New Zealand had been ranked the least corrupt country in the world for the eighth year running, Justice Minister Judith Collins says.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index released today ranked New Zealand first, equal with Denmark, out of 176 countries for having the lowest perception of corruption in the public sector.
“One of New Zealand’s biggest assets internationally is its reputation for being corruption free,” Ms Collins says.
“People who live, do business and invest in New Zealand know that they can trust our laws and our government to protect their rights and freedoms. This reflects the integrity of our system and the people who work in it.”
Ms Collins says this latest ranking is a huge economic asset and will continue to open doors for New Zealand business around the world, making it easier for them to attract valuable foreign investment and skilled workers.
New Zealand is also ranked first on the Forbes magazine list of the Best Countries for Business, partially due to the high trust in our public sector, and our transparent and stable business climate.
“Creating and maintaining a clean government requires ongoing work and constant vigilance and that the Government is not complacent about its standing,” Ms Collins says.
This year the Government has announced a range of initiatives to prevent corruption and further enhance transparency. These include:
- the development of the Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill which will strengthen New Zealand’s bribery and corruption offences and allow New Zealand to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption;
- the development of a National Anti-Corruption Strategy which will cover the prevention, detection, investigation and remedy of bribery and corruption across both private and public sectors;
- joining the Open Government Partnership, a multilateral initiative committed to promoting transparency and open government by empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies;
- increasing the transparency of the judiciary by making all court decisions available to the public online;
- the coming-into-force of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act which will significantly improve the ability to detect and investigate crimes like corruption.
New Zealand’s score of 91 is one point higher than last year.
Continuing to top the index is something of which we can be proud but it is not an area where we can rest on our laurels.
The Index scores 177 countries and territories on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). No country has a perfect score, and two-thirds of countries score below 50. This indicates a serious, worldwide corruption problem. . .
The world urgently needs a renewed effort to crack down on money laundering, clean up political finance, pursue the return of stolen assets and build more transparent public institutions.
Clicking on the link will take you to a map which shows how widespread corruption is.
It isn’t a coincidence that least corrupt countries have stronger economies and more corrupt countries are poorer.
Lack of corruption and economic progress are linked.