Public sector corruption affects us all

Arguably every action and decision made in the public service affects the wellbeing of the individuals and communities in our country in some way, shape or form. Maintaining public confidence and trust is critical to upholding our global standard in democracy – and achieving this requires a culture of transparency and integrity across the organisations and individuals that make up the sector.

Corruption perceptions index

Because we can’t measure absolute levels of corruption, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries by how corrupt they are perceived to be. Countries are rated on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). This rating is based on corruption perception data collected within the past two years from 13 different sources in 12 separate institutions.

The CPI was first released in 1995 and is now produced annually by Transparency International (TI). The CPI has been widely credited with putting TI and the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.


National Integrity Systems Assessment

The National Integrity System (NIS) assessment is an in-depth review of 12 ‘pillars’ (the three branches of government key watchdog agencies, law enforcement, political parties, the media, business, and NGOs) and their underlying foundations (such as the Treaty of Waitangi). When one or more of these pillars aren’t properly governed or regulated, this creates an imbalance – impacting the other pillars and weakening the entire system.

We update the NIS assessment regularly to report on the progress of the recommended actions, and we conduct a full review every 10 years.


working with government

central government

Beyond the NIS assessment, Transparency International New Zealand runs a series of Leaders Integrity Forums on issues relating to transparency, accountability, corruption-prevention and integrity. A number of times a year, public sector leaders get together at these forums.

Recaps of recent Leaders Integrity Forums are available on the Office of the Auditor-General's web site.


Local government

Local government plays an incredibly important role in ensuring New Zealand communities are able to thrive. Councils across New Zealand hold assets worth $124 billion, employ 30,000 people and are responsible for 11% of all public spending, including on roads, transport, water and emergency management.

Our local government transparency, governance and decision making road trip is an online learning resource for newly elected officials. It is a journey through elements of local government leadership that are essential to the role. It is not a deep dive, but offers opportunities to learn and reflect.



Transparency of procurement (for example, contracting) is essential for public trust in government. It’s important for public sector organisations to be clear and open about procurement and contract award notices – including specific and accurate information about the value of the contract, the name of the supplier and whether or not the contract was awarded.

We provide a regular assessment of government procurement systems, including recommendations in the Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 3 (NAP3).

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