From the Chair

Suzanne Snively
Chair
Transparency International New Zealand

Embrace the All Blacks – and New Zealand’s strong integrity systems

The popular topic over the next month is whether the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup.  With 20 countries represented, there is keen interest on the integrity of the players, their teams and coaches.

It’s great to see the All Blacks wearing ‘transparency blue’ shirts for their training and travel to and from games for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.  Clever of those involved with dressing the team to have worked out a way to associate the All Blacks with Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

Continuous improvement

TINZ is committed through its work with our public sector to ensure the latter continuously improves its policies, processes and practices to detect, prevent and enforce anti-corruption measures, and to strengthen New Zealand’s integrity systems. 

The 2018 update of the TINZ 2013 National Integrity System Assessment was launched in May this year by the Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard. It reinforces how important these practices are to our government and the public sector. 

Continuous vigilance is required by our public sector to maintain its reputation as amongst the countries with the lowest levels of corruption based on the annual Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (TI-CPI). 

Integrity in sport

New Zealand has ‎over 100,000 sporting bodies.  The example provided by the All Blacks is important to ensuring that like the public sector, they too have the policies, processes and practices in place to address corruption through building strong integrity systems.

The required practices are straightforward:  

  1. Tone at the top
  2. Code of conduct supportive of strong internal integrity systems
  3. Effective governance, team training and communication about detecting and preventing corruption
  4. Knowledge of the relevant regulations
  5. Speaking up channels for whistleblowers
  6. Due diligence processes to know about the integrity of your partners, and
  7. Regular reviews of the above 6 practices.

With exports earnings from TV rights, sponsorship and overseas matches, New Zealand Rugby ‎is one of New Zealand’s biggest exporters. 

The Rugby World Cup isn’t just about the game, but also about our future trade relationships.

International reputation

The Cup is being played in Japan, one of New Zealand’s larger trading partners, who’s public sector has improved its ranking on the TI-CPI from 22nd to 20th.

Two other participating countries of even more importance to New Zealand trade, are Australia (TI-CPI ranked 13) and the USA (TI-CPI ranked 22). Australia and the US are currently sitting as our 2nd and 3rd largest exports destinations behind China. In 2019, New Zealand exports were $14 billion to Australia, and $9 billion to the US, compared to $19 billion exports to China. 

So as we watch the Rugby World Cup, the respect the All Blacks show through how they play the game and through taking a bow to their Japanese hosts, is an all important part of demonstrating New Zealand’s strong integrity system.

It’s good for our sporting reputation. It’s also good for our trade in products that create good jobs and contribute to our taxes to pay for public services.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM

Chair

Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

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