No tolerance for corruption

Friends from overseas opened a bank account here.

It was going to take a couple of days before it was activated by which time they were going to be somewhere else.

The teller said if they left the money with them she’d deposit it as soon as the account was activated.

They had no hesitation in giving her the money but said if they’d been in their own country they wouldn’t have trusted the bank staff.

We take such honesty for granted here but it isn’t something about which we can be complacent.

In Monday’s ODT (not online) Bob Jones recounted examples of corruption he’d encountered around the world and concluded:

. . . I mention all this given the outrageously light sentence of nine months’ home detention accord on utterly specious grounds to Christchurch policeman Gordon Stanley Meyer. Offering to trade fines for sexual favours is not simply sleazy, as the judge seemed to view it. It’s about a principle which is absolute, regardless of its nature or monetary dimension, It behoves the police commissioner to appeal this ridiculous sentence so that wiser heads can send a vitally important message, namely the corruption is corrosive, strikes at the heart of civil society and will absolutely not be tolerated.

New Zealand has regularly tops Transparency International’s index as the least corrupt country in the world.

The only way to stay there is to ensure no tolerance for corruption.

UPDATE: the column is now on-line at the NZ Herald.

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