NZ least corrupt again

December 6th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Michael Daly at Stuff reports:

New Zealand’s reputation for clean government continues to sparkle, as the country again comes out best in Transparency International’s global perceptions index.

It is the seventh year in a row that New Zealand, either on its own or tied with Nordic countries or Singapore, has topped the index for having the lowest perceived levels of public sector corruption.

In the 2012 report, released today, New Zealand is first-equal with Denmark and Finland.

The winners were helped by strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of people in public positions, Transparency International said.

This year’s index used an updated methodology that provided greater clarity on how it was constructed, making it easier to trace how data was rescaled for inclusion.

For the future, local chapter Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) recently launched a so-called national integrity system assessment to provide a more nuanced and detailed report on the country’s vulnerability to corruption.

The assessment would provide the most detailed information yet about factors that caused New Zealand to consistently rank at the top, TINZ chairwoman Suzanne Snively said.

It would measure how well various state and non-state institutions contributed to preventing or mitigating corrupt activities, looking at institutions such as the media, parliament, political parties, the judiciary, the public service, and the private sector.

“The results will show where the integrity of New Zealand society and government is strongest and weakest,” Snively said. 

We had the odd corrupt official, but as far as I know we have never had institutional corruption where there is a wide-spread cover up. Basically we have a very healthy culture.

Denmark, Finland and Sweden all got 90 out of 100. At the bottom on 8 was Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan.

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44 Responses to “NZ least corrupt again”

  1. hmmokrightitis (1,511 comments) says:

    “Calling Mrs Completely Batshit, clean up in aisle three, Mrs Batshit to Aisle 3 please”

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  2. James Stephenson (2,033 comments) says:

    *cough* Bill Liu *cough*

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  3. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    $158,000
    $800,000
    Spencer Trust
    Helicopters
    Kermadec
    Little brown paper bags
    Susan Couch’s treatment

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  4. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    The failure to prosecute anyone for the abuse in Mangaroa Prison is headed toward the sort of cover-up you might be talking about.

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  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    *cough* Bill Liu *cough*

    $158,000
    $800,000
    Spencer Trust

    All of these things may be true, and may be evidence of corruption, but they are still not evidence that corruption is not worse elsewhere. Do people assume that because we have events like this, that other countries are squeaky clean?

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  6. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    Having worked in the public service in the past I tend to agree. I can remember multiple occasions where people grateful for help or a quick decision have sent gifts and they have been returned. That doesn’t happen in most countries.

    I also think that examples like Donna Awatere Huata and Phillip Taito Field actually reinforce NZ’s reputation for low corruption. MP’s and ministers at the highest levels of government and from all parties have been held to account and faced serious consequences and even prison time for corruption offences that in some countries would be considered just a part of doing business.

    Even stuff that is not in any way directly related to their role in government or integrity as a minister such as David Garrett’s criminal offending as a young man or BRendan Horans personal family financial situation are enough to end peoples careers…

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  7. Longknives (4,464 comments) says:

    Whanau Ora.

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  8. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Our problem is that we are so convinced that we are not corrupt that we do not take it seriously enough.

    I’ve seen evidence – heck, even live radio interviews, where there was clearly corruption going on by no one is prepared to take it seriously.

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  9. eszett (2,337 comments) says:

    Any particular examples, scrubone

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  10. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Even stuff that is not in any way directly related to their role in government or integrity as a minister

    How about that minister of education who was found to be taking his bondage club habits into the classroom? What he did in the classroom was public, and that he was a member of a certain club did come out somewhat, but people never heard the connection and his resignation was for something else entirely.

    I know the people who stumbled on the main witness, and there’s a lot more to that story than got published anywhere.

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  11. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    eszett: Investigate did a story on police corruption in Dunedin, I think it was in 2007.

    The media picked up on the most salacious aspect, which was the bestiality movie incident. But the story was far wider than that and quoted multiple witnesseses.

    The Labour government (who had MPs implicated) then went into full panic mode, dramaticlly “outing” one of the witneses as the person who was actually the wrongdoer. They then found a witness to support them who, when asked on Checkpoint for simple, basic details (coudn’t even tell if it was movie or video) stumbled all over himself. I heard that interview live myself, but it was covered in the followup Investigate report.

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  12. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    Depends how you define corruption. In my view any country that slaughters 20,000 children a year in abortion clinics, has legalised prostitution and wants fag marriage is corrupt to the core.

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  13. queenstfarmer (747 comments) says:

    Unfortunately, the left’s politicisation of the public service will have severely eroded this reputation within a decade or two.

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  14. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Basically we have a very healthy culture

    Yeah, right!.

    The Ministry of Economic Development did not conduct any
    business confidence surveys. In 2011/12, this indicator has
    been replaced with monitoring the Global Economic Crime
    survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The latest report,
    in 2009, reported that New Zealand had the eighth highest
    reported level of fraud across the 54 countries that took part,
    with 42 percent of respondents saying that they suffered from
    some form of economic crime in the preceding 12 months.

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  15. Zapper (926 comments) says:

    Penny Bright is the person to thank. She stamps out corruption on a daily basis

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  16. publicwatchdog (2,107 comments) says:

    What is the Prime Minister of the purportedly (first equal) ‘least corrupt country in the world’ going to do about this one?

    WILL NZ PRIME MINISTER STAND DOWN JOHN BANKS AS MINISTER – WHEN BANKS APPEARS IN THE WELLINGTON DISTRICT COURT ON 11 DECEMBER 2012 TO FACE A PRIVATE PROSECUTION FOR ALLEGED ELECTORAL FRAUD?

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/peters-powerless-jettison-horan-parliament-academic-dw-133495#comment-598400

    MY COMMENT – yet to be published:

    What is NZ Prime Minister John Key going to do when his MMP coalition partner, ACT Leader and MP for Epsom, John Banks, Minister for Small Business and Regulatory Reform, and Associate Minister for Education and Commerce, appears in the Wellington District on Tuesday 11 December 2012 at 1.45pm to face a private prosecution alleging electoral fraud?

    Is he going to, as a first step, stand John Banks down as a Minister?

    If a Wellington District Court Judge believes there is arguably a case for John Banks to answer – or a summons would not have been issued.

    Or is NZ Prime Minister John Key going to continue to defend the indefensible, and politically protect John Banks?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  17. Nookin (3,037 comments) says:

    Didn’t the judge say that there was arguably a case to answer IF the complainant could establish the facts and other elements of the offence. He certainly didn’t suggest that Banks was or may have been guilty

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  18. graham (2,215 comments) says:

    Seen this Kiwibloggers?

    PENNY BRIGHT ACCEPTS ANONYMOUS DONATION.

    “A last minute anonymous donation of $10,000 is expected to save Water Pressure Group spokesperson Penny Bright from bankruptcy.”

    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?AC=SEE_ALSO&QF0=Descriptors&QI0==%22Bright,+Penny%22&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll&BU=&TN=LocHAM&SN=AUTO11122&SE=398&RN=830&MR=0&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=0&XP=&RF=Displayweb&EF=&DF=&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=2&ID=&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=15513&NR=0&NB=0&SV=0&SS=0&BG=&FG=&QS=&OEX=ISO-8859-1&OEH=ISO-8859-1

    Is it appropriate for a self-proclaimed “public watchdog” – who is hounding John Banks over so-called anonymous donations – to accept anonymous donations?

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  19. Nookin (3,037 comments) says:

    “Penny Bright is the person to thank. She stamps out corruption on a daily basis”

    You sure about that Zapper. PB rabbits on about Banks ( and, occasionally Key’s murderous conspiracy over Pike River) but both of them seem alive and well.

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  20. graham (2,215 comments) says:

    Seen this Kiwibloggers?

    PENNY BRIGHT QUESTIONED BY OCCUPY.

    http://occupysavvy.com/2012/11/05/penny-bright-fails-to-co-opt-occupy-auckland-again/

    In another brilliant showing of respect for democracy, Penny completely ignored the G.A. rules that it must approve all funds before they are released (over $100) by usurping the last $200+ in the bank account, without G.A. approval, ostensibly with the help of “Chris Glen” who was on the finance committee and was also a bank signatory.

    For an anti-corruption campaigner who rails against backroom-deals and conflicts of interest – how could she take money outside of G.A. process while simultaneously being tasked as auditor? (Transparency! Accountability!)

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  21. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    “A last minute anonymous donation of $10,000 is expected to save Water Pressure Group spokesperson Penny Bright from bankruptcy.”

    Graham – :shock:

    The smoking gun!

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  22. graham (2,215 comments) says:

    That information comes from http://occupysavvy.com/ who got so p!ssed off with Penny that they decided to start looking into her claims a bit more closely.

    Read through the whole page, she’s managed to annoy them quite a bit.

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  23. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    Something weird going on with this though. I thought it was a public survey, so how did North Korea score so low :D

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  24. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    I wonder if a judge not declaring if they know a defendant or a party in a civil case counts as corruption?

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  25. hmmokrightitis (1,511 comments) says:

    “General message to all cleaning teams. Mrs Batshit has crapped in her own nest in Aisle 3. Can we please have cleanup team to Aisle 3. Please bring large buckets, someone has managed to spill a shit load of hypocrisy as well”

    Having a good day Brighty?? :)

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  26. RRM (9,467 comments) says:

    Where are you, Penny?

    We are very interested to hear what you have to say about your apparent dirty stinking hypocrisy in accepting a substantial anonymous donation to support your activities in hounding an elected MP over the matter of anonymous donations!

    Perhaps you could disclose the names of those who have donated to you in your cause, in the interests of transparency?

    (You may refuse of course, but it would become very difficult to take seriously anything you say about “transparency” ever again! :-) )

    We are very interested in Occupy Auckland’s claims you have been systematically trying to (a) put yourself or (b) paint yourself “in charge” of the Occupy movement there – that’s not very “transparent” now is it?

    Are you there, Penny?

    It’s starting to look like you are less of a “public watchdog” and more of a “self-serving ne’er-do-well” Penny!

    Or perhaps you can explain how this is all some vast corrupt conspiracy between those natural bedfellows John Banks, Occupy Auckland, and the Kiwiblog Right?

    Penny..?

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  27. Elaycee (4,302 comments) says:

    For an anti-corruption campaigner who rails against backroom-deals and conflicts of interest – how could she take money outside of G.A. process while simultaneously being tasked as auditor? (Transparency! Accountability!)

    So…. hypocrisy is alive and well. Quelle surprise.

    By coincidence, a Penelope Mary Bright introduced herself to a meeting in Auckland once as representing the ‘Workers Communist League’… a meeting attended by a John Bernard Minto (who might be the ‘dodgyjohnhasgone’ that she refers to so often) and Socialist Unity Party man, Bill Andersen. But she doesn’t want any sunshine [transparency] on that…. none at all. Funny that…

    Pfffft… her credibility meter remains firmly stuck on zero….

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  28. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    I think New Zealands high ranking says more about the criteria measured, than it does about our integrity.

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  29. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Whilst we may have low levels of corruption although the cases set out by others above show we aint that squeaky clean what we dont know is what we dont know and thats why all freedom fighters have to be vigilant and continue to hold our employees both politicans and civil servants in central and local government collective feet to the fire and put the blow torch down their Y fronts from time to time just to make sure they dont offend.
    Never ever trust them and you wont be disappointed.

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  30. UglyTruth (4,000 comments) says:

    I wonder if a judge not declaring if they know a defendant or a party in a civil case counts as corruption?

    Probably not, unless the judge gains from the case somehow. Corruption and prejudice are not the same thing.

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  31. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    We are very interested to hear what you have to say about

    Your challenge is to complete the above sentence so that it is a genuinely sensible statement :D

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  32. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth, I can see the difference but think it unacceptable that say a judge is the member of the same club as one of the parties he or she dose not declare it. If I was to serve on a jury and I knew one of the members I would say so and I think I would be expected to. In a civil case often a lot depend on who a judge or jury thinks is telling the truth.

    If a judge making a ruling when he knows one of the parties and says nothing it may not be corrupt but not far from it.

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  33. Rex Widerstrom (5,266 comments) says:

    Direct corruption – bribing a police officer or a judge, for instance – is thankfully exceptionally rare in NZ, and undoubtedly better than in most other Western countries.

    However these glib “league tables” overlook – because it’s far harder to detect and quantify – other equally damaging forms of corruption which I would argue from experience, observation and repeated anecdote are at least as bad as the worst of Western countries (e.g. Queensland, Western Australia et al) – “noble cause corruption” and “process corruption”.

    These are neatly defined and well canvassed in a paper by Barbara Etter APM, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Law and Justice at Edith Cowan University in WA, a 30 year police veteran and former CEO of the Integrity Commission in Tasmania.

    She examines the difficulty of defining “corruption” even in a relatively narrow band of activity such as policing and prosecuting, and notes, in relation to the Thomas case in NZ, that:

    It will indeed be interesting to see whether anything is done by the NZ Police to ensure proper accountability in the original matter and for subsequent events (such as the possible withholding of material from the 1980 Royal Commission)

    So 33 years have elapsed from the date of Thomas’s pardon to today, and a former senior police officer – notably one from outside NZ – believes nothing has yet been done to “ensure proper accountability in the original matter”, let alone the slightly more recent and equally serious deceit of a Royal Commission.

    And NZ’s image “sparkles”?! Not if you scratch beneath the gilded surface it doesn’t.

    Odd, I thought that was the primary task of our media, not to write puff pieces cheerleading the government as “clean”. Government may well be (relatively speaking), but much in NZ is not.

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  34. James Stephenson (2,033 comments) says:

    Do people assume that because we have events like this, that other countries are squeaky clean?

    No, but it seems to be the perception of people that somehow we are. Just because you can’t hand a policeman $20 with your licence when you’re pulled over, and hope to get away with it (can you? just checking..) doesn’t mean we don’t have a problem with corruption.

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  35. thedavincimode (6,539 comments) says:

    Dodgy Penny must go.

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  36. Zapper (926 comments) says:

    RRM:

    “You may refuse of course, but it would become very difficult to take seriously anything you say about “transparency” ever again!”

    What do you mean again???

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  37. wat dabney (3,672 comments) says:

    Of course, the Labour Party is corruption in action. It is the vehicle by which union members (mostly state sector) and other special-interest groups get to plunder everyone else. The trick is that they legalise their thievery and hence it doesn’t get caught in corruption surveys like this.

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  38. publicwatchdog (2,107 comments) says:

    “The reality that New Zealand is actually a corrupt, polluted, tax haven – will be revealed at 11.30am, Friday 7 December 2012 at Sky City Convention Centre by ‘Anti-corruption’ – TPPA ‘stakeholder’ Penny Bright”.

    Bright will give her presentation as a TPPA ‘stakeholder’ at Sky City, on Friday 7 December 2012 at 11.30am.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ah-08yR0ZMDxdEdtcF9yNjNqbnVWSW5uSTRKaURDREE&hl=en&pli=1#gid=0

    “Stakeholder Programme: Friday 7 December 2012

    Your Details

    Country
    NEW ZEALAND
    First Name Penelope
    Last Name Bright
    Organisation Water Pressure Group / Anti-corruption campaigner

    Would you like to make a formal presentation?

    Yes

    Please enter the indicative title of your proposed presentation:

    The need for transparency, accountability, and an independent ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of the benefits of ‘free trade’ agreements such as the TPPA, and the need for a ‘corruption-risk’ assessment (particularly the form of grand corruption known as ‘State Capture’) for ‘free trade’ agreements such as the TPPA.

    What areas of TPP are you interested in?

    Affordable medicines, land, environment (particularly water services) , work rights, the rest of our economy, especially the finance sector, sovereignty. ”

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    “I am really looking forward to giving this ‘whistle-blowing’ presentation, particularly since Transparency International has AGAIN ranked corrupt, polluted, tax haven New Zealand as the first equal ‘least corrupt country in the world’, according to their 2012 Corruption Perception Index.

    http://www.transparency.org/cpi2012/results

    Which proves, in my considered opinion, that Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’.not worth the paper upon which it is written.”

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009
    Attendee: Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference 2010

    ……………………….

    (For more background information in the fight against corruption in New Zealand: )
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
    http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz
    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz
    http://www.stopthesupercity.org.nz

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  39. Colville (2,081 comments) says:

    That bitch is mad.

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  40. graham (2,215 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t say she’s mad.

    But serious questions must be raised about her suitability as a self-proclaimed “public watchdog” in light of the issues that are coming to light.

    Is it appropriate for a self-proclaimed “public watchdog” – who is hounding John Banks over so-called anonymous donations – to accept anonymous donations?

    PENNY BRIGHT ACCEPTS ANONYMOUS DONATION.

    “A last minute anonymous donation of $10,000 is expected to save Water Pressure Group spokesperson Penny Bright from bankruptcy.”

    http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll?AC=SEE_ALSO&QF0=Descriptors&QI0==%22Bright,+Penny%22&XC=/dbtw-wpd/exec/dbtwpub.dll&BU=&TN=LocHAM&SN=AUTO11122&SE=398&RN=830&MR=0&TR=0&TX=1000&ES=0&CS=0&XP=&RF=Displayweb&EF=&DF=&RL=0&EL=0&DL=0&NP=2&ID=&MF=WPEngMsg.ini&MQ=&TI=0&DT=&ST=0&IR=15513&NR=0&NB=0&SV=0&SS=0&BG=&FG=&QS=&OEX=ISO-8859-1&OEH=ISO-8859-1

    Is it appropriate for a self-proclaimed “Anti-corruption campaigner” to use money from a shared bank account without approval, as alleged by “Occupy”?

    In another brilliant showing of respect for democracy, Penny completely ignored the G.A. rules that it must approve all funds before they are released (over $100) by usurping the last $200+ in the bank account, without G.A. approval, ostensibly with the help of “Chris Glen” who was on the finance committee and was also a bank signatory.

    For an anti-corruption campaigner who rails against backroom-deals and conflicts of interest – how could she take money outside of G.A. process while simultaneously being tasked as auditor? (Transparency! Accountability!)

    http://occupysavvy.com/2012/11/05/penny-bright-fails-to-co-opt-occupy-auckland-again/

    In my “considered opinion” – NO! :)

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  41. hmmokrightitis (1,511 comments) says:

    No, shes mad alright. Complete fucking hatstand.

    Refuses to front about allegations she has taken money she has no right to…

    Refuses to confirm whom she takes hidden donations from…

    Is proud of ‘attending’ shit…

    Considers that she has a considered opinion – when clearly its as considered as goats cheese…

    Places “marks” around fucking everything…

    But the bit I love (and sorry for the P Ure like post…) is

    “What areas of TPP are you interested in?

    Affordable medicines, land, environment (particularly water services) , work rights, the rest of our economy, especially the finance sector, sovereignty. ””

    She is now a world fucking expert in everything :)

    Dear Brighty, you have zero credibility to even write the words, let alone think you can speak on same. Occupy have told you to F off. You’ve ‘stolen’ money and taken anonymous donations. Corrupt.

    On second thoughts maybe you are qualified to speak about corruption, given you first hand knowledge on the subject :) Youve been called out ol Brighty, and you know it…

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  42. Nookin (3,037 comments) says:

    In the last about of litigation, her hypocrisy was pointed out by the court. She does need to add to her qualifications the fact that she is a judicially recognised hypocrite.

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  43. Zapper (926 comments) says:

    Good work Graham and hmmo.

    Almost worth a guest post?

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  44. mikenmild (10,744 comments) says:

    It’s been quite rightly pointed out that the measurements of corruption probably exclude a lot of dodgy behaviour. But the measurements are what can be reasonably applied to allow international comparisons. New Zealand is relatively clean of graft – that’s the most that can be said.

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