NZ 2nd least corrupt

04/12/2014

New Zealand has cemented its global reputation for being among the least corrupt countries:

New Zealand remains one of the top countries in the world for low levels of perceived corruption, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index released today ranked New Zealand second out of 175 countries. The index scores and ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be on a scale of zero to 100.

New Zealand retained last year’s score of 91, taking out second place to Denmark which moved up one point to 92.

Ms Adams says New Zealand’s high ranking reflects the Government and the public sector’s strong commitment to protecting New Zealanders’ rights and freedoms.

“New Zealand is perceived as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. We’ve got a strong track record of open and transparent government and our public sector is internationally renowned for low levels of corruption,” says Ms Adams.

“The Government is continually working to prevent and address the risk of corruption. Our robust legal frameworks encourage transparency, criminalise bribery and corruption, and facilitate collaboration with other countries to tackle such practices.

“I note Transparency International have noted a concern that we have not ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. However, the legislation to enable this has passed its first reading and is currently before a select committee for consideration.”

“This year we’ve progressed a range of initiatives to strengthen anti-corruption measures and further enhance transparency,” says Ms Adams.

Anti-corruption initiatives progressed by the Government this year include:

  • introducing  the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill to strengthen New Zealand’s bribery and corruption offences
  • formally joining the Open Government Partnership (OGP) which is a multilateral initiative aimed at promoting open and transparent government and fighting corruption
  • enacting the Companies Amendment Act 2014 and the Limited Partnerships Amendment Act 2014 to prevent overseas criminals from using  New Zealand’s companies registration systems to create shell companies
  • implementing an information sharing agreement between Inland Revenue and the New Zealand Police
  • reviewing New Zealand’s extradition and mutual legal assistance laws
  • the Serious Fraud Office’s collaboration with Transparency International NZ and BusinessNZ to create a free online anti-corruption training course
  • introducing the Crimes (Match-fixing) Amendment Bill to combat match-fixing risks during the Cricket World Cup and the FIFA Under 20 (football) World Cup.

Transparency International says corruption is threatening economic growth.

Poorly equipped schools, counterfeit medicine and elections decided by money are just some of the consequences of public sector corruption. Bribes and backroom deals don’t just steal resources from the most vulnerable – they undermine justice and economic development, and destroy public trust in government and leaders.

Based on expert opinion from around the world, the Corruption Perceptions Index measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide, and it paints an alarming picture. Not one single country gets a perfect score and more than two-thirds score below 50, on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

Corruption is a problem for all countries. A poor score is likely a sign of widespread bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs. Countries at the top of the index also need to act. Leading financial centres in the EU and US need to join with fast-growing economies to stop the corrupt from getting away with it. The G20 needs to prove its global leadership role and prevent money laundering and stop secret companies from masking corruption.

New Zealand has topped the index for several years.

Our second place is due to Denmark’s improvement not a reduction in our own performance but it is not something about which we can be complacent.


NZ still least corrupt country

04/12/2013

New Zealand is at the top of the global ranking for transparency, again.

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 Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.

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.


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