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MEDIA RELEASE

PO Box 10123
The Terrace
Wellington, 6143
New Zealand

Transparency International New Zealand
7 December 2017
Patron, Sir Don McKinnon

International Anti-Corruption Day 2017

Today – 9 December 2017 – is a good day for reflection and resolve

International Anti-Corruption day is a good day for New Zealanders’ to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a country with low levels of corruption.

“This is a good day to remind your local MP to enjoin Parliament to become the global leader of countries working together to stop illicit financial flows, to stem international money laundering and develop stronger policies to prevent domestic corruption,” says Suzanne Snively, Chair of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

Corruption is a serious international issue affecting billions of people worldwide. “Every year $1 trillion is paid in bribes while an estimated $2.6 trillion are stolen annually through corruption – a sum equivalent to more than 5 per cent of the global GDP. Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and economic development in all societies. No country, region or community is immune,” says the United Nations organisers. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Regional Centre in Bangkok produced a simple video illustrating how corruption affects everyone – local communities, schools, hospitals, villages.

The recent Auckland Transport corruption case is evidence that New Zealand is not immune from domestic corruption.

The Panama Papers, 1MDB trustee case and the Unaoil bribery scandal provide clear evidence that New Zealand entities are used as a conduit in international corruption. Not only does facilitating money laundering and hiding of assets enable undermining of development, corrupt money negatively impacts our housing and high value goods markets.

Transparency International New Zealand asks all New Zealanders to join in the anti-corruption effort across its many fronts including:

  • Working with the Government to uphold commitments made at the anti-corruption summit and to progress areas such as Open Data, political finance reform, rising to the Open Government Partnership “Grand Challenge”, whistleblowing and money laundering.
  • Embrace the recent United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) resolution, which urges States parties to:
    • Increase their efforts to prevent and counter corruption, thereby contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals
    • Establish effective financial disclosure systems for public officials
    • Identify the legal and natural person beneficiaries of trusts and shell companies. The return of stolen assets is a fundamental principle of the Convention.

TINZ joins the UNCAC group in encouraging the participation of individuals, civil society, non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations and private sector to join forces in the prevention of and the fight against corruption.

Bribery, corruption and fraud are prevented when there is transparency and accountability at all levels of government and society.

Snively notes, “it’s through these actions that our country will maintain its reputation for integrity, a reputation which will enable it to enhance human rights, leverage growth, address poverty, housing and shape a sustainable future for our people and the environment.‎”

Background information for journalists

  1. Media contact:

    Suzanne Snively
    Chair
    Transparency International New Zealand
    +64 21 925 689
    suzanne.snively@tinz.org.nz

  2. International Anti-Corruption Day

    9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day promoted by two United Nations organisations: the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This year’s theme is “United against corruption for development, peace and security.” See un.org/en/events/anticorruptionday/.

    The UNDP Regional Centre in Bangkok produced a simple video illustrating how corruption affects everyone – local communities, schools, hospitals, villages

  3. UNCAC resolution

    On 6-10 November 2017 UNDOC conducted the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption”. The UNCAC resolution mentioned above is a product of this conference. See Report of the 7th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

  4. Transparency International

    Transparency International is a global civil society coalition leading the fight against corruption. It compiles a number of measures of different aspects of corruption including the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Global Corruption Barometer, and the Bribe Payers Index. Information on Transparency International can be found at www.transparency.org and detailed information on the Corruption Perceptions Index can be found at www.transparency.org/cpi.

  5. About TINZ

    Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is the local chapter of the global organisation – https://www.transparency.org.nz/.

    TINZ works to actively promote the highest levels of transparency, accountability, integrity and public participation in government and civil society in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

    Transparency International New Zealand provides a free Anti-Corruption Training Tool designed by leading experts in the field, and enables organisations to provide training for their personnel. This was developed in partnership with the Serious Fraud Office and BusinessNZ

    Transparency International New Zealand published the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment and is actively engaged in the implementation of its recommendations.

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