  • National financial regulators attending the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris 16 – 21 February have the opportunity to significantly reduce money laundering, corruption and terror financing.They must not squander the opportunity. A joint statement by Civil Society Organisations.

Why we are not engaging with the G20’s civil society process in 2020

  • A joint public statement from Amnesty International, CIVICUS and Transparency International regarding not attending the conference in Saudi Arabia because of Saudi Arabia's poor civil rights behavior.

Transparency International New Zealand

NZ's Women in Power: Where are they now?

  • Transparency International New Zealand's Chair, Suzanne Snively, is featured in this article that recognises her 30 years of sustained progress as a significant business and political influencer at NZ's top tables.

White Ribbon proud to announce Luke Qin as a White Ribbon Ambassador

  • White Ribbon is a campaign that educates men about non-violent attitudes towards women. The campaign aims to end family violence, the seriousness of which is indicated by the 118,921 incidents which police investigated in 2016. Ambassadors are a key way in which the White Ribbon Campaign challenges the behaviour of abusive men and builds support and visibility for non-violence.

Influencing Increased Transparency in Clinical Trials

  • Healthworks is Transparency International's initiative to fight corruption in the health sector and to share learning between chapters. This outlines work done by Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) with Transparimed and Mesh Down Under.

Voices of Transparency

The many-headed hydra: how grand corruption robs us of a sustainable future

  • There can be no sustainable development where corruption thrives, yet it is all too easy to find examples of high-level public officials implicated in corrupt schemes resulting in the gross misappropriation of public funds or resources.

Facing future corruption challenges — trends of the next decade

  • There are many reasons for concern when it comes to the developments that will shape corruption in the future. First of two articles

Future anti-corruption trends—four reasons to be optimistic

  • Those working in the field identified four main reasons to be optimistic about the long-term future of the fight against corruption. Second of two articles

Anonymous company ownership helps hide foreign bribery. The OECD should promote transparency

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing: legislation is just part of the picture

  • Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier sets out the nuts and bolts of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, and why we need to lift our game in both awareness and practice.

In case you missed it

12 December 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Plans to combat misinformation in election-year referendum debates

  • The Minister of Justice has plans in place to combat misinformation and manipulation in any campaigns leading up to, potentially, two divisive referendums at next year's election.

SFO files charges in West Coast corruption case

  • Four people have been charged by the Serious Fraud Office for allegedly manipulating Westland District Council’s procurement processes for financial gain.

Public official charged with corruption, fraud

  • According to stuff.co.nz A public official and three company directors have been charged with fraud and corruption. Their names have yet to be released

New terrorism bill could breach press freedom

  • The Terrorism Suppression Bill, designed to deal with terrorists returning from overseas, has hit its latest speed bump as Amnesty International raises concerns it could be used to stifle press freedom.

NZ Police anti-money laundering assessment cites trusts among attractive money laundering vehicles as government plans to exclude them from strengthened beneficial ownership disclosure regime

The insurance industry needs to increase transparency and rebuild trust

  • A speech by Richard Harding at the Insurance Council of New Zealand Conference on 5/11/19. scoop.co.nz

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment to seek Cabinet approval soon for policy proposals that aim to improve the transparency of New Zealand company & limited partnership ownership

  • The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) will soon be seeking Cabinet approval for policy proposals that aim to improve the transparency of the beneficial owners of New Zealand companies and limited partnerships.

No profits from Malaysia and Papua New Guinea but vast assets in NZ!

  • The saintly Sibu logging companies have made clear that their ‘development’ activities, stripping out billions of dollars worth of timber from Sarawak, PNG and other South East Asian jewels of natural heritage has been done for decades at a loss. Yet miraculously, it appears their overall efforts have resulted in massive property and business investments throughout the region.

Political party financing

Law professor questions transparency of loans from mysterious foundation to NZ First

  • A mysterious foundation that loans money to New Zealand First is under scrutiny, with a university law professor saying although it's lawful, it fails to provide the transparency voters need in a democracy.

Shake-up for incorporated societies includes political parties

  • The law that governs New Zealand’s 23,000 incorporated societies is more than 100 years old, and well-overdue for a refresh. Laura Walters reports on what this means for a range of organisations, including political parties. Long-overdue changes to the laws governing incorporated societies are set to improve transparency, but political parties that don’t want the intricacies of their financials to be public knowledge will likely find a new mechanism.

A wine box, a deep throat and a dumpster - the trail that led to the NZ First donations scandal

  • Matt Shand broke the biggest political story of the year with explosive revelations about a NZ First slush fund. He talks about the clandestine way in which the documents came into his possession and asks why reporters must go to such lengths to access information which should be publicly available.

Who are the donors behind the NZ First Foundation?

The overseas donation ban is a excellent issue – but it will never defend NZ from political corruption | Pete McKenzie

The NZ First donations scandal is very serious, and won’t let Jacinda Ardern hide

A weeping sore – Jacinda Ardern must clean up New Zealand's political donations mess

  • Max Rashbrooke. New revelations about party funding are a stain on the country’s reputation for transparency. 

What will happen next with New Zealand First Foundation saga?

  • The biggest story of the week has been the scandal surrounding the New Zealand First Foundation, but what happens next?

Mike's Minute: NZ First saga shows donation laws aren't working

Simon Bridges rejects state funding of political parties

  • National leader Simon Bridges says the revelations around NZ First's funding this week do not necessarily mean electoral laws need to be changed.

'Looks to be in contravention of the Electoral Act': Law professor weighs in on NZ First donations

NZ First-linked company applied for $15m govt loan, pledges transparency

  • A forestry company with close links to New Zealand First has revealed it applied for a $15 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund, which is overseen by NZ First minister Shane Jones.

The Second (and Final?) Crucifixion of Winston Peters

New details revealed over NZ First-linked company and Shane Jones’ office

The foreign donation ban is a good thing – but it won't protect NZ from political corruption

  • New Zealand’s political system relies on an untraceable flow of donations from rich individuals, many with personal agendas. That won’t change.

Climate

Corruption and climate action

  • While the outcomes are not clear yet, one thing is: Governments have to urgently spend billions of dollars on climate mitigation measures, from flood shelters to reforestation and renewable energy. We can’t afford to lose that money to corruption.

Corruption is destroying the world’s forests

  • 13 million hectares of forest are lost every year — equivalent to a football field every two minutes. Corruption is a significant cause.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing: legislation is just part of the picture

  • Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier sets out the nuts and bolts of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, and why we need to lift our game in both awareness and practice. Link to .pdf

Pacific

The Context of Money Laundering Compliance Costs

  • Press Release: Asia Pacific AML

Trainee law students join Transparency International

  • Three law students from the UPNG Law School have now embarked on the Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) Legal Internship Program (LIP), as they seek to bolster the functions of the anti-corruption body. - PNG Post Courier

International

EU forced to back down on plan for tech giant tax transparency

  • In the latest discussion at Council level during Finland's presidency, 12 EU member states rejected the proposals so they will not go forward to the European parliament/

1 in 2 Indians paid a bribe at least once in the past year, survey finds

  • At least one in every two people in India have paid a bribe in the past year, according to a new national corruption report, which branded the practice "part and parcel of daily life."

New Zealand-born banker Andrew Pearse admits taking NZ $70m (or US $45m) in bribes in Mozambique corruption scandal: Reports

  • New Zealander Andrew Pearse has reportedly admitted to receiving US$45 million in bribes as part of a multi-billion loan scheme which took advantage of one of the world's poorest nations. stuff.co.nz

The Laundromat: Panama Papers real-life thriller

  • His exploration of the scandal is now a book and a film starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas.The Laundromat, is released on Netflix - despite a lawsuit from Mossack Fonseca lawyers trying to shut it down.

Farrell Testifies Before U.S. Lawmakers on Dark Money and Climate Misinformation

G20 need more ambitious climate strategies – report

  • No G20 country has a climate strategy in line with the Paris Agreement’s ambitious main target - to limit global warming to 1.5°C - although most are technically capable and have economic incentives to do so, writes Climate Transparency, an international partnership of climate research organisations and NGOs, in a report.

13.5 tonnes of gold worth up to £520million is found in a corrupt Chinese official's home and £30 billion in suspected bribe money in his bank account

  • Zhang Qi, 58, who was a top official in the province of Hainan, China is suspected to have received 13.5 tonnes of gold and £30 billion cash in bribes.

New ACCA policy report places focus on corporate transparency

  • Rather than avoiding tax, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) recommends that companies consider the ramifications of their tax avoidance schemes—even if legal—on an ethical basis.

Transparency International New Zealand in the news

Crackdown on Money Laundering Applauded

  • It is essential to New Zealand's reputation and well being that serious effort is made to prevent money laundering activities within our financial, corporate and trust systems.

Party funding must become public knowledge

Somehow or the other, all of us are supporting slave trading

Is New Zealand becoming a plutocracy?

Transparency International

Facing future corruption challenges — trends of the next decade

  • Transparency International has been leading the global fight against corruption for the past 26 years. To continue to do so in the future, it is now looking at upcoming challenges and opportunities. On the basis of an in-depth research project, this article identifies four major developments that will drive corruption over the next decade — understanding them will be key to addressing future challenges effectively. In a second article, we will explore new opportunities to fight corruption in the next decade.

Seized 1MDB assets must be safely returned to the Malaysian people

  • The value of assets recovered in the civil forfeiture case between the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and Jho Low should be returned to Malaysia in a transparent and accountable manner that ensures it benefits the Malaysian people.

Condemnation of harassment against anti-corruption campaigner in Mozambique

  • Transparency International condemns the intimidation and harassment of Edson Cortez, Executive Director of Centro de Integridade Publica (TI Mozambique), and his family.

Voices of Transparency

Future anti-corruption trends—four reasons to be optimistic

  • This is the second of two articles reflecting on the key findings of an in-depth, participatory strategic research project that Firetail, a strategy consulting firm, conducted with Transparency International. The first article identified key trends that will drive corruption over the next decade. This article explores reasons to nevertheless remain optimistic about the future.

Mystery companies and money laundering

  • Opaque company ownership structures are often made to be confusing. Though not always created with criminal intent, they are frequently used to cover up crimes and launder assets.

‘Clusters of Progress’ in Anti-Corruption Reforms

  • TI UK created, together with other TI national chapters, the Global Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker, an innovative tool to track the progress of the anti-corruption commitments made at the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit.The Global Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker aims to answer the question: after the summit is over, how do we hold governments accountable to their promises?

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

Banking and Finance

Of chocolate biscuits and conflicted bank directors

  • Could New Zealanders be short-changed by a conflicted relationship between New Zealand bank leaders and their Aussie parent companies?

Human Slavery

The shocking story of what happens to refugees in Italy RNZ

Is it time for New Zealand to push through anti-slavery laws? RNZ

Slave-picked tomatoes - how do you know? RNZ

Money Laundering

Finance company fined $4 million for anti-money laundering breaches

  • A money transfer company has been fined $4 million for repeated non-compliance with anti-money laundering legislation

Anti-Money-Laundering Watchdog Provides More Guidance on Beneficial Ownership Transparency

  • Countries should establish systems that use one or more different methods to identify the beneficial ownership of an entity, a global anti-money-laundering watchdog said in a new report.

Cayman commits to public register of beneficial ownership

  • The Cayman Islands government has announced that it intends to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership of all financial entities domiciled by 2023. The required legislation is expected to be introduced in 2022 and will bring the Caymans in line with evolving standards and international obligations such as those reflected in the principles of EU 5th Anti Money Laundering Directive: Anti-money laundering

Dirty money 'targeting UK prestige services'

  • Dirty money has spread throughout the UK economy, reaching as far as private schools and interior designers, says watchdog Transparency International.

How Britain can help you get away with stealing millions: a five-step guide

  • Money laundering made simple. This article outlines the complete lack of surveillance within UKs Companies House registration and monitoring procedures. The only fraud court case it has initiated was successful against a whistleblower who tried several time to raise concerns with UK Parliament.

New Zealand NGOs

Governance for good; developing the capability of New Zealand’s $20 billion not-for-profit sector

  • A report into the future of governance for New Zealand’s NGOs, produced by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has identified a need for considerable investment into NGO governance capabilities.The report looks at the future for governance of New Zealand’s 114,000 NGOs which employ around 100,000 full and part-time staff and manage a combined income of around $20 billion a year. Good governance is a subject close to the heart of all of us. We hope you find this a useful insight into current good practice in NGO governance, challenges, and opportunities for development.

Educating for Social Change series on Wellington Access Radio 27/10/2019: United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)-16Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

  • Suzanne Snively, Chair of TINZ, and Jayden van Leeuwen, National President of UN Youth New Zealand, discussed SDG-16 facilitated by Joy Dunsheath, Immediate Past President of United Nations Association of New Zealand, an affiliate of TINZ. 

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Concerns about 'rogue employers' in seasonal worker scheme as corruption complaint investigated by Immigration NZ

  • It has been revealed a complaint of possible corruption against an Immigration New Zealand staff member is currently being investigated.

Political Roundup: Who’s to blame for the crisis of declining local voter turnout?

Deported Australian gang members predicted to attempt to corrupt police

  • There will be more attempts to corrupt officers as the influx of deported Australian gang members influence organised crime in this country, a police gang expert says.

A New Zealand guide for whistleblowers

New anti-bribery e-training course available for small and medium sized businesses

  • Transparency International UK has today launched an updated version of its free-to-use ‘Doing Business Without Bribery’ e-learning course.

Young voters want more info on council contenders

  • A study by a researcher at the University of Otago has found young people want to vote in the upcoming local government elections but don’t feel they have enough information to make an informed decision.Much attention continues to be given to the means of voting (i.e. on-line, in addition to posted papers) to attract young voters. The far bigger issue facing all voter age groups is how to become better informed about candidates’ governance capabilities and their personal policy actions as part of a team. Candidates’ statements (within 150 word limits) rarely mention these topics adequately.

New Zealand 19th most competitive

  • New Zealand is the 19th most competitive nation in the world, according to the Global Competitiveness Index.

Why it will never be possible to have a completely protected online voting

Sport

Progress in sports governance is measurable, but slow

  • The increased public and political pressure on international sports federations is leaving its mark on their governance standards. But progress comes much too slowly, and most federations are still governed in a way that is far from satisfying.

Transparency International

Fighting corruption in the age of “fake news”

  • Four key approaches

Condemnation of murder of Brazilian anti-corruption activist

EU countries’ chance to lead on whistleblower protection

  • The recent formal adoption of the EU Whistleblowing Directive creates a two-year window of opportunity for EU Member States to take the global lead on protecting whistleblowers as they transpose the directive into national law

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand Elections

Call to lower voting age in New Zealand to 16 Waikato University academic Patrick Barrett argues New Zealand should lower the voting age to 16.

NZ spy agencies call for greater transparency on political donations The heads of the intelligence agencies also told MPs they support "more stringent" rules around disclosing donations but said a blanket ban on foreign money was not the answer.

Politicians must pick up pace on donations reform It's clear that New Zealand’s laws governing political donations need change - but any overhaul before the 2020 election will require politicians to pick up the pace, Sam Sachdeva writes.

Jacinda Ardern describes $150,000 donation to National 'outside spirit of the law' Jacinda Ardern's comments followed NZME's revelation that National received the donation through a New Zealand-registered, but Chinese-owned company.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

China’s influence on campus chills free speech in Australia, New Zealand Chinese students poured into Australia and New Zealand in the hundreds of thousands over the past 20 years, paying sticker prices for university degrees that made higher education among both countries’ top export earners. Now, as a more-authoritarian China projects its influence deeper into the South Pacific, attempts by Chinese students and diplomats to interfere with anti-Beijing dissidents and stifle free speech on campuses pose an uncomfortable challenge for both U.S. allies. Washington Post

Ministry to analyse public OIA submissions and report back to Justice Minister Andrew Little

Tracking the data breach that gave crooks my credit card details Overseas crooks managed to secure the credit card data of my credit card, and my wife's credit card, from a New Zealand business and tried to steal money from us.

SFO closes investigation into spy firm Thompson & Clark SFO director Julie Read said in a statement it had determined the "high evidential standard" for laying criminal charges had not been met.

Official information denied as government agencies illegally refuse OIA request transfers, document shows Kiwis are being denied access to information, because government agencies are illegally refusing to accept the transfer of Official Information Act (OIA) requests, a Justice Ministry document suggests.The document was one of 290 submissions about the OIA, which highlighted problems with delays, documents rendered meaningless by deletions, political interference and government agencies drowning under the sheer volume of information requests.

Luxury cars, cash, posh property seized in police bust

Parliamentary Budget Office

The parliamentary budget office should be just the beginning New Zealand Initiative

Independent Parliamentary Budget Office is a victory The Government’s decision to establish and independent Parliamentary Budget Office, outside of Treasury, is a taxpayer victory and will improve democracy, says the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.

Government keen to set up Parliamentary Budget Office, an independent watchdog to cost election policies, but National reject idea

International

A more-authoritarian China projects its influence deeper into the South Pacific, attempts by Chinese students and diplomats to interfere with anti-Beijing dissidents and stifle free speech on campuses pose an uncomfortable challenge for both U.S. allies. Washington Post

Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International staff complain of bullying and harassment The Secretariat of the Berlin-based global body, Transparency International, is described by some staff as having a ‘toxic’ workplace culture silencing critical voices.

Transparency International statement on Secretariat staff wellbeing The global body of Berlin-based Transparency International, will work openly and honestly with staff and their representative body to review current practices, address all issues identified, and take action necessary to prevent them happening in future.

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand Non Government Organizations (NGOs)

Governance for good; developing the capability of New Zealand’s $20 billion not-for-profit sector. A report into the future of governance for New Zealand’s NGOs, produced by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has identified a need for considerable investment into NGO governance capabilities.

The report looks at the future for governance of New Zealand’s 114,000 NGOs which employ around 100,000 full and part-time staff and manage a combined income of around $20 billion a year. Good governance is a subject close to the heart of all of us. We hope you find this a useful insight into current good practice in NGO governance, challenges, and opportunities for development.

Elections and Democracy

Our complacency puts Democracy under threat Standfirst: Survival of New Zealand’s democracy faces unprecedented threats over the next thirty years: (a) Risks from systemic global economic instability, (b) Major upheaval from adaptation (or not) to climate change, (c) Dislocation arising from automated and intelligent machines. Indian NewsLink

Decisions in the pipeline By Bruce Munro Otago Daily Times: Local government elections loom, raising concerns about the fitness of those elected to make good, farsighted decisions. Bruce Munro takes a look at mistakes made and asks how elected representatives can best be equipped to tackle the big issues facing the South.

Can Kiwis tell fact from fake news in the leadup to the 2020 elections? Young people are criticised for not engaging in politics but experts say adults today are less likely to be able to tell fact from fake news. Katie Kenny and Tommy Livingston report on the risks of a post-truth political landscape.

Political Roundup: Electioneering on Facebook under scrutiny Truth in the modern social media. Bryce Edwards

Unfair funding undermines diversity of electoral candidates Lack of fair funding for candidates in general elections has attracted a lot of angst over the years.

Can NZ avoid populist leaders’ divisive sloganeering? Democracy rocks. 

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on Scoop.co.nz.

Stopping viral misinformation in the next election will be a task for all of us. OPINION: Artful manipulation of fact is a crucial feature of modern politics. You don't actually lie, you spin. You pick one good number out of a sea of bad ones, you assume the worst of your enemies, and work to construct carefully "true" arguments that you would never dare advance in your personal life.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Luxury cars, cash, posh property seized in police bust Police have arrested six people and snatched up millions in assets, posh property and flash cars following a big money laundering investigation in Auckland.

Spy bosses tell MPs ban on foreign donations would not work Spy bosses have told MPs a ban on foreign donations would not work and more transparency around donations would help them do their job better.

Fighting exploitation in the New Zealand supply chain Businesses are being warned to take action against migrant worker exploitation in their supply chains - or face financial penalties and customer backlash.

National denies former trade minister Todd McClay helped facilitate $150k donation The National Party is denying allegations then-Cabinet minister Todd McClay helped facilitate a donation of $150,000 to the party in 2016 from a company owned by a Chinese billionaire.

NZ International Fraud Film Festival Announces Line-up The third NZ International Fraud Film Festival 2019 is set to touch down in Auckland this November with a line-up of films that will expose the underbelly of fraud and its impact globally and locally.

Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence The Auditor-General’s discussion paper Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence was presented to the House of Representatives. It includes at least 6 references to TINZ's groundbreaking National Integrity Systems Assessment.

No place for business to hide as Kiwis demand transparency The recent issue of a dentist in trouble in the media over whether he was qualified to offer orthodontics, is a warning to all business that increasingly New Zealanders are demanding nothing less than complete brand transparency.

Insurers aim to take fraud prevention to a new level through Insurance Fraud Bureau The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has launched a new Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) to crack down on fraudulent activity that it estimates costs the industry as much as $614 million a year. And while it won’t have the legal power to prosecute offenders, it will give insurance providers a new channel to share data and cooperate.

Pacific

Lack of transparency in public administration (PNG) Lack of transparency in public administration continues to be a problem in PNG. This is why Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is extending its legal work.

How Australia can learn from New Zealand’s diplomacy in Fiji and the Pacific This article reflects on how current progres­sive policies are proactively shaping Pacific policy narratives and space. By Joseph Veramu, published in the Fiji Sun.

Transparency International

Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate

Transparency International New Zealand:

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on Scoop.co.nz

In case you missed it

9 August 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Stats NZ establishes Data Ethics Advisory Group The Data Ethics Advisory Group has been established by Stats NZ to bring in perspectives and expertise from outside government on the use of data.

New Zealand needs to stop multinational tax avoidance Press Release: Tax Justice scoop.co.nz.

A SeafoodSource podcast series: The business case for seafood transparency The demand for greater transparency is growing exponentially by the year in the seafood industry. And with the cost of implementing greater transparency in seafood supply chains steadily decreasing, the seafood marketplace can now realise the numerous benefits of implementing efforts at transparency, including economic efficiencies.

Tim Dower: We deserve to know more about dodgy diplomat case The case of the diplomat caught trying to bring in $300,000 in cash...what was the purpose of this money, and where, or to whom, was it intended to go? Something smells really bad here. I believe we deserve to know a lot more about this.

Auckland Council worker charged with taking bribes for IT contract A former Auckland Council worker took bribes in exchange for awarding a contract worth over $150,000, a court has heard.

Holding the government to account improves governance Indian Newslink Lecture was the ninth of its kind. The series was formerly known as the Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture.The event this year was the first of the rebranded lecture series and therefore, the first one where the welcome address was not delivered by Sir Anand.

Forex broker Russell Maher pleads guilty to fraud A foreign exchange broker who used forged documents to disguise his company’s financial status has pleaded guilty to fraud.

Name suppression declined in Auckland Council bribery case The name of one of the men facing bribery charges brought by the Serious Fraud Office can now be revealed after his request for name suppression was declined.

Ponzi scheme operator Kelvin Wood jailed for six years A foreign exchange broker who defrauded his clients of more than $7 million has been sentenced to six years and three months’ imprisonment and a minimum period of imprisonment of two years and 11 months.

Kiwi Andrew Pearse admits receiving millions of dollars from Credit Suisse loan fraud, reports say A New Zealand-born ex-banker has pleaded guilty to a fraud charge relating to a multi-billion loan scheme that nearly sent Mozambique bust, international media reports say.

Banking and Finance

BNZ knew it was charging too much for KiwiSaver, but didn't cut fees for nearly a year BNZ continued to charge its Kiwisaver customers millions in unnecessary fees for months after its own chief executive identified it should be cutting costs and improving performance

Westpac agrees how it will refund $7m to customers Westpac has formally agreed on the steps it will take to refund fees to 93,000 customers being overcharged $7 million

ANZ loses the Key to transparency How ANZ Bank fought for more than three years to keep its role in New Zealand’s biggest Ponzi scheme quiet, and stop a regulator telling out-of-pocket investors the details.

Financial watchdog says new banking laws needed to protect customers Chief financial watchdog Rob Everett says laws must be passed to regulate banks' treatment of customers because "bad things happen" when banks are not regulated.

Exposing the banks: the journalist who sparked a royal commission The story of Adele Ferguson is the journalist whose work was instrumental in bringing about the Royal Commission into the Australia’s banks and financial institutions. (podcast)

FISA

Insurers’ complacency over misconduct is ‘hard to comprehend’ – FMA The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has said that the complacency of New Zealand banks and insurers in the face of Australian inquiry into misconduct was “frustrating” and “hard to comprehend.”

Banks, insurers' complacency 'hard to comprehend' - FMA The complacency of the New Zealand banking and life insurance sectors in the face of the Australian inquiry into financial services misconduct was "frustrating" and "difficult to comprehend," the chief executive of the Financial Market Authority, Rob Everett, said today.

Sustainable Development

NZ's first SDG People's Report launched A group of organisations launched New Zealand’s first People’s Report on the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this week at Victoria University of Wellington. The report is hosted at www.sdg.org.nz/peoples-report. scoop.co.nz

Why sources matter in a climate of ignorance Joel Rindelaub explains why it's so important for those weighing on climate science to be transparent about their funding sources and conflicts of interest. 

NZ turns in development report card to UN, emphasising wellbeing framework New Zealand has returned its first sustainable development report card to the United Nations, with a huge emphasis on the Government's wellbeing framework

International

South Korea’s FSS launches special judicial police South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has launched a “special judicial police” with investigative power to deal with unfair practices in the financial market

Mauritius Leaks New leak reveals how multinational companies used Mauritius to avoid taxes in countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Newsletter Including "Mauritius Leaks: Luxury hotels lavish guests while depriving tax collectors"

Four anti-corruption takeaways from the 2019 G20 Summit Transparency International - Voices for Transparency

Transparency International

25 corruption scandals that shook the world We compiled a list of some of the biggest corruption scandals over the last 25 years that inspired widespread public condemnation, toppled governments and sent people to prison.

Where are Africa’s billions? Foreign companies and financial centres aiding corruption in Africa

SDG 16 is the key to the 2030 Agenda “Whether the focus is ending hunger and poverty, ensuring access to health, education, and clean water for all, or protecting marine environments and combating climate change, fighting corruption is an essential pre-requisite for advancing the 2030 Agenda,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International.

One in four people in Africa pay bribes to access services, survey says Corruption disproportionately affects the poor and young. The tenth edition of Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa

Transparency Times reprints

Never a better time for Good Governance “As Warren Buffet says, it takes years to build a reputation and 20 minutes to lose it. Over the last month, the ANZ’s reputation has been severely tarnished.” Those were the comments of Suzanne Snively, Chair of the Wellington-based Transparency International New Zealand Inc in the Leader in Transparency Times (July 2019). Please read more under Businesslink.

ANZ demonstrates poor tone at the top Indian Newslink

Audit firms disclosure should be made mandatory Indian Newslink

In case you missed it

5 July 2019

Banking and Finance

ANZ Bank's New Zealand CEO Hisco Departs After Expenses Review Bloomberg

ANZ claims safety threat led it to hide Hisco's mansion address The address of the $7.5 million Auckland mansion bought by ANZ for now-departed chief executive David Hisco was kept off the public record because he feared for his safety. The Companies Act requires all directors to list their home address on the public Companies Register, which is designed to promote transparency in business. But the ANZ Bank New Zealand Companies Register entry only lists Hisco's residential address as: "Held By Registrar, Auckland, 1010 , New Zealand". Stuff.co.nz.

How much more is ANZ obliged to divulge over the David Hisco affair?

ANZ chief executive leaving following review of personal expenses The chief executive of ANZ, David Hisco, is leaving the company amid an internal review of personal expenses, the bank announced.

International

Parliament agrees to align with OECD tax transparency rules The Swiss parliament has decided to eliminate anonymous shares in private companies amid international pressure to increase transparency around taxation.

OECD claims tax transparency initiative delivers ‘impressive results’ The automatic exchange of tax information under the common reporting standard are improving tax compliance and delivering concrete results for governments worldwide, the OECD said, citing new data released last week.

Andrew Mitchell and Justine Greening back calls for foreign loan transparency Former international development secretaries among 50 British MPs urging introduction of tighter regulations on disclosure

Tax information sharing causes 25% drop in IFC bank deposits: OECD The findings suggest that exchange of information is promoting tax compliance and reducing offshore hidden wealth.

UK crown dependencies agree greater tax transparency Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man plan by 2023 to publish the currently secret information on ownership of companies registered in the UK crown dependencies, they announced Wednesday, heeding calls for greater tax transparency.

New G20 principles on whistleblower protection must be urgently implemented The G20 High Level Principles for Effective Protection of Whistleblowers was endorsed at the G20 Summit, held in June in Osaka. These are a welcome acknowledgement of the crucial role whistleblowers play in bringing wrongdoing to light, and the retribution they often face. G20 countries should now move quickly to turn words into action, and pass national legislation that matches or goes beyond the level of protection recommended by the Osaka principles.

New Beneficial Ownership Toolkit will help tax administrations tackle tax evasion more effectively The first ever beneficial ownership toolkit has been released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The toolkit is intended to help governments implement the Global Forum’s standards on ensuring that law enforcement officials have access to reliable information on who the ultimate beneficial owners are behind a company or other legal entity. This approach makes it harder for criminals to hide their illicit activities behind opaque legal structures.

Supporting Whistleblowers with GIFs and Stickers To celebrate World Whistleblowers Day — 23 June 2019 —  a set of GIFs and Stickers were created to use on your favorite social media platforms.

Combating graft is key to Asean growth Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad led the Malaysian delegation for three days at the 34th Asean Summit from June 20 in Bangkok. Corruption was on the agenda to ensure future growth and prosperity in this region.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Online ethical leadership course a first for New Zealand With the ethics of business, political and sporting leaders under scrutiny globally, Victoria University of Wellington is offering a free online course in ethical leadership as part of its programme of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that is a first for the country.

Time to regulate the lobbyists Recent revelations around lobbyist-turned-chief-of-staff GJ Thompson reinforce the urgency for change, writes Kate Nicholls. Opinion thespinoff.co.nz.

Twyford not upfront about Ministerial meeting National’s spokesperson for Local Government (Auckland) Denise Lee says.“The Housing and Urban Development Minister met with Environment Minister David Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on March 2, 2019. This meeting was included in Minister Parker’s diary release but not Phil Twyford’s. National Party Release on scoop.co.nz

Time for an independent stand-alone watch dog commission Press Release – Maori Council. The New Zealand Maori Council has opened a public discussion on whether it is time New Zealand moved with the times when it came to a stand-alone body to investigate corruption and the misuse of office by Public officials.

Government rejected a code of conduct for staff in 2013 The government has been told it could have avoided the abuse and bullying revealed in the Debbie Francis review of Parliament if it had listened to recommendations in Transparency International New Zealand's 2013 National Integrity System Assessment to enforce a code of conduct five years ago. RNZ, TINZ quoted

New Police report sheds light on data often asked about New Zealand Police releases report that proactively shares answers to common data requests made under the Official Information Act. Our Data – Your Asked Us is based on the most frequent data requests made by members of the public under the Official Information Act, and is informed by data available on policedata.nz.

Audit firms pour cold water on transparency Attempts to find out the quality of audit work done by the country's largest financial service firms have been blocked by the industry, despite them disclosing their regulatory performance in Australia.

'Hidden' currency conversion fees costing Kiwis billions New Zealand consumers and businesses have paid $5 billion in fees and "hidden charges" to banks and others just to transfer money between different currencies over the past five years, according to a study paid for by British-based company TransferWise.

Pacific

Transparency group says Solomons govt plan too ambitious Transparency International Solomon Islands says the government has promised more than it can deliver with the release of its 100 Day Plan. RadioNZ

New chairman for TIPNG Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has a new Chairman. He is Peter Aitsi, MBE.

PNG police minister calls for probe into Maseratis deal Papua New Guinea's Police Minister is pushing for an investigation into the procurement of luxury cars for last year's APEC summit. Rnz.co,nz.

French Polynesia's president facing corruption charges in court French Polynesia's president is due in court today accused of abusing public funds.

Sport

New Zealand Government Justifies Ongoing Racing Sports and Racing Industry Reforms AP: insert source identity. Reforms which relate to the racing industry and sports funding will not result in losses for sporting organisations in the country, says Grant Robertson, Sport and Recreation Minister. On the other hand, Racing Minister Winston Peters has also defended the shortened public consultation process at a time when Transparency International NZ has strongly criticised it after claiming that the period of five days available for public submissions is not long enough.

Senior New Zealand football official banned by FIFA for bribery and corruption Former FIFA committee member and Oceania Football secretary general Tai Nicholas has been slapped with an eight-year ban from all football-related activities and fined $75,000 by FIFA.

Government moves to allay concerns from sporting organisations over racing industry reforms Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson is promising that reforms of the racing sector and sports funding will not lead to national sporting organisations, including NZ Rugby and NZ Cricket, losing out. Racing Minister Winston Peters defends the truncated process for public consultation, despite criticism from Transparency International NZ that the five-day period for public submissions is too short.

Transparency International

Two principles Open Government Partnership needs to embrace to end corporate secrecy Scratch the surface of any of the big cross-border corruption scandals of the last decade — the Russian, Azerbaijani and Troika laundromats, Lava Jato — and it won’t take too long to discover the critical role of shell companies, and the anonymous individuals behind them, in facilitating corruption on a vast scale.

Trade unions and civil society call on G20 to protect whistleblowers Transparency International is one of more than 400 civil society organisations urging the G20 to protect whistleblowers from retaliation, in a joint call with trade unions from across G20 countries.

Transparency International New Zealand

Transparency International NZ in scoop.co.nz

Assessment of the integrity of the NZ financial system Press Release: Transparency International NZ in scoop.co.nz

NZ politics vulnerable to corruption - Transparency International Corin Dann speaks to the organisation's chair Suzanne Snively, beginning with the Official Information Act and how its being used.

Wellness Budget

Wellbeing Budget: More than half a billion dollars for Māori and Pasifika More than half a billion dollars - $593m - was allocated for Māori and Pacific communities over four years in Budget 2019.stuff.co.nz

Wellbeing Budget 2019: The great Spinoff hot-take roundtable The stakes are high for Grant Robertson’s much heralded Wellbeing Budget in the year of delivery. What are the expert verdicts?

In case you missed it

3 June 2019

Christchurch Call

The Christchurch Call and steps to tackle terrorist and violent extremist content In response to the Call, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft issued a joint statement. The companies also published nine steps they'll take to implement the Christchurch Call. - Microsoft Blog.

The Christchurch Call: The Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Ugly in times of crisis, governments want to act immediately and look to existing levers - which, as we've noted many times over the years, are often censorship and surveillance.

Christchurch Call to Action: Govts, tech companies agree to tackle violent online content on social media NZHerald

New Zealand banking and finance

ANZ’s local bosses must front up to embarrassing Aussie mistake ANZ has been placed on the banking naughty step for potentially lending to New Zealanders without enough capital to protect deposits. How did this happen?

Financial System review will improve banks and insurers The New Zealand Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) is the first ever review of the integrity framework of any country’s financial system.

New method to assess good and bad practices of banks coming Transparency International (New Zealand) to launch Financial Integrity System next month

Caution urged on financial safeguards The government must ensure its proposed financial safeguards do not affect competition and consumer choice, according to Luke Jackson, head of Resimac's NZ business. Luke Jackson, the newly-appointed head of non-bank lender Resimac's New Zealand operations, welcomes additional protections for consumers, but warns sweeping changes to intermediary remuneration may impact competition and damage the broker channel.

Consumer NZ not happy with 'pressure selling' tactics in banks Consumer NZ wants better regulation of the banking industry. It's carried out a survey which shows one-in-five bank customers are being offered products they didn't ask for, and often don't want. (Newstalk ZB)

Fewer than half of Kiwi customers say banks can be trusted The head of the New Zealand Bankers' Association is playing down calls for more industry regulation. It comes after a Consumer NZ survey found customers tend to be satisfied with their banks overall but less than half think banks can be trusted and almost two-thirds doubt they have their customers' best interests at heart. (Newstalk ZB)

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Grappling with external threats to NZ's democracy If you are an important person going to China, Anne-Marie Brady has some advice for you. The Canterbury University China expert suggests taking only a burner phone, leaving laptops and tablets at home, setting up a dedicated email for the trip and avoiding public WiFi. Any devices taken to China should be rebuilt or discarded, she says. The best practice reminder is contained in her submission to an inquiry by Parliament's Justice Select Committee into the 2017 election.

New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme reforms target transparency, compliance The second set of improvements to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS) have been announced to further encourage greenhouse gas emissions reductions and increase forestry planting, according to New Zealand's Minister for Climate Change James Shaw. The latest changes will improve transparency within the project, increase rates of compliance with the scheme, and pave the way for robust auctions.

Report: Digital Threats To Democracy The Digital Threats To Democracy report is part of the Digital Threats to Democracy research project.

Grant Robertson for Indian Newslink Lecture Finance Minister Grant Roberson will deliver the Ninth Annual Indian Newslink Lecture on Monday, July 29, 2019 at Pullman Hotel, Auckland. The central theme of his Lecture is likely to be ‘Good Financial Management contributes to Good Governance.’ Auckland Mayor Phil Goff will be the Master of Ceremonies.

New index ranks UK civil service at the top, followed by New Zealand and Canada The 2019 International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index has been published today. The index aims to help countries determine how their central civil services are performing, and to learn from each other.

Govt delays upgrade of weak and unclear whistleblower law Changes to whistleblower legislation to make it easier for employees to report everything from bullying to fraud have been delayed. This also pushes back moves to potentially bring the private sector into a critical part of the legislation.

NZ politics vulnerable to corruption - Transparency International A new report warns the country is very vulnerable to overseas corruption and urgent work needs to be done to bring greater transparency to Parliament.

Budget 2019: Goodbye 'NZ Inc' and welcome to the world of wellbeing stuff.co.nz

Sport

Sport NZ face questions over contracting top Olympic official Barry Maister An Olympic figurehead was paid more than $400,000 over seven years in a government advisory role that concerns sport integrity experts.

Supply Chain

Supply chain transparency boosts employee loyalty, motivation, report says Employers that adopt supply chain transparency measures operate more efficiently, earn positive reputations, enjoy a lower risk of labor violations and have better access to capital, according to a report from the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR).

Pacific

Working closely with the state It is vital that community groups and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) work closely together and with the State, says Transparency International PNG (TIPNG)

Allow media to help shine a light on Pacific issues If Pacific countries want the world to take notice of their situation, they need to stop obstructing and silencing media, writes Laura Walters. Newsroom

Papua New Guinea pioneers transparency on extractives Papua New Guinea is putting transparency and accountability at the heart of the way it manages its extractives sector.

International

Why criminals look to Canada to launder their money through real estate With some of the weakest money-laundering laws among liberal democracies, Canada stands out as a place to launder cash, says a retired lawyer and member of Transparency International Canada

Portugal: The way ahead for anti-corruption Corruption seems fixed and powerful, but it’s possible to defeat it, step by step, with eyes on the future.

Transparency International

Four ways the G20 can take the lead on anti-corruption Transparency International

Nigeria: More Than Half of Country's Education Budget Lost to Corruption - Transparency International Transparency International says 66 percent of the money Nigerian governments allocate to education is stolen by corrupt officials.

Anti-bribery training

Interactive anti-bribery training is an essential element in building a culture of compliance Alexandra Wrage, President, TRACE, a US headquartered anti-bribery business organisation, gives Viveka Roychowdhury an overview of the risks of transnational business in the pharma industry and outlines what companies can do to increase levels of compliance to local and global anti-bribery laws

In case you missed it

7 May 2019

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Data Security Now the Top New Zealand Consumer Priority When Choosing a Bank - New Unisys Research Finds New Zealanders trust banks more than twice as much as the government with their personal data - Unisys Asia Pacific Banking Insights study

Andrew Dickens: Fight between the 'haves' and 'have-nots' looming Opinion

APEC contracts to be reviewed after audit concerns Foreign affairs officials have been forced to review all contracts for New Zealand’s hosting of a major international summit, after the Auditor-General raised concerns about flaws in their procurement practices.

NZ's open government work brings only marginal change New Zealand’s open government work over 2016-2018 brings only marginal change in government practice, new report suggests. scoop.co.nz.

MPs to consider ban on foreign political donations MPs will consider banning foreign donations to political parties after the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) warned that foreign governments want to influence New Zealand politicians.

Spy agencies concerned about foreign political donations and influence campaigns The heads of New Zealand's intelligence agencies have told MPs they are concerned about political donations by hidden state actors and attempts to influence diaspora communities.

RBNZ Embarking on New Communication Strategy, Governor Orr Says New Zealand’s central bank is embarking on a new communication strategy that will see its policy makers speak less behind closed doors and cover a wider range of topics, RBNZ governor Adrian Orr said.

Spies shine light on interference, in spotlight over terror “.... the information laid out by the NZSIS and GCSB about efforts to covertly or deceptively affect New Zealand’s political system brought the issue alive in striking, if somewhat disconcerting, detail.”

Fashion grades: Rating the retail brands that make your clothes Most New Zealand fashion retailers are doing a good job of looking after the people who make their clothes, but some brands have work to do.- NZHerald

Report fails New Zealand fashion retailers on ethical grade Report fails New Zealand fashion retailers on ethical grade - Newshub.

Nine Kiwi brands failing to protect workers, ethical fashion report says Some of New Zealand's highest-profile fashion brands have scored poorly in a new report into the industry's ethics.

Australia

Trust in politicians under cloud as anti-corruption body concerns grow The anti-corruption body Transparency International will today update its wish-list for an Australian national integrity body, amid concerns that it won't be properly resourced to fight corruption.

Government corruption and the need for a Federal ICAC

Pacific

PNG Govt to table anti-corruption bill A bill to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption in Papua New Guinea will be tabled in Parliament next month, the Justice Minister says.

NGO wants PNG anti-corruption body to be strong Transparency International (Secretariat in Berlin) says it's waiting to see how strong the Papua New Guinea government's planned Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) will be.

Sport

Transparency International UK’s strategies for combatting corruption - A guide for sports organisations Lawn Sport Published 18 April 2019 | Authored by: Keith Oliver, Craig Hogg (Article references 2014 work by TI UK)

Transparency International

Three years after the Panama Papers: progress on horizon Whistleblowers and investigative journalists are helping pick apart the cross-border corruption networks that exploit the global financial system at the expense of human development.

Whistleblowers

Why Julian Assange's arrest is troubling for whistleblowers

Repercussions for revealing corruption The new EU Whistleblower protection directive is a huge step forward, but journalists and activists still need to exercise caution in their work with whistleblowers. New principles for journalists offer a much needed guide.

International

Report: Construction and Real Estate Carry Greatest Corruption Risk Construction and real estate development are the business sectors globally most exposed to corruption, according to a new report by Risk Advisory, a London-based consultancy.

International organizations and the promotion of democracy Democracy without Boarders World Views, Daniele Archibugi & Marco Cellini,5. April 2019

As Global Democracy Stumbles, Corruption Flourishes Transparency International says the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy…Law.com

Misleading takedowns: Facebook needs to be a lot more transparent when it comes to banning Pages, Groups Facebook’s role in taking down posts threatening electoral democracy needs to be understood better.

Social media executives could be liable for harmful content - The Guardian

Corruption a big issue in muslim-majority nations Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad expressed regret that Muslims are involved in corruption when Islam prohibits it. New Straits Times, Malaysia

Corruption Challenges Index 2019 Corruption danger spots for business in 2019 by Risk Advisory, a London-based consultancy.