In case you missed it

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?

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