Transparency Times November 2016

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively

Suzanne Snively
TINZ Chair

While New Zealanders adjust to being rocked by earthquakes‎, the Americans (and the rest of the world) are adjusting to being rocked by an election. Amongst the things that anger both Donald Trump’s‎ and Bernie Sanders’ supporters is the greed of Wall Street firms.

Indeed, part of Trump's electoral success was founded on espousing widely shared bleak views of the US economy, that were described as being caused by Wall Street. And these are widely shared views – The London Economist found evidence that two-thirds of Americans think the economy is rigged in favour of the rich and a higher proportion believe that their politicians don't care about the ordinary citizen.

A factor is that for the last decade in the US, the purchasing power of average wages has remained stagnant‎. While some top incomes have risen despite the Global Financial (GFC) between 2007 and 2014, the wages of already low-income earners declined. Along with this, the job-certainty of low-skilled workers has been especially hard hit.

For many Americans, Wall Street is represented by their bank – banks who responded to the GFC by foreclosing on their mortgages and pushing their families out of their homes.

The experience here of the GFC, while significant, has been less dire than in the US. The impact of the GFC was buffered in New Zealand due to the quality of New Zealand banks. New Zealand’s 4 largest banks are supported by the strength of the balance sheets of their Australian parents who maintained strong credit ratings and were amongst the world's most stable banks during the GFC.

To find out whether our financial system has integrity, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is developing an assessment methodology, the “2017 New Zealand Financial Integrity System Assessment” (FISA). View the draft assessment.

It will be the first ever review of the strength of the integrity system of any country’s finance system, covering the RBNZ, Financial Markets Authority, DIA, MBIE, Commerce Commission, Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, Financial Services Complaints Limited, Financial Disputes Limited, the payments system, registered banks, non-bank deposit-taking finance companies, co-operative credit unions and savings societies.

The assessment will provide customers, citizens, communities, civil society and businesses with detailed knowledge of the way that the finance system prevents corruption, reinforces core ethical values and how these factors both strengthen the integrity of the system and of the organisations that make up the system.

Armed with this knowledge, citizens and customers can both identify good performance and push for more effective service and product delivery.

FISA aims to evaluate whether financial organisations demonstrate an effective approach for managing the prevention of corruption. There’s more – the evaluation is also concerned about the resources available to continue to successfully combat corruption. So, there is also an evaluation of whether organisations adopt a proactive role for realising the benefits of their integrity.

International reform in banking and financial systems isn’t even on the radar. In contrast, the New Zealand financial sector as a whole has undertaken one of the most comprehensive changes in regulatory regime of any other local industry sector and any other country’s international financial sector.

The improved detail of our regulatory regime should not overshadow its purpose – commitment to the broad spirit and culture of ethical integrity.

And so it is that TINZ is putting its draft FISA out for consultation. Everyone is encouraged to take a look at the draft assessment and provide feedback. The knowledge about the features of an ethical banking system gained during the consultation is an important basis to then understand the findings of the assessment when they are published in the second half of next year.

Suzanne Snively, Chair
Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Message from the CEO

Janine McGruddy

Janine McGruddy
TINZ Chief Executive Officer

by Janine McGruddy

TINZ Chief Executive Officer

Dear TINZ Members

It's time to reflect on 2016 beginning with a big thanks to you for being on this journey with TINZ as we advance the New Zealand story of integrity.

Suzanne, Josephine and I have just returned from the Transparency International Annual Members Meeting and the 17th International Anti-Corruption Conference in Panama.  It was a mix of great challenges and great joys and we have all come back reinvigorated and inspired by the global conversations.

The negative rhetoric of our “if it bleeds it leads” media-feeds can be echo chambers. And those echo chambers don’t just reflect our political beliefs; they reflect our worst feelings about human progress. Progressive thinking has taken a few body blows from the likes of Brexit and the Trump fiasco, but humanity still has much to celebrate. We can start 2017 with great hope for the future.

At the local level the Panama Papers led to the Shewan report and the positive outcomes of that, the Open Government Partnership has finally had the recognition and effort it needed to make progress, and New Zealand committed to monitored actions at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London.

At the global level in 2016 the world got more generous – global spending on aid and development increased by 7%, and spending on refugees has doubled.

In June, a new survey showed that the ozone hole has shrunk by more than 3.9 million square kilometres since 2006. Scientists now think it will be fully healed by 2050.

The World Health Organisation released a report showing that, since the year 2000, global malaria deaths have declined by 60%. A new study from the world’s leading health journal reported that the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth has almost halved since 1990.

Child mortality is down everywhere and it keeps going down. Thailand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. World hunger reached its lowest point in 25 years.

In December, the Gambia became the latest African country to show that voting does count, and dictators do fall. Pakistan has made strides toward outlawing honour killings. 70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS.  Following the end of conflict in Colombia in 2016, all of the war in the world is now limited to an arc that contains less than a sixth of the world’s population.

Tiger numbers are growing, and pandas are no longer endangered. California is now being powered by over 5 million homes with solar power. Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight and volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.

And it is reported that world crime as a whole has drastically declined in the last couple of decades.

With all this in mind I wish you all a recuperative and inspiring break so that we can all work together in 2017 to continue this progress.

Ngâ mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou!

Janine

TINZ 2016 Annual General Meeting

David Dunsheath and Daniel King

David Dunsheath and Daniel King

Director election Tim Goodrick

New Director Election, Tim Goodrick

Happy Hour 2016 TINZ AGM

Happy Hour 2016 TINZ AGM

John Shewan Suzanne Snively

John Shewan and Suzanne Snively

Helen Bewley and member

Finance Officer, Helen Bewley, with TINZ member, Helen Algar

John Shewan

Keynote speaker John Shewan

Keynote Speaker John Shewan Suzanne Snively

Keynote speaker John Shewan with Suzanne Snively

Keynote Speaker John Shewan

Keynote speaker John Shewan

MC Malcolm Alexander and TINZ Treasurer Christine Stevenson

Master of Ceremonies, Malcolm Alexander, CEO LGNZ ‎ and TINZ Treasurer, Christine Stevenson

Member Ruby McGruddy DA Lexi Mills Eva Lu

Member Ruby McGruddy, Lexi Mills and administrator Eva Lu

Retiring director Fuimaono Tuiasau and Suzanne Snively

Retiring Director Fuimaono Tuiasau and Suzanne Snively

Suzanne and Janine

Suzanne and Janine

TINZ AGM Audience 4

TINZ AGM Audience

TINZ Director Charles Hett

TINZ Director Charles Hett

TINZ Director David McNeill 2

TINZ Director David McNeill

On 10 November 2016, Transparency International New Zealand held it's ‎Annual General Meeting in Wellington. This is the one event of the year which is members only. With TINZ’s growing membership, there was a full house.

General Business

The business portion of the meeting featured a Chair’s statement by TINZ Chair Suzanne Snively reviewing the organizations accomplishments over the last year.

She highlighted that awareness among public servants and business leaders is growing rapidly and they are more engaged with the idea of transparency, integrity and accountability as core values.

This awareness now needs to be expanded to all of New Zealand's population.

Directors

During the AGM Directors David McNeil and Mark Sainsbury were re-elected for another three years. Tim Goodrick was newly elected.

Conway Powell

Conway Powell, was appointed an interim Director to replace Janine McGruddy, and introduced to AGM attendees.

Tim Goodrick

Tim Goodrick, an Associate Director at KPMG in the Forensic practice,has over 10 years’ experience combatting financial crime whilst working in government, international organisations and consulting.

Tim joined KPMG in March 2015 from the OECD’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in Paris, France. There, he had spent three years developing international AML/CFT policy and assessing countries against these international standards.

Prior to his role at FATF, Tim was the Director of the Financial Crime Section in the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, with responsibility for Australia’s national policies to combat money laundering and foreign bribery.

He has represented Australia and the FATF at various international meetings including at the United Nations, the 2014 G20 anti-corruption working group, the Basel Committee on Money Laundering, and the OECD Working Group on Bribery. Tim has undertaken FATF and OECD country evaluations and both led and managed FATF initiatives to help countries combat the misuse of companies and trusts (beneficial ownership guidance) and to use AML measures to combat corruption (anti-corruption guidance).

Tim has also previously worked for AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence unit and regulator, in policy and compliance. Tim is a qualified lawyer with a Master of Laws (Criminal Justice and Criminology), and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Fuimaono Tuiasau

Fuimaono Tuiasau has stepped aside as an elected Director of TINZ to a specialist role in Open Government Partnership and Pasifika. His work in the Pacific, involvement with the National Action Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee and work with South Auckland youth is recognised. He will remain involved in these activities and issues of transparency.

John Shewan spoke on “The Panama Papers- Lessons from the Government Inquiry into the Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules.”

John Shewan provided some valuable insights at the TINZ AGM about government process, the media and the subject matter of his inquiry triggered by the issue of unregistered foreign trusts with overseas beneficial owners and settlors.

A key achievement of the Shewan Inquiry is that out of 20 recommendations made in the published report, 19 were adopted. A further feature of the report is that it provided a clear way forward for the adopted recommendations to be implemented. View the Shewan report: Government Inquiry into Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules.

Timing is everything

Importantly, Shewan focused on the immediate purpose of inquiry, thereby not letting a wider range of issues undermine his ability to deliver his report in good time

He did not agree that the scope was too narrow. In other ways, Shewan found the TINZ submission very helpful.

Carrying out the inquiry was quite a lonely experience as the non-partisan convention around independent inquiries meant that it had to be his opinion based on the evidence. This made it difficult to test the evidence against the opinions of others.

Shewan's objective was to set reasonable expectations very early, so wider media commentary was not able to gather momentum around topics outside the scope.

Another reason for managing expectations is Shewan's concern that wider media coverage ran the very high risk of damaging New Zealand’s reputation overseas.

Speaking of the media, Shewan gave Nicki Hager and the RNZ/TVNZ support team, the only people in NZ who actually had access to the Panama Papers, credit for their objective appraisal.

Turning to the content of the report, Shewan noted that higher disclosure requirement under Anti-money Lanundering Phase 2 is very important and he is pleased that this is being progressed so quickly by government officials. Accountants and lawyers needed to be included in the scope of the AML rules.

Public or private trust register?

Shewan recommended that the register be kept non-public but accessible through correct channels

He noted that there was no political intervention or pressure at all during the inquiryconcerning the conclusions or recommendations.

Shewan thinks that the government could be less siloed and he recommended that we bend the ears of politicians re proper information sharing – this is happening but too slowly. It was very valuable to have government officials willing to work together to provide evidence for his inquiry.

He was frustrated by some media inaccuracy and then the unwillingness to retract wrong information. He found that there were low standards when it came to the accuracy of financial and business reporting in New Zealand compared to most developed countries.

Shewan's evidence led him to conclude that automatic sharing of information on trust as happens with Australia is not needed accross the board and there is a risk that some offshore governments could misuse it.

He found that IRD showed themselves very competent and sophisticated in their response and management. ‎The inquiry benefited from the contributions of other government officials joining with IRD to provide evidence and analysis.

John Shewan

John Shewan graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with an honours degree in accountancy and started as a junior lecturer at the university in 1976. The following year he joined leading accounting and audit firm Coopers & Lybrand (later to become PricewaterhouseCoopers or PwC). He became one of the firm's leading tax practitioners, becoming a partner in 1984, and chairman of the New Zealand firm from 2003 to 2012, when he retired.

In mid-2012 he was appointed an adjunct professor of accountancy at Victoria University.

Since he left PwC, Mr Shewan has picked up several company directorships.

He is currently chair of the board of the manager of the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund.

He is also a director of Yealands Wines, the New Zealand branch of the China Construction Bank and Munich Reinsurance Australia.

He is an established commentator on tax and policy matters.

TINZ Directors Tim Goodrick and Bryce Edwards and VUW Mark Bennett

New Director, Tim Goodrick, TINZ member Mark Bennett and Director, Dr Bryce Edwards

TINZ Member Asks John Shewan Question

TINZ Member asks John Shewan a question

TINZ Member Matthew Underwood

TINZ member Matthew Underwood behind him is long-term TINZ member and supporter, Bernie Harris.

Photos courtesy Eva Kaprinay

OAG report on the Saudi sheep saga

On 2 November, 2016 the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) released its Inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership. On the 3rd of November TINZ provided a press release on this landmark report. Our Chair, Suzanne Snively noted “the dangers of complacency about corruption, and the need for transparency to be used as the foil that prevents corruption from taking root”. Release of this report on the Government’s Saudi Sheep Contract provides the basis for a wider public debate about corruption and bribery.

Transparency International New Zealand will continue this conversation. Our mission is to foster a New Zealand culture where transparency, integrity, good governance and ethical standards and practices are the core values for all New Zealanders.

As a result of the OAG’s report on the Saudi Sheep deal:

  • The government needs to deliver on the OAG's request that benefits through the actual use of taxpayer’s funds are comprehensively reported, both the $8.6 Million spent and the remaining amount totaling $11.5 million.
  • Action to extend the coverage of the Official Information Act to include Parliament and to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the executive, as recommended in our Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment, will help prevent similar activity in the future.
  • A continued push for transparency in international trade agreements is necessary.

The OAG's final message is clear‎. Government contracts are monitored for their probity and in this case, the benefit to the New Zealand people. Even with the best of intentions, opacity in government no longer works, sooner or later it will be exposed to the light of day.

To paraphrase the Police: Everything you do, every word you speak, every step you take, the world is watching you! Let's lead the world by ensuring that government business is conducted in broad daylight!

The Second Open Government Partnership National Action Plan has been released

On 22 October, 2016 State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced New Zealand's second Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan for 2016-18 (NAP).

Links:

This plan is a solid road map to achieving more openness in government and will foster greater public participation in government.

The NAP includes the following key commitments:

  • Commitment 1: Open Budget – presenting budget data in ways that make it easy to understand.
  • Commitment 2: Improve access to official information by publishing responses to requests on government websites and developing principles for more proactive release.
  • Commitment 5: We will build a flexible and enduring platform for engagement between the New Zealand government and New Zealand communities around the Open Government Partnership.
  • Commitment 7: Improving policy practices. We will improve knowledge of tools and techniques policy makers can use to create more open and user led policy.

The OGP process is continuous. It is critical to New Zealand's democracy and reputation to implement this NAP and to start immediately on the 2018 NAP. In order to assume leadership in the OGP, this third NAP will need to incorporate much broader citizen involvement and additional new ambitious recommendations.

TINZ is determined to support – and prod – the government and actively promote broader civil society involvement.

Dr Karin Lasthuizen to Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership

New Chair at Victoria to spearhead research in ethical leadership

Victoria University of Wellington has appointed Professor Karin Lasthuizen from the Netherlands to a newly established Professorial Chair.

KarinLasthuizen

As published in the 1st November 2016 Victoria University News, Professor Lasthuizen is the inaugural Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, which is within Victoria Business School’s School of Management.

She joins five other Professorial Chairs at the Business School who lead research on important contemporary issues in specialist areas of digital government, public finance, business in Asia, economics of disasters and restorative justice.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, Professor Bob Buckle is delighted to welcome Professor Lasthuizen to Victoria as the University’s first Chair in Ethical Leadership.

“Professor Lasthuizen is highly regarded in Europe for her research and consultancy work in responsible leadership and ethics in the public sector, as well as her innovative research in the methodology of organisational misbehaviour.

“She has held numerous senior research and policy positions, and most recently was an Associate Professor in Leadership and Ethics Management at VU University Amsterdam.

“Her appointment will significantly strengthen the Business School’s capabilities in training, researching and supporting stakeholders to strengthen ethical practices in business, government and community organisations.

“Although ethics is embedded in many of the courses taught at Victoria Business School, the establishment of this Chair has been prompted by our commitment to supporting the wider community. Research in this field will provide insight that can improve leadership and practices to improve confidence in business, inform public policy and help mitigate the risks that can lead to organisational failures.”

Professor Lasthuizen says the newly created role is “a huge opportunity” to further develop her field of expertise.

“Ethical leadership is still a largely unexplored area of research. Traditionally, much research has assumed there is a one-size-fits-all style of ethical leadership that works across all types of organisations. But latest insights, including my own research, suggest that ethical leadership is more context-dependent.

“By translating academic knowledge into practical insights, I hope that as Chair, I can help organisations enhance their organisational integrity, societal value and overall performance through ethical leaderships and ethics management.”

Professor Lasthuizen will be supported by an Advisory Board comprising members of stakeholder organisations.

Chair of the Advisory Board, and Controller and Auditor-General, Lyn Provost says leadership has long been recognised as a way to make a difference to an organisation and its future.

“Ethical leadership adds a national and global aspect to that future. I look forward to working with Professor Lasthuizen and the advisory group.”

The Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership has been established with support from a private donor, the Gama Foundation and the Financial Markets Authority.

New Zealand’s latest film festival brings fraud to the big screen

Fraud Film Festival

New Zealand’s first International Fraud Film Festival

18 & 19 November at Auckland’s Q Theatre

“Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world” Jean-Luc Godard

As we go to press the Fraud Film Festival is has just concluded.

New Zealand’s latest film festival is designed to bring the issue of fraud, and other forms of financial crimes, alive through the medium of film. It opened on Friday, 18th November, to an invited audience. Saturday was open to the public to join in the debate after each film about how to counter fraud.

To demonstrate the far-reaching impacts of fraud and the various guises it comes in, the festival is focusded on a variety of topics on the Saturday. These included dishonesty, tax fraud, investigative journalism and corruption in sports.

Get a preview now – Previews of four films can be seen now at www.fraudfilmfestival.co.nz

Partners include Deloitte, Meredith Connell, ACC, ASB, Financial Markets Authority, MBIE’s Consumer Protection team, Omega Investigations, Serious Fraud Office, Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ), Dave Clark Design and VISA New Zealand.

Source – Fraud Film Festival.

National Integrity Systems Assessment revisited

Transparency International New Zealand’s 2013 Integrity Plus National Integrity Systems Assessment (NIS) remains the definitive document for our organization. Its comprehensive analysis following a proven framework and thorough review gives us a keystone for analyising and reacting to the topics of the day.

TINZ leadership routinely refers to the NIS when formulating recommendations to address situations of questionable integrity and lack of transparency.

On the 21th September 2016, Cabinet published a report reviewing the progress on addressing the recommendations. The State services commission developed this into a web page dedicated to the NIS and a detailed response to each of the its recommendations.

The NIS served as a starting point and reference document for both New Zealand Open Government Partnership National Action Plans.

Work on a second edition to the NIS is underway. Liz Brown, the former Banking Ombudsman and Project Manager for the initial version is leading this effort. TINZ plans to use this as a basis to regularly monitor progress on the 2013 recommendation from now on. See Response to National Integrity Systems Report on New Zealand by Transparency International

A principled company: SYSDOC

The Principle of a principled company – the New Zealand way

by Brendon Wilson

TINZ Director

Writing for Employers and Manufacturers Association

BusinessPlus Magazine

Visionary New Zealand business leaders and their companies have a long, remarkable record of taking their business models to the other side of the world and in a quiet unassuming way carving a major place in far larger economies – to great effect for New Zealand’s reputation as well as for their own growth. From a New Zealand start-up in 1986, Katherine Corich has developed Sysdoc to international success, with revenues in Europe now outstripping their New Zealand earnings, providing a wide range of consulting, IT and managed services.

(more…)

Low interest rates are fuelling wealth inequality Part 2

Are there enough lifeboats on Godzone?

Shopping for a loaf of bread

Circa 1922 shopping trip for a loaf of bread.
Courtesy of webofdebt.com/articles/hyperinflation.php

by Ferdinand Balfoort

TINZ board member

Transparency Times regular contributor

Part II – The fallacy that rising tides will lift all boats

Adam Smith already warned us about the risks of inflationary policies, which is what Quantitative Easing (QE) is, albeit with a novel technical term, as described in Part I of this article published in the October publication of the Transparency Times and includes a description of QE. In the good old days, we would call QE a policy of “printing more money” This conjures images of the Weimar Republic in the 1920’s and frantic Germans pushing wheelbarrows filled with worthless paper money to the bakery to buy a loaf of bread. The reason we don’t see wheelbarrow pushing customers queueing in front of New World in Wellington is because inflation is curiously flat. Part of the reason may be that property inflation is not part of official inflation statistics compiled by governments, including our own. This flatness of inflation is in contrast to the hilly landscape of Wellington, which may be another reason for not wanting to push a wheelbarrow for your daily shopping expedition.

Ship being rescued by God's hand

Neo-classical economic principles apparently include sleight of hand.
Original art courtesy of Robisto – rsh5096.tumblr.com/

A rising tide of QE does not lift all boats, contrary to what US President J F Kennedy stated in 1963, especially if there aren’t enough lifeboats to go around and we have hit an iceberg. In the case of New Zealand, the rising tide of credit created by the QE may well sink our ship. This news is continuing to be ignored by our political and economic elites, and certainly by those who own assets which are being inflated at unprecedented rates. I don’t expect an Invisible Hand to pluck S.S. Godzone from the malaise anytime soon.

One reason why some boats rise and others sink is that, while credit flows into property and financial assets, there is a comparative drought in investments channelled into new productive ventures. These ventures hold the promise of creating new technologies and jobs, followed by consumption by salaried employees. Theirs remains an unfulfilled promise due to the lack of available credit. Continuing the maritime theme, the Ancient Mariner may well have said, “Credit, credit everywhere, but not a cent to find for productive investment.” In a miserable tandem of whammies, property prices are rising while at the same time there is hardly any growth in employment opportunities.

The New Zealand government’s policy towards economic immigration from other parts of the world means that we are importing the natural results from QE into our own New Zealand backyard. Whereas Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia especially, contain major sized cities that are part of relatively sizeable populations, New Zealand is a minnow in the global national population stakes. This means that the impact of the economic consequences arising from the flood of QE generated funds hits much harder in our beloved Godzone. As Adam Smith noted, “As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.” (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776). In New Zealand’s case, the rent will increasingly have to be paid to landlords that are not even in New Zealand, including overseas corruption suspects.

This is because QE has also increasingly generated corrupt and illicit wealth globally. This hot money finds an easy way into professional trust accounts and then into property, where it is possibly even less likely that questions are asked about the source of those funds. On our own shores we have recently seen the legal case of Sir Ngatata Love who was noted to have received NZ$ 1.5 million as a backhander in a corruption case. Although the case has been reported as fraud it should be classified as a corruption case, following the OECD definition of corruption as abuse of power. It involved the use of Sir Love’s public position for his personal financial gain. The corrupt funds were paid by a property developer and, coincidentally, then re-invested into a personal property in Wellington. This underscores the temptations posed by the inexorable rising of property prices, which rationalizes the act after succumbing to the temptation. Similar property related corruption scams are evident globally.

As TI UK noted in its report titled em>Corruption on your Doorsteps (2016), the “high end real estate sector is particularly vulnerable to money laundering, in part due to its capital intensive nature.” It is no surprise that the sector therefore attracts criminal attention, as cases noted in our sidebar. This includes internationally financed criminal gangs such as the one apparently involved in defrauding royalty in Romania, Brazil Petrobras corruption funds invested in London and Leeds, and Malaysian spending sprees in the US property market. Due to the magnitude of sums involved, some commentators now refer to “Grand Corruption” to emphasize the enormity of corrupt deals involved. (The Independent, 04 March 2015). Future Transparency Times articles will investigate Grand Corruption in more detail.

You read it here. Hot money is a natural end result of QE and it is now in the process of blowing up New Zealand’s hallowed traditions and social harmony that was based on an egalitarian society. It is time our political and business leaders addressed this growing social time-bomb. Otherwise we may well all end up strangers in our own lands.

“It is not these well-fed long-haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry-looking.”
(Attributed to Julius Caesar, Plutarch, Life of Anthony, 75 A.C.E.).

About the author: Ferdinand C Balfoort (MCA,CA,CIA) is an international corporate governance expert with academic and professional expertise and interests in cross cultural impacts of corruption, economic history and the Scottish Enlightenment philosophers.

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Shewan report The Inquiry has reported its findings and recommendations to the Ministers.

The 25 richest, healthiest, happiest, and most advanced countries in the world New Zealand — Officially the most prosperous country on earth, according to the Legatum Institute, New Zealand ranked top of both the social capital and economic quality sub-indexes, and 2nd for business environment and governance.

Progress in bringing more open government welcomed Transparency International welcomes progress in bringing more open government.

Second Open Government National Action Plan State Services Minister Paula Bennett has today announced the publication of New Zealand’s second National Action Plan under the international Open Government Partnership.

The Potential to Correct Corruption Five reasons to take a fresh look at how you address bribery and corruption risks in your business.

The rich have found a place to escape the horrors of the world: New Zealand “The thing that was always working against New Zealand — the tyranny of distance — is the very thing that becomes its strength as the world becomes more uncertain…”

The trust paradox Discussion about reconciling security and privacy blog post from the OAG's Ann Webster

Launch of Policy Project frameworks John Key discusses free and frank advice.

Saudi Sheep

'Shortcomings' but no corruption in sheep deal – Auditor-General A report on the government's Saudi sheep deal by the Auditor-General has found no evidence of corruption, but has heavily criticised government processes.

Auditor-General report shows taxpayers' concern justified The Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed today’s release of the Auditor General’s report on the Inquiry into the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership. “It appears our blowing the whistle on this issue was completely justified,” says Jordan Williams, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director.

Saudi sheep deal not corrupt, had 'significant shortcomings', report finds While Auditor General Lyn Provost has found no evidence of corruption, she says a contract the Government signed with Saudi businessman Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf “does not tell the full story” about the reasons for the deal.

Rachel Smalley: Lack of clarity, transparency around Saudi sheep deal baffling

Opinion: This is not how NZ does business New Zealand has now shown it is prepared to make unorthodox compromises in the shadows – so what will the next potential trading partner ask for?

Not corrupt, just idiotic: Why the Saudi deal report is still terrible for Murray McCully The Spinoff, by Ben Thomas, 3 November 2016

Editorial: Ethical dilemma Otago Daily Times: There have been serious shortcomings identified in the report which are unlikely to ever be answered by a Government determined to sweep aside any perceived wrongdoing by its ministers. No-one is being held to account for the Saudi deal and that is the real travesty.

Editorial: Saudi sheep deal a fiasco and a shambles The Dominion Post: In this case a more transparent approach would have avoided the diplomatic mess that was the root of so much trouble. Transparency, in other words, is the best policy.

Saudi deal a wolf in sheep's clothing It wasn't illegal, but Murray McCully's Saudi sheep deal was disturbing.

Stacey Kirk: Rising corruption investigations are a symptom of growing mistrust This government has never been found to be corrupt. But can it say it carries the perception it is trustworthy?

Sport

Corruption in sport is just one of many types of fraud New Zealand’s first International Fraud Film Festival

China

Xi’s Agents of Fear Keep Party on Edge in Anti-Graft Fight As President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign enters its fifth year ore than 1 million officials have been punished as of the end of last month, according to government statistics.

China denounces those who say graft battle aimed at political foes

International

Stiglitz and Pieth Panama Papers report: a roadmap for global transparency in the 21st century By Max Heywood Transparency International on 15 November 2016. Notes recommendations in the report that are closely aligned with policies recommended by that anti-corruption advocates.

Hundreds of properties could be seized in UK corruption crackdown Hundreds of British properties suspected of belonging to corrupt politicians, tax evaders and criminals could be seized by enforcement agencies under tough new laws designed to tackle London’s reputation as a haven for dirty money

Overcoming the Shadow Economy International Policy Analysis by Joseph E Stiglitz and Mark Pieth. November 2016

TINZ in the media

Lessons learned from the Saudi sheep saga pdfsr.com

Lessons learned from the Saudi sheep saga Of concern is that the judgement that the deal was within the law has the potential itself to raise eyebrows offshore – The Saudi contracts may be lawful but the optics are awful.