NZ’s ‘corruption free’ perception ranking drops second year in row

Graphic: Enikos

Transparency International NZ

New Zealand has fallen to fourth place in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index – the second consecutive drop in a survey it has previously topped 7 times because of the corruption-free reputation of its public sector.

“Our government must act immediately to reestablish New Zealand’s stand-out reputation for a trusted public sector,” said Transparency International New Zealand chair Suzanne Snively.

“New Zealand trades on its corruption free reputation.

“There are steps that can be taken immediately to reestablish New Zealand’s exemplary reputation for a trusted public sector,” said Snively.

“Through this, New Zealanders can gain greater returns from all the different things they do – teaching, farming, fishing, tourism, film, sport – because of our country’s reputation for integrity.”

The CPI is produced each year to highlight the global importance of transparency. Dropping to fourth place has huge disadvantages for New Zealand, both from a governing and economic perspective.

Denmark, Finland and Sweden are now perceived to have the least corrupt public sectors.

New Zealand, which was ranked number one in both the 2012 and 2013 surveys, fell behind Denmark in the 2014 CPI and then Sweden and Finland as well in last week’s released 2015 survey.

Further downgrades in New Zealand’s scores are likely if areas such as access to information and governance of the environment fail to keep pace with the trends in northern European countries.

“A clean reputation makes us attractive to do business with and secures qualified migrants and confident tourists.

“New Zealand’s high ranking on the TI-CPI is a factor that gives this credibility. The fall in score and rank is a wake-up call to the Government and Public Sector,” said Snively.

“Only when we make corruption prevention routine and comprehensive can we move ahead of the northern European countries and reclaim a number1 ranking.

“With a commitment to a reputation for the world’s highest integrity, the government has an opportunity to take a strong leadership role in inspiring businesses and communities to build on the value integrity brings to creating a more prosperous society.”

Transparency International New Zealand published the Integrity Plus 2013 New Zealand National Integrity System Assessment and is actively engaged in the implementation of its recommendations.

New Zealand’s recent rankings:
2012 Rank No 1 Score 90
2013 Rank No 1 Score 91
2014 Rank No 2 Score 91
2015 Rank No 4 Score 88

Australia’s score fell from 80 to 79 and its ranking fell from 11 to 13. The bottom two rankings in the 2015 CPI were North Korea and Somalia.

Asia Pacific:
Srirak Plipat, Transparency International director for Asia Pacific, noted in the CPI report: “If there was one common challenge to unite the Asia Pacific region, it would be corruption.

“From campaign pledges to media coverage to civil society forums, corruption dominates discussion. Yet despite all this talk, there’s little sign of action.

“Between Australia’s slipping scores and North Korea’s predictably disastrous performance, this year’s index shows no significant improvement. Has Asia Pacific stalled in its efforts to fight corruption?”

Transparency International is a global civil society coalition 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.

Percentage of companies that prohibit bribes. Source:
Percentage of companies that prohibit bribes. Source:
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