Transparency Times October 2018

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively ONZM Chair Transparency International New Zealand

Suzanne Snively ONZM
Transparency International New Zealand

While celebrating 125 years of Women’s Suffrage, it’s important too to acknowledge the role of the Public Services Act, implemented 105 years ago on 1 April 1913.  In both cases, New Zealand provided leadership that demonstrated the nature of integrity systems that for more than a century have acted as antidotes for corruption. Now the legislation covering public servants is up for review with submissions due next Friday, 12 October.

Public Service Act (1912)

The Public Service Act was passed into law on 7 November 1912.  It legislated for merit-based-promotion and the setting up of an independent body to appoint staff.

Instead of being directly answerable to Cabinet (the Executive wing of Government), the Act set up a Public Service Commission (PSC) reporting to Parliament.  It was led by a single commissioner. assisted by two assistant commissioners, to manage all government employment.

‘Political’ (elected Government) and ‘administrative’ (public service) functions were kept strictly apart.

From 1 January 1913, Donald Robertson, former head of the Postal and Telegraph Department, set up the PSC with a staff of eleven. It’s a shame that Robertson blotted his copy book through his restriction of the roles available to women public servants. When the Public Service Act was introduced, permanent staff numbers totalled 4,918.

A series of processes surrounding staff employment were put in place. They included recognition of the state union – the Public Services Association (PSA). These processes would largely remain in place for 75 years and were reflected a culture committed to public service.

State Sector Act (1988)

In 1988, the passage of the State Sector Act changed the concept of permanent public service careers. Government department heads moved to 5-year fixed contracts and were deemed to be directly accountable to their Ministers through a system of annual ‘purchase agreements’ delivering outputs.

The State Services Commission (SSC)’s role changed from that of the PSC. Public sector chief executives gained greater autonomy to manage their departments as they saw fit, hiring their own staff and negotiating pay and conditions.  The State Services Commissioner retained oversight of the new system, appointing heads of core departments and ensuring that chief executives were delivering on their employment contracts.

Under-stated case for change

Which brings us to 2018 and the Review of the State Sector Act.  Amongst other things, the Review proposes bringing back the culture of public service through the inclusion of service purpose, principles and values in the proposed Public Service Act.

The ‘case for change’ stated in the review documents, is:

“The current Act works well for public services where individual departments deliver results or services for which they are solely responsible and accountable.”

TINZ would like to see more evidence cited to support this statement, focused on relevant and critically important issues that both support greater transparency and genuinely hold government officials to account to the wider public. This relates to what happens within government agencies as well are to the mandate of the SSC. For example, what are the processes that support free and frank advice, the management of conflicts, accountability for the privacy of information about New Zealanders’ and other issues of integrity such as periods of restraint when officials seek roles outside the public sector?

With respect to integrity issues, the statement is made: 

“New Zealand’s public services perform very well by international standards in terms both of integrity and effectiveness.”

Yet surprisingly, the consultation document fails to make a single reference to the only major recent review of the functioning of the state sector that comprehensively assessed its integrity against international standards: The 2013 Transparency International New Zealand National Integrity Systems Assessment (NIS).

The NIS assessed “the institutions, laws, procedures, practices and attitudes that encourage and support integrity in the exercise of power” in New Zealand, including the public sector ‘pillar’.

It was extensively reviewed, both internally and by objective overseas reviewers including the global body, Transparency International.

The NIS described the weaknesses in New Zealand’s national integrity system that happen across different sectors (“pillars”).

One was the “Interface between the political executive and public officials”.

Concerns include evidence of an erosion of the convention that public servants provide the government of the day with free and frank advice, an apparent weakening over the last decade of the quality of policy advice that public servants provide and perceived non–merit-based appointments to public boards. Only the first of these is referred to in the SSC’s Consultation Document.

Once in a generation’ opportunity

The State Sector Review is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to improve the legislative framework for the state sector, to ensure that it is fit for purpose in a future.  A future that will be even more challenged by corruption that can best be prevented through strong integrity systems. 

It is important to get the public service culture right for another 75 years.

TINZ asks its readers to make the time to contribute to the Review. In its own submission, TINZ will request that the SSC provide another, longer, second round of consultation before the bill goes to cabinet. It’s important to have more time to focus on whether the proposed changes comprehensively address transparency, accountability and integrity throughout all of the public sector.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM


Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

TINZ AGM – 29 October 2018

Save the date

Monday 29 October 2018

TINZ Annual General Meeting

5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m.
Wellington at The ANZ Centre
171 Featherston Street (Level 18)


This event is for TINZ Members only.
To help us with arrangements register for the event now at TINZ AGM registration.

If you are not a member, consider joining!

Meet the TINZ Board, Patron Lyn Provost and the new CEO Julie Haggie. Network with like minded individuals over refreshments. TINZ Chair, Suzanne Snively, will highlight our achievements of the 2017/18 year and share TINZ plans for projects and action in the year ahead. 

Adrian Orr – Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Guest Speaker: Adrian Orr

Adrian’s speech will encourage discussion about the relevance of transparency, accountability and integrity in the New Zealand financial sector.

Adrian Orr will be introduced by State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, and thanked by new Justice Secretary, Andrew Kibblewhite.

Adrian Orr was appointed Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 28 March 2018. Previously he was CEO of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. During his time there, he won many awards. Two were the Deloitte IPANZ Improving Performance through Leadership Excellence Award in 2016 and the Asian Investor’s Individual Contribution & Institutional Investment Award in 2017.


Master of Ceremonies: Bryce Edwards

Formerly of the University of Otago Politics Department, Bryce is now a Senior Associate of the University of Wellington’s Institute of Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS).

As a political commentator and analyst, he is the director of Critical Politics ( a project focused on researching, analysing, and communicating New Zealand politics and society, all from a critical point of view. His current research focuses on political power and democracy.

Call for TINZ Directors

As part of its succession strategy, Transparency International New Zealand Inc. (TINZ) is searching for experienced Directors. There are four vacancies to be filled at this year’s AGM.

TINZ is an incorporated society and a registered charity. It is an accredited chapter of the global body, Transparency International, based in Berlin. The global body was set up in 1993 with New Zealander Jeremy Pope as its inaugural CEO. TINZ was established in New Zealand in the 1990s and formally set up as an Incorporated Society in April 2001.

Our Vision (what TINZ would like to see as a result of its work)

A world with trusted integrity systems in which government, politics, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.

Our Mission (what we do to achieve our vision)

To foster a New Zealand culture where transparency, integrity, good governance and ethical standards and practices, are the core values of all New Zealanders.

Our Values

  • Trust
  • Transparency
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Courage
  • Cultural & Social Responsibility
  • Environmental Sustainability

The Director Role

TINZ is seeking expressions of interest from people wishing to make a significant contribution at governance and operational levels to New Zealand society, to the Pacific and through this, have global influence.

Key Considerations for a Board Position:

  • Confident team contributor with leadership skills to enable us to prevent corruption and strengthen integrity systems.
  • Ability to communicate and logically outline principled views.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to integrity, ethical practice and good governance.
  • Fundraising experience
  • Knowledge of and experience with anti-corruption practices and strategies to enhance organisational viability and sustainability through strengthening integrity systems
  • Capability and experience to fully contribute to a principled high-performing board.
  • Demonstrated experience in associated disciplines eg legal, HR, networking and events management.
  • Ability to commit time to advancing the work of TINZ, both through monthly board attendance (and associated preparation and prior contribution) and to projects and initiatives of the organisation – a minimum of 12 hours per month.
  • Access to networks that will support TINZ through membership, partnership or affiliation
  • Must be a financial member of TINZ

How to Apply

You must be a fully-paid, up-to-date member of Transparency International New Zealand Inc. Nominations from two fully-paid TINZ members are required as well as your permission for your nominators to provide references for you.

Closing date for nominations is Friday, 12 October 2018.

Your application should cover the information listed below

  • A short bio highlighting areas relevant to this position.
  • An explanation as to why you wish to become a TINZ Director.
  • Details of three special topic areas you would be willing to assist with.
  • Confirmation of your willingness to commit time beyond the monthly board meetings, to lead activities as agreed in areas in which you may be given delegated authority.
  • How you will assist in fundraising to contribute to TINZ sustainability.

2018 Directors nomination form

Bryan Fogel and “Icarus”

Bryan Fogel

A sobering tale of corruption in sport

Suzanne Snively, ONZM


Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

New Zealand Rugby and Crimestoppers recently hosted Academy Award-Winning film director Bryan Fogel at a presentation about his Netflix documentary, ICARUS, in Wellington. It was attended by a large crowd of sports administrators, government officials and interested stakeholders. 

Fogel’s presentation provided the context to which his award-winning documentary “Icarus” came into being. He filled in the back story to what is a fascinating and at the same time very troubling revelation about integrity at the highest levels in world sport. 

The movie “Icarus” was inspired in the first instance by the Lance Armstrong revelations. These fascinated Fogel, both as a very enthusiastic amateur cyclist and an investigator looking at a flawed system. The latter enabled one of the most tested athletes on the planet to evade a so-called world class anti-doping regime.

Testing the regime

Fogel initially tested whether it was as easy to beat the regime as Lance Armstrong had demonstrated. He started by contacting medical people in the States to request that they put him on a doping program similar to that which had been used by Lance Armstrong.  He was eventually put in touch with the Head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, Dr Grigory Rodchenkov. Over several months, Fogel and Rodchenkov became good friends and as such, Grigory agreed to put Bryan on a doping program.

Revelations in German newspapers about the widespread state sponsored doping within the Russian sports movement appeared about six months later.  Dr. Rodchenkov fearing for his life, emigrated at very short notice to the United States, arranged and funded by Fogel. 

The rest of the movie is devoted to the exposure of the Russian state-sponsored program to dope all its Olympic athletes. This culminated in the swapping-out of dirty urine for clean urine at the Sochi Games and the media and political storm that followed. 

Ongoing indifference

Fogel’s presentation picked up the story from where the movie had left off. He went on to detail how some of the world’s leading sports governing bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had failed to treat the Icarus revelations with appropriate seriousness.

Fogel provided a very scathing view about the integrity demonstrated at the highest levels of world sport governance. Sadly one of his worst nightmares happened shortly afterwards – the International Olympic Committee ended the sanctions on Russian athletes in Olympics before their period as individuals came to an end.

It was a sobering message to those of us in New Zealand who consider we have very low levels of corruption in sport. ICARUS provides an unique insight into the actual and potential for corruption at the highest levels of sport worldwide. It could happen here, given the looseness of current legislation accompanied by a strong desire to always be the winner.

Representative Media Coverage

Icarus director: NZ sports’ ‘conflict of interest

Bryan Fogel on how doping documentary ‘Icarus’ changed sport

More money in sport means more corruption – Bryan Fogel

Meet the man who exposed Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme

New Zealand needs increased efforts to fight foreign bribery

Dr John Hopkins
Professor University of Canterbury
TINZ Elected Director
Corruption, Indexes and Surveys, OECD

A just released report shows that New Zealand has made little progress since its 2015 ranking of “limited enforcement.”

Transparency International’s (TI) just released “Exporting Corruption – Progress report 2018″  offers an independent assessment of states’ efforts in fighting offshore bribery through their laws and enforcement systems under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s anti-bribery convention. The latest report rates New Zealand as a state with limited enforcement of overseas corruption, and shows little improvement since the previous progress report published in 2015.

 “Although domestic corruption in New Zealand appears low, we really need to lift our game in the way we respond to the threat of international corruption,” notes Professor John Hopkins, lead New Zealand author, commenting  on behalf of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

The report recognises that there has been some global improvement in the field of foreign corruption but progress has been painfully slow. Seven countries are rated as having active enforcement of foreign bribery in 2018, an increase on the four in 2015. In addition, eight countries have seen a degree of improvement since 2015, while four countries has seen their rating deteriorate.

New Zealand has made progress with increased compliance and disclosure around ownership of trusts and has strengthened its regime for corporate liability for foreign bribery.  However, Professor Hopkins notes, “We are still one of the countries that turn a blind eye to bribery where the person or organisation giving or receiving a bribe is not a New Zealander or a New Zealand owned business. In addition, New Zealand law continues to permit ‘facilitation payments’, a practice which undermines international good practice and our good name.”


The latest report makes seven recommendations for New Zealand’s improvement. These are:

  1. Remove the facilitation payment exception for the bribery of foreign public officials
  2. Improve whistleblower protection
  3. Introduce requirements for auditors to disclose suspicions of foreign bribery
  4. Establish comprehensive mechanisms to ensure transparency of New Zealand trusts and companies, such as public registers that include information on beneficial ownership
  5. Fund and develop active investigation mechanisms
  6. Remove the requirement for the Attorney General to consent to foreign bribery prosecutions
  7. Introduce a positive requirement for commercial organisations to prevent foreign bribery.

“New Zealand needs to make sure our international approach aligns with our reputation as one of the world’s least corrupt countries. The combination of an excellent reputation coupled with lax enforcement of foreign bribery, is an extremely dangerous one. Organised crime and corrupt entities may see New Zealand as a soft target for legitimising their activities,” concludes Professor Hopkins.

Banner for LIF articles

Free and Frank Advice at Leaders Integrity Forum

Anne Gilbert

Anne Gilbert, TINZ Public Sector Project Manager

Anne Gilbert

TINZ Public Sector Project Manager

The theme of the August Leaders Integrity Forum was the proposed reform of the State Sector Act (1988) but with a specific focus on ‘free and frank advice’. It was chaired by Don Hunn, senior diplomat and civil servant including the State Services Commissioner during the public sector reforms in the 1980s. 

Role of the Public Service

First up, State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, spoke of the role of the public service in the constitutional architecture that gives credibility to governments in an open democracy. He identified the five principles that underpin this role:

  • Political neutrality
  • Free and frank advice
  • Appointment on merit
  • Open government
  • Stewardship.

He noted how significant changes to the context of government have overtaken some of these principles. Hence a review of the scope, role and responsibilities of the public service and state sector was vital. Free and frank advice is a cornerstone of the public service. It results in better services for citizens and helps government ministers achieve their objectives. Good public servants engage with the political context but don’t become part of it. Their advice to ministers is evidence based and unencumbered by political interference. 

Challenges to be addressed

But challenges for public servants have been created from three recent changes, namely: the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system whereby coalition agreements are put in place before a government is formed; the advent of ministerial advisors; and fast-paced digital communications .

In the olden days of the First Past the Post (FPP) voting system, public service leaders delivered a post election briefing (PEB) to the incoming ministers giving a strategic, over-time perspective that forced longitudinal thinking. But in the MMP environment, the PEB has been replaced by a shallower briefing to the incoming ministers (BIM).  Hughes referred to a discussion paper that suggests PEBs be reintroduced but in advance of the General Election. By this means, all parties negotiating a coalition agreement are provided with sound evidence-based information before coalition discussions begin.

In talking of the change from paper-based communications to digital, Hughes raised the question of how to adapt free and frank advice to the modern world in which much advice is given orally. Re-establishing the discipline of writing things down is vital for records to be kept.

Another development in the MMP context has been the role of the partisan ministerial advisor who often attempt to get between the minister and the public sector leader, diluting advice before it reaches the former. Hughes suggested that this relatively newly-arrived group who are also public servants, have been much neglected and uninformed of the principles of public service. It is time for training and guidance for ministerial advisors, to emphasise their duty to respect free and frank advice from Public Service agencies, unfettered by political interference.

Trending reluctance

This duty was picked up by the next speaker, Dr Chris Eichbaum, Reader in Government at Victoria University of Wellington. He referred to research he’d undertaken with Richard Shaw, Professor of Politics at Massey University. Interviews with 640 public servants indicated that:

  • advice to ministers has become more guarded, and
  • the role of ministerial advisers does, at times, impede the public service discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

But as Eichbaum continued to point out, the issues relating to free and frank advice, and integrity generally, are about much more than political staff. The issues are also with ministers and they too have a responsibility to receive advice, consider the long-term effects and have the confidence to engage constructively if they disagree.

As is always the case with the Leaders Integrity Forums, a great deal of value was gained from the discussion that followed the speakers. The audience delved further into the issues including:

Dimensions of Advice
from a speech by Australian Treasury Secretary Dr Ken Henry to his staff in 2007
  • the importance of transparency and the role of the Official Information Act when confidentiality is important, and how to find the right balance between these two needs
  • the need for a safe space for ministers to receive advice to consider and discuss ideas before they reach the public domain
  • a safe space for public servants to give good quality, free and frank advice without derailing the conversation, including protection of “blue skies” discussion.

Public servants choose their work to create better services for citizens and the best future for our country. The ability to give free and frank, evidence-based advice is fundamental.  And, it becomes most important when giving advice that ministers need to be told but maybe don’t want to hear.

Forum programme

The Public Sector Leaders Integrity Forums are co-hosted by Transparency International New Zealand and the Office of the Auditor-General.  Held eight times a year they are a safe forum for public sector leaders to discuss, under Chatham House Rules, issues relating to transparency, integrity and corruption-prevention. Following each event the Office of the Auditor-General publishes a blog summarising the discussion. The August forum was attended by over 70 senior leaders.

Peter Hughes, Chris Eichbaum, Suzanne Snively and Don Hunn with Andrew Kibblewhite answering a quetion at the August Leadership Integrity Forum

Global Anti-Corruption Pledge Tracker – NZ successes

Ferdinand Balfoort
Member with Delegated Authority
Anti-Corruption Pledges, Fundraising, Governance

Ferdinand Balfoort

TINZ Member with Delegated Authority for 

Global Anti-Corruption Pledges

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

In this regard TINZ has recently completed another round of independent observations and communicated closely with the Ministry of Justice to verify its findings.

Internationally Transparency International UK (TIUK) has created a global anti-corruption pledge tracker to monitor progress. Key themes were selected to enable progress to be compared across the over 40 participating countries. TINZ is working with TIUK to maintain current and accurate data for New Zealand. The table below is the current status of New Zealand’s pledges at the summit.

TINZ is pleased to report on the New Zealand Government’s progress with its seven original ACS commitments.

This represents a substantial effort by all New Zealand Agencies to address the ACS pledges, and is a very positive sign of New Zealand’s commitment to the initial pledges and action plans, as well as overall recognition of the importance of preventing corruption.

The elusively thorny pledge yet to be completed is that of ‘Beneficial Ownership’ of companies (and trusts).

Progress on the five pledges monitored by TI are sumarised as follows: 

Pledge Status Comment
1. Beneficial Ownership

Public register


The company registry holds basic information but is not required to obtain BO information and this measure is therefore not effective.

The measures for foreign trusts lack transparency and do not cover domestic trusts

There are strong initiatives aimed at setting up a central register of company beneficial ownership, including overseas owners. Despite this, only limited progress has been made as of September 2018.
2. Beneficial Ownership

Access to international law enforcement


The Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Act (2017) which followed the Government Inquiry into Foreign Trust Disclosure Rules, tightens New Zealand’s foreign trust disclosure rules, including for beneficiaries of fixed trusts.

New Zealand will also continue to implement bilateral arrangements that will ensure law enforcement in one partner country has full and effective access to the beneficial ownership information of companies incorporated in the other partner country
3. Law Enforcement

Support establishment of International Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Coordination Centre (‘IACCC’)


New Zealand has representatives on the Governance Board of the IACCC and provides a London based resource (employed by the NZ Serious Fraud Office) to the IACCC.

4. Debarment Database:

Register of company corruption convictions


Exploration of a NZ database was found to lack tangible benefit (e.g. no convictions to record in it). However, some information is publicly available (Serious Fraud Office and Companies Office).

Reliance on access to overseas registers is being pursued.
5. Transparency and Integrity

Public procurement


All agencies covered by the Government Rules of Sourcing are now required to use a new Procurement Capability Index.

The government is continuing to:

  • intensify efforts to develop procurement capability, including initiatives that safeguard integrity in the procurement process.
  • review its policy framework and guidance to strengthen the government’s expectations for ethical behaviour and for suppliers not to engage in any form of corruption.
6. Department Database

Public Procurement): NZ will explore establishing an accessible and central database of companies with final convictions for bribery and corruption offences, and ways of sharing information on corrupt bidders across borders.

Inactive New Zealand’s remaining ACS commitment is deemed “inactive”, and no longer being tracked.

Sport: New Zealand’s additional initiative

In addition to the recent refocus on six themes in the formal ACS Pledge Tracker, is ‘Integrity in Sport’. Sport commands huge interest in New Zealand and is under constant threat of major corruption. Sport corruption at any level is rapidly seized upon by news media and escalates civil society awareness that corruption in New Zealand is very real Like most corruption it is often down-played or denied by affected sporting bodies, and therefore, ineffectively addressed.

Topic Status Comment
7. International Sport Integrity Partnership

To explore working with international sports bodies to develop a partnership for combating corruption in sport.

Ongoing New Zealand continues to pursue initiatives aimed are addressing corruption in sport. It is working closely with the World Anti-coping Agency (WADA) and has its own Sporting Integrity Review in development.


Helen Clark: International OGP Ambassador

Rt Hon Helen Clark with Anaru Fraser and Scott Miller at OGP Summit 2018

David Dunsheath

TINZ Member with Delegated Authority for Open Government

Transparency Times Newsletter Co-editor

The Rt Hon Helen Clark is one of six international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Ambassadors for the Washington-based OGP not-for-profit movement launched in 2011.

OGP Ambassadors are senior figures charged with raising the partnerships profile, protecting OGP credibility and promoting its sustainability. Their roles are designed to complement the work of an OGP Steering Committee, OGP Secretariat, and OGP participating governments and civil society organisations.

Participation in OGP Summits

In her prior United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator role, Rt Hon Clark addressed the OGP Global Summit 2015 in Mexico, with “Openness for All: The Role for OGP in the 2030 Development Agenda”. She identified the ground-breaking importance of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 and its strong linkage with OGP principles. Key to progress across the SDGs “is securing stakeholders’ commitment to build the kind of societies which make sustainable development possible. These are peaceful and inclusive societies with transparent, accountable, and responsive institutions and governance”.

While attending the OGP Global Summit 2018 in Georgia, Rt Hon Clark participated in the Feminist Open Government panel.  “Gender equality is not just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do. … OGP can’t tackle all these issues specifically but what it can tackle is inclusion, diversity, and voice across all levels of decision-making” (view here). 

Pictured is the Rt. Hon Helen Clark with Anaru Fraser of Hui E! and Scott Miller, then of Volunteering NZ, at the OGP Global Summit 2018. 

OGP is global 

OGP brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive and accountable to citizens. Over 70 countries have committed to OGP including New Zealand which became a member in 2014. 

OGP Member countries are required to submit an Action Plan every two years, prepared in collaboration with civil society. Implementation of each plan is assessed by an OGP Independent Reviewer. New Zealand’s recent progress comprises completion of its 2nd OGP National Action Plan (NAP2) that overlaps development of its NAP3 (2018-2020) ready for international publication and local implementation. 

Well qualified

Rt Hon Clark’s Ambassador role draws on significant knowledge and skills from her stellar career including as former Prime Minister of New Zealand and subsequently, Administrator of the UNDP from 2009-2017. In the latter role she refocused and reformed UNDP into a more transparent, efficient, and accountable organization to better respond to increased worldwide volatility while also ensuring that it kept its long-term focus on human and sustainable development.

Greater citizen engagement in the fight against corruption

Mahmoud Farag
Voices for Transparency
Bridging theory & practice.

Steve Snively
Transparency Times Co-editor

Citizen involvement in the fight against corruption is an ongoing challenge faced by Transparency International New Zealand and virtually every organization engaged in the fight. While the need to resist and reduce corruption is universally acknowledged, there is much to do to turn this into action.

Earlier this year in a series of blog posts for Voices of Transparency, Mahmoud Farag suggests the need to design incentives into programs that leverage human behaviour in order to increase engagement.

In Blog post #1, Farag presents “a range of ideas to help get more people engaged — and sustain that engagement — in the fight against corruption.” Fifteen suggestions are provided as a menu of possibilities that fall loosely into three categories: rational, internal and social incentives.

Blog post #2 covers rational engagement ideas

  1. Use quick wins to demonstrate impact
  2. Make engagement informative and valuable
  3. Offer rewards and limit costs
  4. Take people’s concerns seriously
  5. Do not make engagement a waste of people’s time

Blog post #3 covers internal engagement ideas

  1. Subject people to the behaviour you want them to adopt (and magic will follow!)
  2. Focus on what people will lose, not what they will gain
  3. Leverage the power of habit to engage people
  4. Play on the self-image of people
  5. Get people to publicly commit to engage in the fight against corruption
  6. Ask people to develop a plan if you want them to follow through
  7. Simplify the engagement process to the largest extent possible

Blog post #4 covers social engagement ideas

  1. Make engagement personal, fun and social
  2. Show people that others are already engaging and they will follow
  3. Let people nudge others to engage

In the blog Mahmoud describes each of these ideas in more detail along with some concrete ideas about how to make them work. It is a quick and highly recommended read for anyone looking for improving citizen engagement

United Nations Day event from TINZ Affiliate UNA NZ

The 24th October is United Nations Day and marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter – the founding document of the UN. Countries, including New Zealand, signing the Charter at the time, committed to working together to achieve a peaceful and just world.

UN Day is one of TINZ’s affiliate United Nations Association New Zealand (UNA NZ)‘s yearly flagship celebrations acknowledging and celebrating UN Day.

This year, friends of UNA NZ, including political leaders and heads of mission are invited to a luncheon at the Lulu Restaurant, 39 Courtney Place in Wellington at 12pm. The restaurant will be closed to the public during this luncheon. This year UNA NZ is partnering with UN Youth to launch their plans for the 20th Birthday of UN Youth next year.

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 invitations of relevance to TINZ, are currently open for public comment by their stated deadline:

While TINZ intends to respond to each of these as an organization, we encourage everyone to become involved directly.

Open Submissions:

State Sector Act 

This is an important opportunity to contribute ideas about the nature of the public service for meeting current and future challenges and needs, such as ongoing delivery of free and frank advice irrespective of the government of the day.

Trade for All policy submissions

This is an important opportunity to contribute ideas about the Government’s ‘Trade for All’ policy development from all perspectives (big and small business, civil society, international relations, etc.).

Open Government Partnership new National Action Plan (2018-2020)

This is an important opportunity to exercise democratic responsibilities with comment on the new OGP National Action plan, for its intended contributions to New Zealand democracy.

Recent TINZ Submissions

TINZ aims to provide submissions to these invitations. For your interest, its recently completed submissions are: 

In case you missed it


L’Oréal recognized as Global Compact LEAD by the United Nations. L’Oréal’s Chief Ethics Officer, Emmanuel Lulin, honoured as UN Global Compact SDG Pioneer Clichy, September 24, 2018 – L’Oréal has been recognized as Global Compact LEAD, one of the highest-engaged participants of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, demonstrating L’Oréal’s ongoing commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and its Ten Principles for responsible business.
The UN Global Compact also selected L’Oréal’s Senior Vice President & Chief Ethics Officer, Emmanuel LULIN, as Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) PIONEER for Advancing Business Ethics. It is the first time that this recognition is awarded to a Chief Ethics Officer.

Denmark’s image ‘damaged’ by bank scandal Denmark, the EU’s cleanest country on paper, got confirmation Wednesday (19 September) that its top bank perpetrated Europe’s biggest-ever money-laundering scandal.

Anti-corruption group: Many exporters fail to punish bribes NZ Herald

Over half of global exports come from countries that fail to punish foreign bribery Transparency International

Helen Clark still wants to change the world Former New Zealand Premier and UNDP chief on her fight against global corruption.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Report due out soon “will have positive implications for NZers” Any day now the Royal Commission will release its initial findings into its first ever review of the integrity systems of New Zealand’s financial system

Does New Zealand law legitimise organised crime? A University of Canterbury (UC) law professor warns that New Zealand’s limited enforcement of a global Anti-Bribery convention may leave us open to organised crime and corruption.

NZ needs to increase its efforts to fight foreign bribery Just released report shows that New Zealand has made little progress since its 2015 ranking of “limited enforcement.” TINZ on Scoop.

NZ’s Open Government National Action Plan to be released for comments The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision.

New Zealand Police launch internal probe into use of external security consultants Police are investigating if any of their staff have used external security consultants.


NZer’s behaviour ‘the very embodiment of corruption’


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.

. To view by topic, visit the category page which lists TINZ topics and respective current subject matter experts.