Transparency Times June 2019

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively
TINZ Chair

It is important to acknowledge from the just published Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ)’s Building accountability: Summary of the National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update (NIS 2018 Update), that we are taking integrity more seriously in New Zealand.

There is evidence too of a greater number of people liaising and coordinating to build an effective system for preventing corruption.  This is what makes our democracy strong.

It’s a contrast to my observations when visiting the United States in early May. There I viewed  live coverage of the astonishing behaviour of Attorney General Barr. Rather than presenting the Mueller Report findings, the TV coverage of Mueller’s correspondence compared to Barr’s answers to the House showed that he was covering up these findings.  According to one commentator, the United States is “one subway stop from a constitutional crisis.”

Meantime, in New Zealand, the NIS 2018 Update has found that a growing group of public service leaders are working together with Parliamentarians to undertake the activities required to maintain the integrity of government. This is being done by observing the rule of law – even without a constitution. Unlike their defensive positioning observed in 2013, it is now normalised to openly discuss where there are gaps and what more there is to do.

What many of these leaders have done is remarkable. What has been achieved has meant going over and above their own self-interest. Examples include: progress made with Open Government Partnership where Government agencies are actively progressing 12 commitments co-designed with civil society; implementation of anti-money laundering requirements; and recruitment of staff to tackle corruption from organised crime.

For many leaders progressing anti-corruption through strengthening integrity systems and more open, consultative government, it means working extra hours and giving up personal time to do more than their normal workload.

This is aroha for our special country, New Zealand.

As a result, in the five years since the NIS 2013 report, there have been more desirable policies and practices put in place to strengthen transparency and accountability in the public sector, than we expected. Five years on, public sector officials have become more active in corruption prevention. They have formally responded to around half of the 60 recommendations in the NIS 2013 report.

The elected government is clearer about its commitment to prevent corruption.

Disappointingly there is evidence of serious accumulating threats to the integrity of our media, political party funding, civil society institutions, and business sector. This indicates insufficient understanding of what it means to be a corruption-intolerant culture.

For example, in 2018 there is further hard evidence that New Zealand’s lax company and trust registration – due to lacking beneficial ownership transparency – is being exploited. Overseas interests are setting up shell companies and opaque trusts, with the potential for corrupt and illegal activities.

These developments are not isolated or temporary. They illustrate some of the fundamental systemic risks to our integrity systems, as identified in the NIS, namely from the dominance of the executive branch of government, and from the increasing international integration of our economy.

The core message of the NIS 2013 assessment, therefore. remains that it is beyond time for serious and urgent action to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand. This is the most effective way to prevent corruption and the human behaviours that lead to it. 

The NIS 2018 Update demonstrates where this message has begun to penetrate in the public sector. But unless the tone at the top improves for business and community organisations, our country is vulnerable to overseas corruption and will continue to miss out on the resources necessary to preserve the trusted society of which we have been proud. 

Suzanne Snively, ONZM


Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Racing Reform Bill – Submissions close on 4 June!

Is the process transparent?

TINZ has learned that the Racing Reform Bill is on a fast track for approval by July 31, 2019 including an extremely short 5 day submission window. Submissions are due on June 4, 2019, the day this article is being published.

We are concerned that the overall timetable for the passage of this legislation is inconsistent with the Government’s Open Government Partnership commitments and in its general practice of Parliamentary processes.

The Bill’s Explanatory Note and background information, claim that urgency is necessary to initiate the recovery process for the racing industry and to address the racing industry’s immediate need for supplementary revenue to ensure it is financially sustainable into the future.

Despite this assessment, TINZ’s view is that there is a reasonable public expectation of full and thorough opportunities for public involvement in matters of public debate such as gambling. Gambling is internationally recognised as a corruption and transparency risk, with the New Zealand Racing Board’s 2017/18 annual report identifying $288 million revenue being raised through racing.

We also note the advice of the Treasury that “it is difficult to assess whether the proposals will revitalise the industry, and identifying significant fiscal implications…”

TINZ has made a submission requesting the Select Committee to extend the date set for public consultation, in the interests of transparency and public trust.

National Integrity System: Updated findings published

Liz Brown
Member with Delegated Authority
Financial Integrity System Assessment, Local Government, National Integrity Assessment Programme

The Building Accountability: National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update (NIS 2018 update) was launched on 22 May by Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) at a parliamentary function. This thorough update from the ‘Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment’ (NIS 2013), shows a good deal of progress in the public sector but there is considerably more to be achieved across all sectors.

This NIS 2018 update makes six key recommendations on important contributors to our country’s reputation, security and wellbeing.

The NIS 2013 has become the definitive guide to anti-corruption and transparency initiatives in New Zealand. Many of the 60 recommendations made in the NIS 2013 have been implemented in whole or in part.

Overall, the NIS 2018 update confirms the findings of the NIS 2013. There have been promising developments in the past five years, with pockets of greater focus on strengthening integrity systems. On the other hand, progress has been slow in many areas and close to non-existent in some, especially for business, political party funding and civil society.

As noted in the media release:

Business and parliament need to step up to stronger integrity systems. It is beyond time for serious and urgent action to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand.

“While the public sector is waking up to the need to prevent corruption, progress has been close to non-existent for political party funding, the administration of parliament, civil society and the business sector. Unless the tone at the top improves, our country remains vulnerable to overseas corruption and the trusted society of which we are so proud is at risk,” says Suzanne Snively, Chair, Transparency International New Zealand.

Lyn Provost, Patron of Transparency International New Zealand, says “Our goal is for business leaders, senior public officials and civil society managers to recognize the cornerstone nature of the NIS 2013 and NIS 2018 Update recommendations and apply them to their organizations. This is how they can more fully contribute to ensuring that New Zealand is an open country free from corruption, a good place to do business, a safe place to travel and a great place to live.”

NIS 2018 Update recommendations

The Building Accountability: New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment, 2018 Update makes six key recommendations


Implement 2013 NIS. The outstanding recommendations from the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment now be implemented.

High priority given to:

  1. Strengthening the transparency, integrity and accountability systems of Parliament. Particular attention to be paid to extending the coverage of the Official Information Act, introducing a code of conduct for members of Parliament, requiring publication of all members’ appointment diaries and providing greater transparency around lobbying of members of Parliament and ministers.
  2. Achieving greater transparency in the appointment process for statutory boards.
  3. Reviewing public funding of political parties, including:
    1. allocation of broadcasting time to political parties and the restrictions on parties purchasing their own broadcast election advertising; and
    2. requiring greater transparency of the finances of political parties, including donations.

Anti-corruption strategy. A comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy be drawn up and implemented.

The main elements of a national anti-corruption strategy would be:

  1. Implementation of the policy and practices recommended by the national anti-corruption work programme produced by the Ministry of Justice and the Serious Fraud Office that are based on UNCAC and other relevant international agreements.
  2. Each public sector agency with responsibility for an NIS pillar to develop a risk mitigation strategy aimed at preventing domestic corruption and protecting against offshore corruption that could impact on the daily lives of New Zealanders.
  3. The integrity of the permanent public sector to be strengthened in a range of priority areas, and specifically by:
    1. Corruption prevention training programmes as part of induction, and competency and staff development frameworks.
    2. Refresher opportunities on relevant national and international legislation and regulation on integrity and transparency.
    3. Policies and procedures, monitoring and greater stewardship where services are delivered by others on behalf of public sector agencies, with the specific goal of strengthening integrity and transparency through procurement chains and joint ventures.
    4. More extensive risk assessment, including assessment of bribery and corruption risk.
  4. Progress in these areas to be monitored, measured and publicly reported so that compliance can be demonstrated.
  5. Public sector agencies to build and release publicly an evidence base of what works best to prevent and protect against corruption through further assessments and research about ways to strengthen integrity systems over time.



Implement NAP. The government to fully implement the third National Action Plan (NAP3) for the Open Government Partnership.

The priority in planning and implementing NAP3 to be ensuring that government agencies fully and more deeply engage with the public and civil society organisations, including:

  1. Setting ambitious targets for growing public engagement in NAP3 and polling to measure feedback on its implementation.
  2. Securing civil society, local government and Māori organisation support as leaders or partners in parts of the consultation, public participation, and implementation of NAP3.
  3. Striving to reach the highest (empower) level of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) spectrum as a standard in giving high priority to the commitments on public consultation in the third National Action Plan.
  4. Taking steps to increase the capacity of organisations representing the diverse range of New Zealand society to respond effectively to consultation.

Public sector leverage reviews. The public sector to take the opportunity offered by the reviews of the State Sector Act and the Protected Disclosures Act to implement in full the relevant recommendations of the 2013 NIS assessment.

It should also:

  1. Introduce policies to enhance and support tone at the top: governance leadership committed to integrity, including specific ethical leadership.
  2. Ensure that codes of conduct and guidelines are embedded, used and continuously improved, moving towards strong staff engagement replacing conduct prescription with codes of ethics focused on doing the right thing.
  3. Maintain speak up policies and procedures that include support for those who speak up, and positive and prompt organisational cultural and management engagement to support the reporting of wrongdoing.
  4. Ensure policies and procedures, monitoring and greater stewardship where services are delivered by others on behalf of public sector agencies, with the specific goal of strengthening integrity and transparency through procurement chains and joint ventures.



Media play their part. Media organisations to recognise the benefits to them and to society that flow from operating in a high integrity society and to play their part in strengthening integrity systems.

The programme of the ministerial advisory group investigating the establishment of a Public Media Funding Commission to be progressed, aiming towards independent oversight of the media system and publication of reports on the efficacy of government interventions, including funding for public broadcasting.

Business and civil society. Civil society (non-government organisations and other associations) and the business sector to recognise the benefits to them and to society that flow from operating in a high integrity society and to play their part in strengthening integrity systems.

  1. Business and Civil Society (including voluntary organisations, professional services providers, sporting organisations) to use the standards set by the Institute of Directors, including the Four Pillars of Governance, as benchmarks for governance best practice in setting the tone at the top.
  2. Business and Civil Society to put in place robust anti-corruption prevention practices, taking a pro-active role in
    1. strengthening their codes of ethics;
    2. training;
    3. wider dissemination of knowledge about corruption and ways to protect against it to their staff, users, customers, investors, other interested parties; and
    4. addressing the risks of corruption in the sectors they work with.
  3. Businesses and Civil Society strive to better address the massive risks to New Zealand of overseas corrupt practice through engagement in the development of a public register of ownership for all legal entities.


Progress since 2013

The full version of the NIS 2018 Update includes the NIS 2013 content, updated where appropriate. This update has been produced to selectively incorporate material on recent developments in New Zealand’s integrity system as well as to incorporate minor amendments.

A 16 page summary version of the NIS 2018 Update has been published for easy access to the key points.

In addition to making 6 key recommendations, the NIS 2018 Update includes a report about the progress made on the recommendations from the NIS 2013.

National Integrity System 2018 Update: Now launched

David Dunsheath

TINZ Member with Delegated Authority for Open Government

Transparency Times Newsletter Co-editor

The launch

The National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update (NIS 2018 Update) was launched in Parliament on 22 May 2019.  It is the result of a thorough review of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ)’s earlier NIS 2013 assessment. The development project was led throughout 2018, and edited, by Liz Brown, a previous Banking Ombudsman. 

Hon. Trevor Mallard, Speaker of House of Representatives

The event was hosted by Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives. Those present included the Deputy Speaker, various Ministers of the Crown, Parliamentarians from various parties, senior public sector leaders, and TINZ officers and supporters. 

Tone at the top

Speaker Mallard spoke about the importance of transparency for the legislative, executive, judiciary and the public sector and the significance of roles where the Speaker has oversight such as the ombudsman, OAG, Electoral Commission and law enforcement, to monitor and sanction in a way that ensures accountability. He noted the critical importance of ‘tone at the top’ for any organisation to achieve effective, integrity culture and practices.

Sir Anand Satyanand

He acknowledged the presence of members of New Zealand’s Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), who are considering development a code of ethics and conduct for Parliament.

Maintaining New Zealand’s reputation 

Sir Anand Satyanand (former TINZ Patron, member of Transparency International’s Independent Advisory Group, and Chair External Advisory Group for NIS 2013) spoke of New Zealand’s international reputation. This he observed is reflected in its consistently very high rankings on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI). He spoke of the prudence needed to keep testing assumptions to ensure we can maintain our reputation that “New Zealand is a country that works” as Kofi Annan, previous Secretary General of the United Nations, once said.

Core messages and recommendations

Liz Brown reminded us of the core message for New Zealand from NIS 2013 “It is beyond time for serious and urgent action to protect and extend integrity in New Zealand.”  She then briefly outlined the positive and negative progress since NIS 2013 and summarised the new six key recommendations (refer to separate article) and new core message for New Zealand (refer to ‘From the Chair’ in this issue of Transparency Times) during her presentation.  

Future progress

John Ryan, Auditor General, described the contributions provided through the monitoring role by independent civil society organisations, and thanked TINZ for such contributions, as significantly demonstrated at this event.

John Ryan, Auditor General

Andrew Kibblewhite, Secretary for Justice, spoke of the challenges and successes within the public sector towards building our National Integrity System.  He outlined the work plan for the government’s multi-agency anti-corruption programme. 

He said “When you have something that is as important to our country as our reputation for integrity, then steady progress, which is what I would describe we have had since 2013, is really only a minimum level.  We have to keep working, it is something that matters so much to us that it deserves all the effort we can put into it…  the National Integrity System Assessment is that kind of effort that keeps the rest of us honest.”

Life Member award

Suzanne Snively, Chair of TINZ, took the opportunity to note the progress made within the public sector and thanked all contributors to development of the NIS 2018 Update.

She then bestowed Life Membership of TINZ to Murray Petrie for his substantial roles including Co-Director of the NIS 2013 (refer to separate article).

Murray Petrie awarded Life Membership of TINZ

Suzanne Snively congratulates Murray Petrie on his Life Membership of TINZ

Murray Petrie was acknowledged as a life member of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) at the recent launch of its Building accountability National Integrity System (NIS) assessment 2018 update.

Murray joined TINZ in 1998 having discovered Transparency International (TI), plus Jeremy Pope’s TI Source Book: Confronting Corruption: The elements of a national integrity system. At that time, he worked in Washington on the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Fiscal Transparency Manual.

Contributions to TINZ

Murray took over from Dr Peter Perry of Canterbury University, to become the TI National Contact in 1998. This role led to his helping Hugh Templeton and others to set up the TI New Zealand Chapter in 1998-99.

When drafting the TINZ Articles, they identified two objectives from the outset; promotion of integrity and transparency in both New Zealand and the South Pacific. Shane Cave and then Claire Johnstone led the work in the Pacific.

Murray became the first TINZ Executive Officer (part-time, voluntary), a role that he held from 1999-2007.

He needed no convincing when approached by TI to be part of a multi-country pilot of the new TI Source Book tool. With Shane Cave he jointly authored New Zealand’s initial NIS 2003 assessment, led by Dr. John Henderson at Canterbury University.

Murray became a TINZ Director in 2007, Deputy Chair in 2009, Acting Chair in 2010 and then Co-Chair with Claire Johnstone in 2010-2011. He was Deputy Chair until 2013 when he chose to work more intensively on transparency and accountability at the international level.

It is fitting that Murray be awarded his lifetime membership at the launch of the NIS 2018 Update launch since he was heavily involved with and Co-Director of the 2013 NIS.

Subsequent initiatives

Since 2013, Murray has been the Lead Technical Advisor for the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). This is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by governments, international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF, and budget transparency NGOs. A priority for GIFT is promoting more direct citizen engagement in the design and implementation of fiscal policies. The need for a more participatory democracy is also a theme of the New Zealand NIS.

Murray is also a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) at Victoria University of Wellington. He is an international advocate for greater transparency and government accountability for environmental stewardship.

Financial Integrity System Assessment to Launch in June and July

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ)  will roll out its Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) in June and July 2019. It is the first ever review of the integrity framework of any country’s financial system. TINZ will lead the review as it is uniquely placed to ensure both independence and objectivity.

The FISA methodology is in its final stage of consultation. The consultation document can be found on the TINZ website, Comments and suggestions about the questions, the subject areas, the approach, and the online self-assessment are welcome. It is through discussions like this that there can be wider knowledge and understanding of the ways with which the financial system can improve outcomes for all New Zealanders.

An overview of FISA was provided in the May 2019 edition of Transparency Times. Our July edition will provide a focus on FISA to enhance understandings of its purpose, objectives and methodology.

Wellbeing budget aspirations require transparency and accountability

On 30 May 2019, Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, introduced a “world-first” Wellbeing Budget. The Minister answered questions about the 2019 budget at a lock-up held to provide context and background information to journalists ahead of the Budget. There are several budget documents including 10 volumes of estimates covering specific department appropriations.   TINZ was represented by Suzanne Snively and David Dunsheath at the event.

The Wellbeing Budget marks the expansion of the information monitored by The Treasury for the Government to include projections for measuring information about peoples’ wellbeing in addition to traditional financial measures.

Wellbeing priorities

Minister‎ Robertson says “To set the priorities for this Budget, we used evidence and expert advice to tell us where we could make the greatest difference to the wellbeing of New Zealanders. Each bid for funding required a wellbeing analysis to make sure that funding would address those priorities…”

“Wellbeing means people living with purpose, balance and meaning to them. Giving more New Zealanders the capability to improve their wellbeing requires tackling the long-term challenges…like the mental health crisis…breaking the cycle of child poverty…improving the state of our environment…and the performance of our economy.”

The wellbeing approach is being applied across the whole Government. It’s support was exemplified by the turnout of Ministers speaking to different budget appropriations. All of their announcements reflected financial decisions recognizing wellbeing as central to the government’s purpose.

Behind the concept of wellbeing is principle that “every life matters.”‎ This opens the door to more investment in areas such as mental health.

Measuring wellbeing

While budgets are traditionally a discussion of numbers and percentages, the added wellbeing dimension will be embedded in Government budgets from now on.

Treasury’s Living Standards Framework is at the core of the Wellbeing Budget. Progress of government policies designed to improve wellbeing can be tracked through the Living Standards Dashboard.

Government transparency and accountability

Considerable development is needed for transparency and accountability to adapt to spending priorities that have a stronger awareness of the gaps in wellbeing.

The transparency and accountability attributes of the wellbeing budget can be seen from the perspectives of 5 “C”s – competency, capacity, capability, communications and courage. These 5 “C”s relate to specifying  the collection of accurate data, the identification of the steps to achieve the wellbeing outcomes and the accurate monitoring whether the initiative is on the right track and as effective as possible.

There needs to be genuine transparency and honest accounting for each step, or in the end politicians will only be fooling themselves and not be showing true tone at the top.

  1. COMPETENCY – What competency is there for measuring wellbeing? Beyond being transparent about targets and funds appropriated, how can we know that the resulting services are on the right track? As we move to budgets focused on wellbeing results, it is important that there is more information about the steps to achieve results and how to monitor them.

  2. CAPACITY – Given that funding for core government ‎activities has been systematically reduced over the 9 years to 2017, has government the capacity to appropriately prioritise areas with the greatest gaps in wellbeing? Is there capacity in the government for making robust business cases and to compare them and set priorities?

    Then, does the government agency have sufficient and focused capacity to implement the policy once funded?

  3. CAPABILITY – What capability exists to ensure the ‎new programmes will effectively achieve outcomes? We are now asking public servants to become much better at describing, detecting evidence and measuring outcomes from social investment. How can the public, journalists and others understand more about the effectiveness of these activities?

    We’ve had 30 years of budgets being about “value for money”.  Now that the approach is the effectiveness of programmes in making New Zealanders more resilient, additional detailed measures are required. ‎This will take different capabilities than previous budgets.

  4. COMMUNICATING – Have there been resources allowed for communicating the intended outcomes of new Wellbeing programmes to the wider public, and gaining feedback of what is working and what isn’t?

  5. COURAGE – A remarkable feature of the 2019 Wellbeing Budget is the courage demonstrated by publishing statistics about activities prioritised for appropriation where the outcomes may be long-term and the immediate results may show growth in the problem as more is discovered about it than successes.

    The levels of child poverty, domestic violence and Maori in prison have been some of the worst kept secrets over the past 30 years. Governments over that period would not publish data because of a perceived risk that the public would “shoot the messenger”, blaming the Government for these levels if they failed to come down.

    Disturbing published baseline measures include:

    • 180,000 New Zealand children lived in poverty in 2017/18
    • 250,000 New Zealand children live in poverty after a housing cost adjustment
    • 300,000 children are involved in domestic violence
    • Maori traditionally make up over 50% of the prison population.

    TINZ would like to see more courage in budgetary support for anti-corruption activities. The Wellbeing Budget could be far more courageous in addressing the serious threats New Zealand faces from offshore grand corruption.

Minister Roberton and his colleagues are to be congratulated for taking the courageous step of publishing hard baseline figures.

As the Minister said about child welfare in his Budget Speech, “Budget 2019 marks New Zealand’s first ever Budget Day report on child poverty. Our goal, as articulated by the Prime Minister, it for New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child.”

Great aspiration and at the same time, a lot easier said than done.

We hope and expect that the entire Government will embrace this approach to focus everything they do on a better New Zealand

Ethical leadership: on-line course

Dr Karin Lasthuizen, Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership, Victoria University of Wellington

Leaders in today’s changing world, face pressing demands to address a multitude of global problems and achieve greater sustainability for people, the planet and future generations. This requires a more collaborative, ethical leadership approach. But what does ethical leadership really mean?

Introducing the theories and practices of ethical leadership, Ethical Leadership in a Changing World is the latest edX Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to be offered by VictoriaX – Victoria University of Wellington’s programme of free online courses.

In the country’s first-ever MOOC on the topic, this six-week course explores the theories of ethical leadership and teaches students how to become an ethical business leader.

Course content

“We focus on organisations in this course. Exploring the role of ethics in organisational decision-making, analysing the actions of leaders from an ethical perspective, and helping learners apply these ideas to their own style of leadership,” says Professor Karin Lasthuizen. She is the MOOC instructor, and Brian Picot Chair in Ethical Leadership in the Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Management.

Drawing on case studies from New Zealand – one of the least corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) – the course also features recognised leaders from the country’s public, private and NGO sectors. Students will be informed about the main issues that ethical leadership should address.

“Integrity and care are core values in our business dealings here in New Zealand, and the experts who feature in this course offer their perspective on what ethical leadership means in practice,” says Professor Lasthuizen.

“Individuals, organisations and society all benefit from this approach to leadership. There’s no more important time to be thinking about ethical leadership and what it can do for our societies right now.”

Enrol now

Now open for free online enrolment, Ethical Leadership in a Changing World adds to the growing VictoriaX programme of innovative MOOCs on a diversity of topics. Enrol in this course now.

TINZ testifies to the Justice Select Committee regarding elections

Julie Haggie

Julie Haggie
Chief Executive Officer

Brendon Wilson (TINZ Director) and I spoke to a Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) submission before the Justice Select Committee on 23 May. This was part of the Select Committee’s inquiry into the 2017 general election and the 2016 local government election.

It was a very lively discussion, with contributions and hard questions from a committee that included Jami-Lee Ross, Chris Bishop, Greg O’Connor, Ginny Anderson and Hon. Dr Nick Smith.

We were heartened by the strong challenges from some of the Members of Parliament, which is a good sign. They were generally well aware of the need to take steps to prevent the misuse of data. They were less clear about what steps are needed.

They queried us about how New Zealand should approach the issue of overseas money and influence into NZ politics and where the line should be drawn to prevent undue influence.

TINZ’s intention is to spark debate and discussion around the manipulation of data analytics in election campaigning.

  • What should be considered fair and reasonable and what not?
  • How far does manipulation take place before democracy is under threat, or do the ends justify any means?  

Read our original submission: Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and the 2016 Local Elections.

Below is video of the TINZ committee testimony that was live streamed on Facebook:

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Diversity and inclusion creates stronger organisations

Anne Gilbert

TINZ Public Sector Project Manager

Attendees at the Leaders Integrity Forum for public sector leaders held on 7 May, returned to their offices brimming with ideas as to why and how to effectively promote and embed diversity and inclusion in their respective organisation’s daily practice.

Team diversity

Giving advice has never been more complex than it is now. Pace of change, complexity and uncertainty means no one person can confidently give complete advice. It takes a team, a diverse team. The different paradigms that a diverse and inclusive team brings to a question, leads to different answers and mitigates the risk of homogenous groups unquestioningly believing their own rhetoric.

Collaborative programme

In Peter Hughes’s (State Services Commissioner) introduction of presenter Gabriel Makhlouf (The Treasury Secretary and Chief Executive), he acknowledged his intellect, commitment and courage.  These attributes are valuable not only to lead Treasury but also in his co-leadership of Papa Pounamu. This is a collaborative programme of diversity and inclusion across the public service.

Embedding an inclusive culture of diversity is not easy.  We all carry unconscious biases and becoming aware of them is often challenging and uncomfortable but ultimately very helpful. But as Gabs said, creating a culture of diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do but more importantly, it strengthens us individually and collectively. 

For more detail, refer to the Office of the Auditor-General’s blog. 

Gabriel Makhlouf, Treasury Secretary and CE addresses LIF 7 May 19
Peter Hughes, State Services Commissioner addresses LIF 7 May 19

Human elements of agency risk – conduct and culture

James Jong IIANZ Board member and Chair of its Advocacy Committee

James Jong IIANZ Board member and Chair of its Advocacy Committee

James Jong

Member of Advocacy Committee

Institute of Internal Auditors New Zealand

The importance of speaking up

Two years ago, I wrote an article in this newsletter espousing the internal auditor as the conscience of organisations. Their functional independence, professional objectivity and direct access to governors and executives enable and empower them to speak truth to power. Yet, the history of scandals and failures suggests truths are either not spoken, unheard or not heeded. This article highlights some barriers and ideas for improving conduct, and strengthening integrity and accountability systems in organisations.

Unjust rewards

Purposeful organisations incentivise their people to achieve business goals, whether these are profit, innovation, market dominance or more altruistic ends. Their measurement and reporting systems track performance. Leaders, teams and staff who contribute significantly to goal achievement are rewarded. This simple dynamic can be fraught, as demonstrated in the Wells Fargo cross-selling scandal.

Even in mature organisations with safeguards and controls to ensure compliance with laws and regulations, highly motivated employees can push the boundaries to get bigger rewards. Those who are not meeting targets are pressured just to keep up, and may resort to unethical customer or internal practices. The Australian Royal Commission into Misconduct in Financial Services illustrates the perennial agency risk all organisations, particularly those that are commercially oriented, must pay attention to.

Ethical leadership

An important attribute for a truly transparent organisation is that it is difficult to hide wrongdoing. In New Zealand, the public expects government and the public service to be transparent and accountable. Disclosures through information requests, parliamentary questions and proactive releases are increasing across government. Yet, the risk of form over substance remains, and organisations – public or otherwise – must remain diligent to selective transparency. So what compels transparency in non-public sector organisations?

Mostly, it is regulation and the robustness of the regulatory systems run by government agencies, professional bodies and the likes. Effective self-regulation is a worthy goal, but is critically dependent on strong ethical leadership and integrity systems. All organisations have a civil responsibility to safeguard against unethical practice for the benefit of the society they serve and community in which they exist.

Customer driven culture

Organisations always say it’s all about their customers. More often than not, it’s about their owners. Listed companies use stock prices to determine how well they are doing. Public service organisations are measured by trust and confidence ministers and the public-at-large have in them. Private enterprises focus attention on their bottom lines and growth. Few organisations are explicit about customer service performance, which seems odd if it’s really all about the customers.

Perhaps it is just rhetoric. Who the real customer is, matters. This is because it drives behaviours and culture. Organisations fixated on brand, for example, are more likely to go into ‘damage control’ when something goes wrong, than do the right thing by owning and fixing the (customer) problem. It is critical that organisations are crystal clear about who their customers are, have the right channels to hear their voices, and systems and process that are tuned to respond to their needs. The organisational culture will invariably pivot around the customer, whomever that is.

Role of Internal Audit

The Internal Auditor, as the conscience of organisation, has the opportunity if not obligation to look beyond controls and compliance. They must take advantage of their independence and speak candidly about the health and fitness-for-purpose of their organisation. That is not an easy job. It starts with governors and executives who want to hear unvarnished truths, and who value integrity over short-term performance.

The Internal Auditor should be optimistic that great leaders always want to do the right thing. Should that optimism be misplaced, however, the Internal Auditor must have the courage to speak up and play their part to protect the organisation from wrongdoing. They are a cornerstone for the foundation of governance, integrity and accountability.


Organisations are vulnerable to human conditions. Even those with well-designed systems can go awry if there are conflicting tensions between business goals and personal objectives. Leaders, ensure your tone and behaviour reflect your organisation’s purpose. Encourage your staff to speak up if your actions do not match the rhetoric. Empower your internal auditor to hold a mirror to the organisation to safeguard its integrity.

Democracy facing global challenges

V-Dem 2019 democracy report released

In May the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) project released its latest report “Democracy Facing Global Challenges” – V-Dem Annual Democracy Report 2019. The report highlights that democratic declines now affect more countries than ever before. Most democracies remain resilient despite challenges such as the financial crises and the rampant spread of fake news on social media. However, government manipulation of the media is increasing, to weaken civil society, the rule of law and even elections.

There are positive stories to report from 2018. Central Asia recorded its first ever peaceful handover of power in Kyrgyzstan from one democratically elected leader to another. In Malaysia, an autocrat surprisingly lost in the elections despite electoral manipulation – showing that even in autocratic settings, elections can be a force for change. Pro-democratic movements have also mobilized masses of people across the globe in 2018 and 2019, for instance in Algeria, Armenia, Slovakia, and Sudan.

V-Dem is a unique approach to measuring democracy – historical, multidimensional, nuanced, and disaggregated – employing state-of-the-art methodology.

Anna Lührmann, V-Dem Deputy-Director, comments about the main findings of the report: “Democracy is in decline in an unprecedented high number of countries around the globe. This is worrisome. At the same time, the resilience of most democracies in the light of global challenges – digitalisation, immigration, financial crisis – gives reason to be optimistic about the future of democracy.”

New Zealand democracy rankings

The 2019 report on country rankings places New Zealand in 10th place on their overall democracy index and 7th for least political corruption.

Of concern, however, is New Zealand’s rank of 72nd for the deliberative component of our democracy. The  “V-Dem Deliberative Component Index (DCI) captures to what extent the deliberative principle of democracy is achieved. It asesses the process by which decisions are reached in a polity. A deliberative process is one in which public reasoning focused on the common good motivates political decisions – as contrasted with emotional appeals, solidary attachments, parochial interests, or coercion. According to this principle, democracy requires more than an aggregation of existing preferences. There should also be respectful dialogue at all levels – from preference formation to final decision – among informed and competent participants who are open to persuasion.”

2019 Dataset

This year’s new data includes brand new indices and indicators measuring digital society, legitimation and exclusion. The V-Dem data can help to address questions such as: What was democracy like 200 years ago, and what’s the status of democracy today? What is “exclusion” and how does it manifest in societies? Is digital media a challenge to democracy? 
Overview of V-Dem dataset V9

  • Online graphing via V-Dem Graphing Tools:  
  • Free download (SPSS, STATA, CSV, R):
  • Countries: 202 with coverage from 1789-2018
  • 450+ indicators, 81 indices and 5 high-level indices
  • New indices and indicators on digital society, legitimation and exclusion
  • Based on 3,000+ local Country Experts from all around the world. 

About Varieties of Democracy

Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) represents a worldwide collaborative effort of 3,000 scholars and experts, headquartered at the V-Dem Institute, University of Gothenburg. The V-Dem dataset is the largest of its kind and the most comprehensive database on democracy. With four principal investigators, fifteen project managers with special responsibility for issue areas, more than thirty regional managers, 170 country coordinators, research assistants, and 3,000 country experts, the V-Dem project is one of the largest social science data collection projects focusing on research.

V-Dem data is now the leading source of information on democracy for scholars and international organisations such as the World Bank, Transparency International, UNDP, European Commission, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Resource Governance Institute, International IDEA, as well as numerous NGOs around the world.


Corrupt Elections in the Solomons

The following information was posted to Facebook by Transparency International PNG on 21st May 2019.


Loss of control

“The number of election petitions raised against the 27 winning candidates confirms that Chief Electoral Officer, the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) lost control of the 2019 National General Election”, says Transparency Solomon Islands. Transparency Solomon Islands commends candidates that did not subject their voters to undue influences, and Constituencies where contesting candidates conducted themselves according to the Laws of Solomon Islands.

Failed legislation

“It is the most corruptly run election where there is no oversight both from the Chief Electoral Officer and Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC)” TSI further adds. The newly amended and passed electoral act did not avert any of the problems voters experienced in past elections but exacerbated these. The consequences of removing the serial numbers from ballot papers was never properly considered. The solution was staring them in the face [i.e. changing the electoral system]. Both SIEC and the Chief Electoral Officer decided to go against the wishes of the people.

“The fact that SIEC and the Electoral Office did not carry out any Civic Awareness initiatives left people being advised by all and sundry on the importance of National General Election” says TSI. The Electoral Office has very capable public officials that can carry out this awareness programme, but they are poorly resourced, and one wonders what the Strengthening the Electoral Cycle Solomon Island Project is for.

Need for review

With awareness, voters and communities could have been better prepared for the Election Campaign Tsunami that hit them. It is time for the Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission review what transpired in this election, bring in new amendments and make provision for addressing the corrupt act of Election Officials appointed to run the election. It is also time to provide a reports mechanism for the voters to report electoral official for corrupt conduct and charge them with criminal offense. TSI calls on the Speaker Patteson Oti to convene a meeting of the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission and call for a full report of the 2019 NGE.

TINZ Values revisited

Recently Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ)’s Board of Directors and key staff attended a series of strategy sessions. One of the primary outputs was an updated set of TINZ Values.

Facilitated discussion was wide ranging with respect to the TINZ culture and intentions. The need to operate with the same or better ethical standards as we expect of other organisations was stressed. Generic principles of organisataional integrity helped the reassessment of existing values. Questions were posed about whether our values enabled us to harness opportunities, avoid risks and promply mitigate unavoidable risks. This led to establishing an updated set of values as follows. 

Our Values

  • Integrity: We behave responsibly, acting honestly and ethically in everything we do
  • Courage: We act in accordance with our values, even when it is hard to do
  • Transparency: We are visibly open and honest
  • Respect: We treat everyone with respect as we would like to be treated, acknowledging and valuing differences.

Anti-Corruption Summit Pledge Tracker – New Zealand update

At the 2016 Global Anti-Corruption Summit in London (ACS), New Zealand made specific commitments or pledges towards eliminating corruption. Progress towards implementing these pledges has since been monitored by Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

It was clear at the time that the pledges could be more ambitious. Even so, for many commonwealth countries is was a realistic place to get started.

Internationally, the findings have been relayed to the team at Transparency International UK Chapter (TI-UK) who have updated their Global Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker 2019. This enables us to compare New Zealand’s progress with the other 46 countries that attended the 2016 Anti-corruption conference. Interestingly, while the pledges are unambitious, progress has been slow for many other countries.

TINZ sees the continuing self-monitoring by government agencies as both useful to ensure New Zealand stays on the right track and as a way of setting the tone at the top. By demonstrating that it’s possible to complete the implementation of anti-corruption measures, other countries can see the way to follow. When assisting other nations to fight corruption,‎ New Zealand protects itself and other nations from growth in grand corruption.

Submissions schedule

TINZ encourages you to exercise your democratic responsibilities by responding to invitations from government agencies, with your opinions on future direction-setting and legislation.

The following two centralised websites known to TINZ, invite and facilitate public submissions on a variety of legislation, policies, levies, plans and projects currently being processed, together with recently closed submissions:

Not all government agencies utilise one or both of these facilities. Many government agencies conduct their own publicity when seeking submissions. In the spirit of the new open government, TINZ’s ideal is a single submissions website link where all requests for submissions are filled and which organises all responses to submissions.

Submissions currently being sought

The following invitations to submissions of relevance to TINZ, are currently open for public comment by their stated deadline. We encourage our readers to take the time to draft a submission, even if it is a short one. The submission process is an opportunity to exercise your democratic rights.

Racing Reform Bill

  • Deadline Tuesday 4 June 2019 (Ed note: This excessively short submission period is cause for grave concern! refer to lead article in this edition of Transparency Times)
  • Views are sought by the Transport and Infrastructure Committee 
  • This Bill aims to amend the Racing Act 2003 and the Gaming Duties Act 1971.

Alternate SDGs’ progress report – Towards a just, equal and sustainable future

  • Deadline 5 pm Friday 7 June 2019
  • Views are sought by Hui E! Community Aotearoa, the project convenor 
  • This survey seeks civil society’s inputs to an independent report on New Zealand’s progress and civil society’s contribution, towards achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • N.B. This report will complement the government’s own progress report, the Voluntary National Review (VNR) (refer to Recent TINZ submissions below).  

Conduct of financial institutions review

  • Deadline Friday 7 June 2019
  • Views are sought by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
  • This discussion paper includes options to ensure the conduct and culture of the financial sector is delivering good outcomes for all customers. 

Ombudsmen (Protection of Name) Amendment Bill

  • Deadline Friday 21 June 2019
  • Views are sought by the Minister of Justice 
  • The Bill augments the Ombudsmen Act 1975, to uphold public confidence in, and understanding of, the role of the Parliamentary Ombudsmen.

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

  • Deadline Tuesday 16 July 2019
  • Views are sought by the Environment Select Committee 
  • This bill would be an amendment to the existing Climate Change Response Act 2002, bringing all key climate-related legislation under one Act.

Recent TINZ submissions

For all earlier submissions by TINZ, search for ‘Submissions’ category on the website homepage.

TINZ Affiliates’ news

United Nations Association of NZ

  • The United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) is holding its 2019 National Conference on 21 and 22 June.  This year’s theme will focus on international rules-based order of non-aggression, climate change, and disarmament.  
  • Honorary speakers include Colin Keating, Hon. James Shaw MP, Dr. Kennedy Graham, Dr. Mere Skerret, Dr. Cathy Downes, Kevin Riordan, and more. 
  • Included will be our secondary schools regional speech award finals and the Dame Laurie Salas Memorial Lecture. 

Ed: Organisations affiliated to Transparency International New Zealand are invited to briefly share their news and announcements of potential interest to the broad readership of Transparency Times. Copy should be submitted by 28th of the month to, for publication early in following month. 

Coming Events

Watch out for:

In case you missed it

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


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).


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.


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


TINZ engages New Zealand and New Zealanders in a broad range of issues related to building stronger integrity systems to mitigate the impact of bribery and corruption. TINZ Directors, Members with Delegated Authority and staff provide subject matter expertise in the topic areas of interest.

TINZ Subject Matter Experts, current at the time of this newsletter publication, can be can be found at TINZ Team June 2019. To view by topic, visit the category page which lists TINZ topics and respective current subject matter experts.