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MEDIA RELEASE

PO Box 10123
The Terrace
Wellington, 6143
New Zealand

Transparency International New Zealand
25 November 2019
Patron, Lyn Provost

Transparency of Political Party Funding Essential

Transparency of political party funding is essential to provide clarity about who is influencing decision making.

The lack of transparency is putting New Zealand’s reputation for strong integrity at serious risk. It erodes trust in our elected representatives, degrades our financial well-being, and impacts on our society and how it works together.

Allegations published by Stuff.co.nz NZ First Foundation dodging electoral rules? Records suggest breaches are particularly harmful. This latest story has gone around the world in 80 seconds – it’s a very bad look.

“Transparency International New Zealand has been raising the red flag about political party funding for over 16 years,” says Suzanne Snively, Chair, Transparency International New Zealand. Our Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment  strongly recommended a complete review of the funding of political parties and candidates’ campaigns.”

We re-emphasized this need in our Building Accountability: National Integrity System Assessment 2018 Update,” adds Liz Brown, National Integrity System Assessment Project Director

Political parties everywhere receive the majority of their funding from a few major funders. All to often they prefer to hide these sources from public scrutiny. They may engage in questionable practices such as setting up private foundations too maintain anonymity of the sources and amounts of contributions.

Political Party funding reform must prevent behaviours intended to shield major funders and include financial transparency throughout the political process.

The challenges of moving to a more transparent political party funding system are complex. It will take strong public and cross-party political will to address this. But it has to be done to maintain our integrity as a nation.

 


Background information for journalists

  1. Media Contacts

    Suzanne Snively

    Chair

    Transparency International New Zealand

    +64 21 925 689

    suzanne.snively@tinz.org.nz

  2. About Transparency International

    Transparency International is a global civil society coalition based in Berlin, leading the fight against corruption. It compiles a number of measures of different aspects of corruption including the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Global Corruption Barometer, and the Bribe Payers Index. Information on Transparency International can be found at www.transparency.org.

  3. About the New Zealand chapter of Transparency International

    The local chapter of Transparency International works to actively promote the highest levels of transparency, accountability, integrity and public participation in government and civil society in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Find TINZ at www.transparency.org.nz.

    Transparency International New Zealand has several projects designed to support greater integrity.  These can be viewed in our Annual Report, and include:

    • National Integrity System Assessment, a risk assessment of the pillars of democracy
    • Development of a Financial Integrity Systems Assessment Tool, for use with the financial sector;
    • Leaders Integrity forums for senior public leaders
    • Submissions and advocacy
    • Thought leadership through communications and events.

    Chief Executive Officer

    Julie Haggie

    Transparency International New Zealand

    +64 27 498 9126

    Julie.haggie@tinz.org.nz

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