Transparency Times October 2019

From the Chair

Suzanne Snively Transparency International New Zealand

Suzanne Snively
Transparency International New Zealand

Embrace the All Blacks – and New Zealand’s strong integrity systems

The popular topic over the next month is whether the All Blacks will win the Rugby World Cup.  With 20 countries represented, there is keen interest on the integrity of the players, their teams and coaches.

It’s great to see the All Blacks wearing ‘transparency blue’ shirts for their training and travel to and from games for the Rugby World Cup in Japan.  Clever of those involved with dressing the team to have worked out a way to associate the All Blacks with Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

Continuous improvement

TINZ is committed through its work with our public sector to ensure the latter continuously improves its policies, processes and practices to detect, prevent and enforce anti-corruption measures, and to strengthen New Zealand’s integrity systems. 

The 2018 update of the TINZ 2013 National Integrity System Assessment was launched in May this year by the Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard. It reinforces how important these practices are to our government and the public sector. 

Continuous vigilance is required by our public sector to maintain its reputation as amongst the countries with the lowest levels of corruption based on the annual Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (TI-CPI). 

Integrity in sport

New Zealand has ‎over 100,000 sporting bodies.  The example provided by the All Blacks is important to ensuring that like the public sector, they too have the policies, processes and practices in place to address corruption through building strong integrity systems.

The required practices are straightforward:  

  1. Tone at the top
  2. Code of conduct supportive of strong internal integrity systems
  3. Effective governance, team training and communication about detecting and preventing corruption
  4. Knowledge of the relevant regulations
  5. Speaking up channels for whistleblowers
  6. Due diligence processes to know about the integrity of your partners, and
  7. Regular reviews of the above 6 practices.

With exports earnings from TV rights, sponsorship and overseas matches, New Zealand Rugby ‎is one of New Zealand’s biggest exporters. 

The Rugby World Cup isn’t just about the game, but also about our future trade relationships.

International reputation

The Cup is being played in Japan, one of New Zealand’s larger trading partners, who’s public sector has improved its ranking on the TI-CPI from 22nd to 20th.

Two other participating countries of even more importance to New Zealand trade, are Australia (TI-CPI ranked 13) and the USA (TI-CPI ranked 22). Australia and the US are currently sitting as our 2nd and 3rd largest exports destinations behind China. In 2019, New Zealand exports were $14 billion to Australia, and $9 billion to the US, compared to $19 billion exports to China. 

So as we watch the Rugby World Cup, the respect the All Blacks show through how they play the game and through taking a bow to their Japanese hosts, is an all important part of demonstrating New Zealand’s strong integrity system.

It’s good for our sporting reputation. It’s also good for our trade in products that create good jobs and contribute to our taxes to pay for public services.

Suzanne Snively, ONZM


Transparency International New Zealand Inc.

Banner for Mayoral forum: Who deserves your vote? 26 Sep 2019

Credit: David Dunsheath

Mayoral forum in Wellington: Who deserves your vote? 26 Sep 2019

Mayoral Forum: Leadership qualities revealed

Max Rashbrooke, Senior-Associate, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University

Max Rashbrooke

Senior Associate

Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University

This piece also appears on Max Rashbrooke’s site

Claims of personal willingness and proven capabilities to deliver greater transparency and citizen participation if elected, went well beyond what the law requires.

Such claims were made by six Wellington mayoral candidates to the buzzing audience packed into the Who deserves your vote? mayoral candidates’ meeting on 26 September. Each candidate spoke not so much about their policies or the failures of other candidates, but about integrity, public participation and accountability. To their credit, each kept to this brief which resulted in responses tempered with respect.

The pressure for more openness, created by many years’ work by civil society groups, was evident. The forum provided an opportunity for attendees to learn of the community leadership qualities of each of the candidates (and each has different talents) across the political spectrum.

Candidate funding

Even ahead of the forum, some candidates had done sterling work disclosing their campaign donations in real-time, rather than after the election as the law currently requires. Conor Hill, for instance, had declared the total of his crowd-funding campaign, plus a $1,000 donation from his mother. Jenny Condie provided a similar, detailed account of her campaign donations, right down to $20 from an unnamed teacher.

Justin Lester disclosed he had one donation over $1,500, from the union E tū. Significantly, Diane Calvert, who had not previously disclosed her donations, said she had received $4,000 from a “retired person”, as part of total donations of around $12,000 – but nothing from “big developers… just normal people”.

Meanwhile, Andy Foster said he had asked his “pretty significant backers”, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, for permission to disclose their donation to his campaign ahead of the election – but was still waiting to hear back from them.

Citizens’ participation

The candidates discussed existing initiatives to deepen citizens’ participation in politics. Calvert and Foster both praised the plan which Makara residents were drawing up, alongside the council, to adapt to the effects of climate change. Norbert Hausberg made the case for recording more council meetings and putting them up on YouTube, while Lester noted the way that initiatives such as ‘Mayor in the Chair’ helped get politicians directly in front of residents.

Deeply democratic processes

In my role as Commentator for the forum, I have noted the new wave of democratic energy that’s sweeping the world and leading to yet more far-reaching, innovative ways of encouraging participation. Accordingly, I asked candidates whether they would implement, or at least consider implementing, two specific deeply-democratic processes:

  • Citizens’ assemblies, in which a statistically representative group of residents would be brought together to articulate a considered consensus view on an important issue; and
  • Participatory budgeting, in which the council would put up a significant proportion of its capital spending budget for residents to decide directly on priorities after deep discussion amongst themselves.

In general, the candidates were enthusiastic about inclusive processes. Condie, for instance, had already stressed the importance of a citizens’ assembly and drawing up “a people’s budget” in her opening remarks. Foster declared himself “a fan” of participatory budgeting, while Calvert pointed to existing initiatives such as the Kaka scheme used in Brooklyn. In direct response to my call for citizens’ assemblies and participatory budgeting, Lester said simply: “That’s a ‘yes’ from me, too.”

All these commitments, albeit in some cases relatively general, are extremely welcome – and can be used to hold to account those who are ultimately successful in the elections.

Our thanks

Well done to the Events Volunteer, Lexi Mills, for leading this event for Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ). We are very grateful to Tamatha Paul, President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association who chaired this event. This event held in the historic Old Government Building, was co-hosted by Victoria University of Wellington’s Institute of Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS).

Andy Foster at TINZ Mayoral Candidate Forum Wellington September 2019
Forum commentator, Max Rashbrooke (left), observes candidate, Andy Foster, at TINZ Mayoral Candidate Forum, Wellington September 2019

Local Elections Questions

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) designed six sets of questions that can be used when talking with a candidate standing for local body elections, for which voting closes on 12 October. They are applicable to all positions.

We recently sent these to a large number of local body candidates around New Zealand encouraging them to reflect on the questions and select some to focus on in their social media or other promotions.

We are impressed with the feedback. Many candidates noted that while inundated with questionnaires, they appreciated the thought and unusual  perspective these provided. Many have embraced our suggestions and posted their answers to their websites and social media.

TINZ intentionally has not made any attempt to collect answers to the questions. It is the responsibility of the candidates to make sure their positions are clear when doing their own messaging. We strive for wide distribution among voters so that they are asking their potential trusted officials these kinds of questions.

Quite rightly, many noted the common disconnect between election promises and behaviour, once in office.

From Anne-Marie Coury, Elected Member, Puketāpapa Local Board;

“I am writing to say this year there have been a record number of organisations producing questions for candidates to consider.”

Most have required answers to be produced by a set date with little warning, and some have been demanding straight jackets allowing only 140 characters per statement per policy discussed.

Because these questions did not cover integrity, or conflicts of interest, I was fascinated by your set of questions. It is refreshing to not be told “this will take twenty minutes” and find that it is three or four hours to complete.

There is one issue coming up with this type of exercise that disturbs me somewhat. How can people trust a candidate to do as they say they will do?”

From Lee Orchard, Lambton Ward Candidate;

[These] “are important questions that I hope people will ask. However, right now, I fear the critical local challenges and opportunities are being completely missed because central party affiliated candidates are pushing central party policies, the majority of which the council actually has no control over. There is a real need to teach the public what local government actually has the ability to do and why those things matter.”

On the topic of local elections, Bruce Munro of the Otago Daily Times recently published an excellent article about long term planning in elected local politics. Decisions in the pipeline. “Local government elections loom, raising concerns about the fitness of those elected to make good, farsighted decisions. Bruce Munro takes a look at mistakes made and asks how elected representatives can best be equipped to tackle the big issues facing the South.”

Use hashtag #Localintegrity to promote and follow this discussion on social media.

Here are the questions

Our questions focus around integrity, transparency and accountability, including encouraging broader community participation in decision-making.

TINZ is non-partisan. It is up to the public and individual citizens to form their own view on responses.

A key objective of these questions is to emphasise the accountability of leaders to be transparent about their policies and political agendas.

  • Personal motivation
    1. Why are you standing for election?
    2. What does integrity in local government mean to you?
    3. Tell me about conflict of interest and how you manage it.
  • Access to information
    1. Do you think that the Council (or Board or Trust) gives the public the right amount of information and access to meetings?
    2. Tell me what you know about the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act and the Official Information Act?
  • Public participation
    1. What are your ideas for getting more public participation in local decisions? Who do you think is missing out?
    2. What are your ideas for helping people who don’t have good internet access, to be involved and have their say?
    3. What are your plans for engaging with young people?
  • Tangata whenua
    1. What do you think are the main issues that are important to local tangata whenua?
  • Fair representation/diversity
    1. Does your Council (or Board or Trust) have fair representation of women as councillors and employees, including leaders and managers?
    2. What is your opinion about diversity on and in the council (eg gender, ethnic, disability)?
  • Accountability
    1. How will you balance economic, social and environmental issues?
    2. When it comes to a decision, what will you prioritise?
    3. How can I trust you will follow through on your promises?

Download these questions as a handy reference.

TINZ AGM: 4 November 2019

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General

We are excited to announce that Her Excellency the Right Honourable Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor General, will be this year’s guest speaker at the Annual General Meeting of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).  This will be held on Monday 4th November in Wellington.

The AGM is open to TINZ members and also to invited guests including partners and affiliates.  A formal Notice of Meeting will be sent to current financial members by 4 October. 

If you would like to attend but are not a member then this is a great time to join.  We have a process for you to apply for membership no later than 21 October, to be able to attend the AGM.  If you think you are already a member but need to check your financial status, email your query to

Brain Food Integrity Forums

Modern Gangsters in New Zealand

A fascinating insight into the current activities of organised crime groups in New Zealand, was provided at the lunchtime public forum Modern Gangsters in NZ on 12 September. This first, sell-out event in Transparency International New Zealand’s Brain Food Integrity Forum series, generated a long waitlist from strong interest in the topic.  Many attendees were business professionals or government employees wanting to learn more about organised crime and what to watch for. 

Our two speakers were Detective Superintendent Greg Williams, National Manager for Organised Crime with the New Zealand Police, and Paul O’Neil, General Counsel at the Serious Fraud Office.

Detective Superintendent Greg Williams NZ Police presents at the September 2019 Brain Food Integrity Forum

Attendees learned about drugs, firearms and counterfeiting; a range of identity, investment and other fraud types; people abuse including migrant smuggling, prostitution and pornography; sports corruption; and cyber-crime.  

The criminal gangs in New Zealand are highly resourced, internationally connected and brutal.  There has been active recruitment of young men resulting in a large increase of members to an expanding number of gangs.  Many deaths have resulted – a third of gun-related homicides are linked to gangs or criminal activity, like drug dealing or robbery.

In the area of fraud, authorities are investigating and prosecuting cases of sophisticated mortgage, property and development fraud. 

We learned about the complexity of these cases involving, for example, multiple loan applications and property transactions facilitated by crooked lawyers.  Authorities face increasingly sophisticated forgeries and transactions that generate convincing documentation.

We learned about the systemic challenges around addressing fraud in New Zealand. These include complacency, difficulty in really understanding the scale and extent of corruption, and insufficient linkages and consistency of action across anti-corruption and integrity efforts. These challenges are compounded by the changing size and nature of complex fraud cases.   

New Zealand is fortunate to have an increasingly good coordination between key national agencies and with overseas anti-corruption and intelligence agencies. The Proceeds of Crimes Act is also a useful tool in fighting money laundering and exposing criminal activity.  It is, however, an ongoing challenge when criminals are constantly seeking new ways of profiting through illicit dealings and exploitation.

Two more Forums: Bring your lunch and feed your mind

Where in the World are We?:   

Thurs 3 October 2019, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Wellington CBD

The centre of economic geography is re-aligning to Asia. New Zealand is close to the action, and close to the risks. How can we maintain our reputation and values of integrity, fairness and pragmatism whilst making the most of our opportunities?

Presenters: Colin Keating, former Permanent Representative of NZ to the United Nations and former Executive Director of Security Council Report; and Vangelis Vitalis, Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Suzanne Snively will Chair the event. .

Register Now!

Hate Speech or free Speech:   

Thurs 10 October 2019, 12:30pm-1:30pm, Wellington

Most people who think about this topic sit on and off fences, wanting to enable freedom of expression, but not wanting the result to be discriminatory or dangerous. This is an opportunity to think more deeply than clickbait. Hear different points of view and offer your view in respectful discussion.

Presenters: Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University; and Liam Hehir, Partner, Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers, and regular blogger on this and other social topics.

Register Now!

Registration is required for each event, as there will be no registration at the door. There is a modest charge ($40) per forum ($30 for members), which goes directly towards supporting the work of Transparency International New Zealand.

If you would like to be on the mailing list please email

New Zealand’s GOPAC to have input into Parliamentary ‘code’

Ann Webster
TINZ Director
Focus areas: Constitution, National Integrity Systems, Parliamentary Liaison, Public Service

Ann Webster
TINZ Director and Parliamentary Liaison

Since December 2018 Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) has been supporting the New Zealand branch of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) as an advisor. GOPAC is an international network of parliamentarians dedicated to good governance and combating corruption throughout the world. Since its inception, GOPAC has provided information and analysis, established international benchmarks, and improved public awareness through a combination of global pressure and national action

Multi-party membership

The New Zealand GOPAC branch involves 16 members of Parliament or over 13 percent of the membership of the House. Each MP has personally chosen to participate in GOPAC, which has representatives from most of the political parties represented in the House. Chaired by Deputy Speaker, the Hon. Anne Tolley, the New Zealand branch has been receiving briefings about corruption challenges in New Zealand, and recommendations about how to improve political transparency. 

Parliament-wide code

Their work will provide useful input to the Parliamentary response to the report by Debbie Francis on Bullying and Harassment in the New Zealand Parliamentary Workplace.

GOPAC members favour a principles-based Parliamentary ‘code’ to cover all the people working in Parliament – not just Members of Parliament.

The development and adoption of such a code by the New Zealand Parliament would be world leading.

As observed in the Francis report, the leadership roles and profiles of Members of Parliament and Ministers, provide them with opportunities to become important role models to set expectations for dignified and respectful conduct. TINZ is honoured to be part of the secretariat support for GOPAC.

Counting People – the 2018 Census

In advance of the release of the 2018 Census data on 23 September, 2019, TINZ staff attended a 2018 Census pre-release presentation by Stats NZ.

The discussion highlighted the pivotal role the census plays, issues related to the current data, and plans for improving the results for the next census in 2023.

Pivotal role of the census

Poor outcomes from the 2018 census have highlighted its pivotal role in New Zealand’s data ecosystem.

The census underpins the development of government policy and informs decisions by business, iwi (the people, nation), and local and central government agencies. It is a resource for research and academic purposes. It is the framework for other important social surveys.

An accurate comprehensive census is pivotal to an open, transparent and inclusive democracy.

Challenges and outcomes from the 2018 Census

The 2018 census involved a shift from a primarily paper-based census to a digital census. Fewer field staff were deployed and fewer forms printed.  The online forms differed from previous census documents. In addition there was more digital processing of the forms plus increased reliance on government administrative data.

The census project faced major challenges including the November 2016 earthquake, the unintended consequences of the digital shift, and governance, management and resourcing of the exercise.

Poor outcomes were:

  • Response rates for the Census fell to around 83%. About 240,000 people in New Zealand on Census Day failed to fully complete the census and 480,000 did not complete it at all.  Full or partial information for only 90% of individuals was received, compared with a 94.5% response rate for the 2013 Census.
  • The response rate was worse for Māori and Pasifika, of whom just 65 and 63% respectively filled out the forms (Māori completion was 88.5% in 2013).
  • Missing, incorrect, or incomplete families and household data has seriously impeded reliable information on household income.
  • The inability to fill gaps with other types of data has impeded reliable iwi affiliation data.

Independent review report

The recently released independent review report by Murray Jack and Connie Graziadie provides an excellent review of the challenges, and also of some achievements of the 2018 census.  

Three ‘take homes’ from this report:

  1. It is incredibly important for governance and management to understand and manage critical dependencies and associated risks alongside milestones. Put simply, Stats NZ tended to focus on the trees and missed the wood.
  2. No one should be left behind. A significant portion of targeted sub-population groups and special dwellings were simply unable to complete the census at all, or not able to fill it in correctly.  The review report shows the breakdowns that led to this failure: prioritisation of goals, pressure on finances and time, reduced numbers of field staff and forms, increased complexity in usde of the form, and limited and broken “help” support.
  3. Gains were made from the current census including the use of administrative data. We need to make sure those gains are not lost in the next census.

The independent reviewers made 16 recommendations, all of which have been accepted by Stats NZ.  These include support for the planned census in 2023, with enough contingency funding to meet risks and to have sufficient engagement with iwi and Pasifika.

There are also recommendations strengthening independent expert advice and stewardship of the Census methodology and design, and improvements to management and leadership.

Census release

The first reports from the 2018 census were published on 23 September 2019, 11 months later than planned. 

These show census resident population and census night population counts, dwelling counts and census tools for some topics. Further reports will follow with all data expected to be available by June 2020.  We can also expect the first report from the external Data Quality Panel of Experts at the end of September.


Video of the pre-release webinar at the following link

Independent Report

Geographic Standard Review

Methodology papers:

Introduction to New Zealand Census

Operational phases of the 2018 Census

Developing the forms for 2018 Census

Targeted field strategies

Communication and engagement strategies

Census Dwelling Frame

Processing and evaluating the census data

Open Government Partnership: Review for public comment

The New Zealand Government is currently implementing its 3rd Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (2018-2020). This incorporates 12 Commitments. 

The international OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has reviewed this plan and recently published its New Zealand Design Report 2018–2020 (version for public comment). This report covers the development of the action plan and the design of its commitments. It does not comment on progress towards achieving each commitment that will be a focus of the next IRM review in 2020. 

The IRM New Zealand researcher, Keitha Booth’s findings are summarized below:

“New Zealand’s third action plan reflects an effort to move beyond access to information commitments and includes other areas such as participation in democracy and public participation to develop policy and services. The co-creation process benefited from wider public engagement and is an improvement from previous years. Local government engagement and public participation are areas of opportunities for future action plans.”

Public comment invited until 14 October 2019

Comments are invited on the report, during the two-week public comment period ending at close of business on Monday 14 October 2019.

The IRM report itself is New Zealand_Design_Report_2018-2020_(version for-public-comment).

TINZ assists Fiji to tackle sport corruption

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) Chair, Suzanne Snively, visited “Civic Leaders for Clean Transactions Integrity Fiji” (CLCT Integrity Fiji) in mid September to work together on an approach to address corruption. While here, she was invited as the guest speaker by the Fiji National Sport Commission Talanoa.

Corruption in sport

She discussed how integral sport is within the DNA of both Fiji and New Zealand. Both countries have excellent athletes and take a great deal of pride in their successes.

Because of this, it is important to avoid the tendency to turn a blind eye when it comes to cheating at sport. Particularly vulnerable are our youth and teens where the rules about the use of performance enhancing drugs are unclear or non-existent. Many experience long term health issues and dependencies that disqualify them at the professional level if they succeed in getting there.

Youth are also vulnerable because they can be tempted by relatively small sums of money. With the growth of on-line gambling, led by corrupt individuals, young people involved in sport, even from small, rural teams, can be groomed and bribed to fix a game.

It is critical to deal with issues of integrity in sport now. It is important that all our athletes learn to compete fairly, and we work to keep drugs, corruption, fraud and bribery out of sport.

Put into practice

The Fiji Sun covered the event Put it into practice, says Snively  in the same edition that covered the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team’s initial game at the Rugby World Cup. 

Suzanne’s visit to Fiji was arranged by CLCT Integrity Fiji who have developed a partnership with the Fiji National Sport Commission. The latter provides sport governance policies to all 45 sporting bodies. 

Governance integrity workshop

While in Suva, Suzanne facilitated a governance workshop for the CLCT Integrity Fiji team to assist in contextualising their anti-corruption work.

Topics covered included

  • Policies around governance and behaviour
  • Innovative ideas about fund raising
  • Suggestions for improvements to their Strategic Plan 2020-2022

Transparency International New Zealand and CLCT Integrity Fiji have a long history of working together to oppose corruption in the Pacific.

NZ International Fraud Film Festival: 13-14 November

The third NZ International Fraud Film Festival 2019 is set to touch down in Auckland 13 and 14 November. The great line-up of films will expose the underbelly of fraud and its impact globally and locally. 

The two day programme explores three main themes of Corruption, Technology and Dishonesty. Within these themes, six films and panel discussions examine scams, tax evasion, cyber-security, corporate culture, and art forgery.

A business focus

The full-day session on Wednesday 13 November will have a business focus. Included will be the New Zealand premiere screenings of four international films, lunch, opportunities for individuals and teams to network throughout the day, and refreshments and drinks following the final film.

A public focus 

Local New Zealand impacts of fraud will be highlighted in a free ‘Scam Prevention with Fair Go’ session (email registration required) at 10am on Thursday 14 November.  

Tickets for the lunchtime screening of The Panama Papers and the afternoon screening of There are No Fakes on Thursday 14 November may be purchased individually ($15) or as a pair ($25).

Creating awareness and debate

NZ International Fraud Film Festival spokesperson, Ian Tuke, says the aim of the Festival is to educate people, create awareness, and spark debate around fraud prevention.  “At the same time, it provides an opportunity to foster cross-industry collaboration for the key public and private sector organisations involved in the fight against fraud,” he adds.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Fraud Film Festival website.

Director Profile: Henry Lynch

Henry Lynch, TINZ Director, Financial Sector / Integrity in Sport

Henry Lynch

TINZ Director and Deputy Chair

Responsible for Financial Sector, and integrity in sport

Henry Lynch became a member of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) after growing awareness of its annual publicity and analysis of New Zealand’s rankings on the International Corruption Perceptions Index. He was elected as a Director in May 2018.

Henry was attracted by the thought leadership that TINZ offers for the benefit of New Zealand Inc. “What I mean by this is, if you get NZ aligned on these areas of values, society and civic values, the whole country benefits”.

Henry is an experienced CEO and Director. He is a Founder and Director of Faraday & Company which specialises in assisting business to set up professional advisory Boards.

Henry is currently the chair of a number of organisations and also advises boards and companies on a number of strategic areas. Outside of these activities, Henry practices and teaches Aikido, a martial art where he holds a 6th degree black belt. He also loves to read, and walk.  

Henry offers some insights to the following questions.

Q: How do you think corruption affects New Zealand?

In numerous areas. It’s not just a dollar matter, it’s about how we understand the impact on relationships, business and society as a whole. Corruption adds costs to business and government which in turn adds costs to consumers and burdens taxpayers. No one wins if corruption exists or takes over.

Q: What steps do you think we can take to safeguard us from corruption in New Zealand?

As a society we need to talk more about corruption. We need to understand what it means. We need to be vigilant and call out corruption when we see it. There needs to be a law to require the reporting of a crime when observed, with no negative consequence for doing so.

Q: What particular corruption related issues are important to you? Why?

I have particular interest in sport and Financial Services. The latter is the economic, social and civic glue that holds a country together. This is because of the importance of a financial system to any country not only from capital and other financial requirements but the impact of a good financial system on all of society. Without a very good Financial Services system the country suffers.

Sport helps many people achieve goals and aspire belief in themselves and their country – a feel good factor. If sport is corrupt, the belief and values of a country are ruined and are hard to repair after it becomes ingrained.

Q: What TINZ initiatives will you be contributing your time and expertise to?

I am heavily involved in the development and implementation of TINZ’s Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA) for many of the reasons I have outlined above.

Banner for LIF articles

Leaders Integrity Forum: Maintaining public/private integrity in the face of change

The series of public sector Leaders Integrity Forums are led by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and supported by Transparency International New Zealand. They are well attended and a source of thought provoking presentations and discussions. 

New Zealand’s Changing Risk Profile and how we protect our value in a volatile world.

Speakers addressed this theme at the 31 July Forum,

Rebecca Smith, Director of the New Zealand Story, shared her thoughts on whether New Zealanders have been able to retain our high integrity reputation given the disruptions in international trade, the trade benefits from this and how policy makers contribute. 

Marc Rivers, Chief Financial Officer, Fonterra Co-operative Group, spoke on Fonterra’s Code of Business Conduct which aims at “creating a culture that has integrity at its core.” He reflected on how important this is as Fonterra negotiates the challenges of trading in countries where business is done differently.

Adrian Crompton, Auditor General for Wales, reflected on “The public sector is operating in challenging times, so it is more important than ever that we shine a spotlight on what works well and where services need to improve.” In today’s world of polarising politics and and increasing inequity, there is a risk of taking for granted the Westminster model of democratic government which is, in fact, more fragile than we might think. 

John RyanAuditor-General and forum host, summed up by reiterating that the public service has an important part to play in setting the tone for the country. 

Further information about this forum is available at the OAG blog


TINZ Submissions activity

TINZ encourages its readers to exercise their democratic responsibilities by making submissions and responding to government consultation processes, with your opinions on future direction-setting and legislation.

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

Not all government agencies utilise one or both of these facilities. Many government agencies conduct their own publicity when seeking submissions.

Submissions currently being sought

The following invitations to submissions known to and 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. 

Priority products and product stewardship scheme guidelines

  • Deadline: 5pm, Friday 4 October 2019 
  • Public submissions are invited by the Ministry for the Environment 
  • Proposed co-design approach to establish regulated product stewardship schemes for six priority products under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008 (WMA), to reduce the risk of harm from waste and increase economic and social benefits from a more circular use of resources.

Open Government Partnership, Independent Review Mechanism report 2019

  • Deadline: 5pm, Monday 14 October 2019 
  • Public submissions are invited by the international Open Government Partnership body.
  • This review addresses the development of New Zealand’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan (2018-2020) and the design of its commitments.  

Public Finance (Wellbeing) Amendment Bill

  • Deadline: Wednesday, 30 October 2019 
  • Public submissions are invited by the Finance and Expenditure Committee 
  • New requirements for the Government to report annually on its wellbeing objectives in the Budget, and for the Treasury to report periodically on the state of wellbeing in New Zealand. 

Review of Parliament’s Standing Orders 2020

  • Deadline: Thursday, 31 October 2019
  • Public submissions are now being sought by the Standing Orders Committee 
  • During each term of Parliament, the House of Representatives looks at how it can work more effectively over the next three years.  The Standing Orders are the Rules of the House. 

‘LocalismNZ’: Reinvigorating local democracy

  • Deadline: Sunday 15 December 2019
  • Public submissions on a discussion paper are sought by Local Government NZ (LGNZ) 

Recent TINZ submissions

View earlier submissions prepared by TINZ, or search on the ‘Submissions’ category at the bottom of TINZ homepage . 

Coming events

Thursday 3 October 2019, 12:30-13:30 Wellington: TINZ Brain Food Integrity Public Forum: Where in the World are We? Presenters are: Vangelis Vitalis, Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic, MFAT, and Colin Keating, former Permanent Representative of NZ to the United Nations, Senior Research Fellow Columbia University, former Executive Director of Security Council Report. Register here.

Thursday 10 October 2019, 12:30-13:30 Wellington: TINZ Brain Food Integrity Public Forum: Hate Speech or free Speech. Presenters are: Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University, and Liam Hehir, Partner, Fitzherbert Rowe Lawyers, and regular blogger on this and other social topics.  Register here

Saturday 12 October 2019, Noon throughout New Zealand: Close of Local Body Elections

Monday 4 November 2019, Wellington: Annual General Meeting of Transparency International New Zealand, refer here

In case you missed it

New Zealand Non Government Organizations (NGOs)

Governance for good; developing the capability of New Zealand’s $20 billion not-for-profit sector. A report into the future of governance for New Zealand’s NGOs, produced by the Centre for Social Impact in partnership with the Superdiversity Institute for Law, Policy and Business, has identified a need for considerable investment into NGO governance capabilities.

The report looks at the future for governance of New Zealand’s 114,000 NGOs which employ around 100,000 full and part-time staff and manage a combined income of around $20 billion a year. Good governance is a subject close to the heart of all of us. We hope you find this a useful insight into current good practice in NGO governance, challenges, and opportunities for development.

Elections and Democracy

Our complacency puts Democracy under threat Standfirst: Survival of New Zealand’s democracy faces unprecedented threats over the next thirty years: (a) Risks from systemic global economic instability, (b) Major upheaval from adaptation (or not) to climate change, (c) Dislocation arising from automated and intelligent machines. Indian NewsLink

Decisions in the pipeline By Bruce Munro Otago Daily Times: Local government elections loom, raising concerns about the fitness of those elected to make good, farsighted decisions. Bruce Munro takes a look at mistakes made and asks how elected representatives can best be equipped to tackle the big issues facing the South.

Can Kiwis tell fact from fake news in the leadup to the 2020 elections? Young people are criticised for not engaging in politics but experts say adults today are less likely to be able to tell fact from fake news. Katie Kenny and Tommy Livingston report on the risks of a post-truth political landscape.

Political Roundup: Electioneering on Facebook under scrutiny Truth in the modern social media. Bryce Edwards

Unfair funding undermines diversity of electoral candidates Lack of fair funding for candidates in general elections has attracted a lot of angst over the years.

Can NZ avoid populist leaders’ divisive sloganeering? Democracy rocks. 

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on

Stopping viral misinformation in the next election will be a task for all of us. OPINION: Artful manipulation of fact is a crucial feature of modern politics. You don’t actually lie, you spin. You pick one good number out of a sea of bad ones, you assume the worst of your enemies, and work to construct carefully “true” arguments that you would never dare advance in your personal life.

New Zealand transparency, integrity and accountability

Luxury cars, cash, posh property seized in police bust Police have arrested six people and snatched up millions in assets, posh property and flash cars following a big money laundering investigation in Auckland.

Spy bosses tell MPs ban on foreign donations would not work Spy bosses have told MPs a ban on foreign donations would not work and more transparency around donations would help them do their job better.

Fighting exploitation in the New Zealand supply chain Businesses are being warned to take action against migrant worker exploitation in their supply chains – or face financial penalties and customer backlash.

National denies former trade minister Todd McClay helped facilitate $150k donation The National Party is denying allegations then-Cabinet minister Todd McClay helped facilitate a donation of $150,000 to the party in 2016 from a company owned by a Chinese billionaire.

NZ International Fraud Film Festival Announces Line-up The third NZ International Fraud Film Festival 2019 is set to touch down in Auckland this November with a line-up of films that will expose the underbelly of fraud and its impact globally and locally.

Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence The Auditor-General’s discussion paper Public accountability: A matter of trust and confidence was presented to the House of Representatives. It includes at least 6 references to TINZ’s groundbreaking National Integrity Systems Assessment.

No place for business to hide as Kiwis demand transparency The recent issue of a dentist in trouble in the media over whether he was qualified to offer orthodontics, is a warning to all business that increasingly New Zealanders are demanding nothing less than complete brand transparency.

Insurers aim to take fraud prevention to a new level through Insurance Fraud Bureau The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) has launched a new Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) to crack down on fraudulent activity that it estimates costs the industry as much as $614 million a year. And while it won’t have the legal power to prosecute offenders, it will give insurance providers a new channel to share data and cooperate.


Lack of transparency in public administration (PNG) Lack of transparency in public administration continues to be a problem in PNG. This is why Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is extending its legal work.

How Australia can learn from New Zealand’s diplomacy in Fiji and the Pacific This article reflects on how current progres­sive policies are proactively shaping Pacific policy narratives and space. By Joseph Veramu, published in the Fiji Sun.

Transparency International

Three ways to stop money laundering through real estate

Transparency International New Zealand:

Elections 2019 – raising questions on integrity September 10, 2019 Press Release – Transparency International NZ on


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 October 2019. To view by topic, visit the category page which lists TINZ topics and respective current subject matter experts.