Fraud and Dishonesty In New Zealand Wiki

New Zealand is perceived as being the least corrupt nation on earth, but perception doesn’t match up to the reality.

This is the latest corruption news:

“A corruption inquiry at Auckland Transport has widened as a manager under suspicion has gone on sick leave.

The senior staff member is one of at least three Auckland Transport employees to have their computers seized as part of an internal inquiry into roading contracts…

Auckland Transport manager Murray Noone was fired last week after an internal investigation found “serious conflict-of-interest and performance issues”.

Noone was running a private consultancy business, Preside Consulting, while working for Auckland Transport.

Auckland Council member Wayne Walker said serious questions around contracts to large contractors had been raised. “The tendering process is increasingly shutting out the small and medium-size players,” he said…” Link

Many of New Zealand’s largest businesses listed on the NZX50 don’t pass some fundamental best practice ethics tests and fraud is rife in smaller businesses. Even, government departments are not immune as you can see from the data below, neither are universities free from “financial irregularities”

About half of New Zealand firms have experienced fraud a survey has found.

In 2011 the Pricewaterhouse Coopers Global Economic Crime Survey  found that 49.5% of respondents indicated they had been victims of at least some level of fraud.

New Zealand ranked fourth out of 78 countries as one of the most likely to experience fraud, slightly better than Britain, but worse than Australia and the United States. source

Another company KPMG has produced a fraud barometer for New Zealand

“…the incidence of ‘super frauds’ continues to drive the aggregate value of frauds to record annual levels.

Super-frauds are defined as cases where the value is greater than $3m.

KPMG Fraud Barometer – June 2011: – key insights

  •  Value of large fraud cases, defined as over $100,000, totalled $79.8m (down from $100m in the last period)
  • There were 29 cases in total (down from 30 in the last period)Of the 29 cases, three were ‘super-frauds’, these totalling $62.9m
  •  One of the super-fraud cases, a result of a ‘kiting’ scheme valued at $39.6m, accounts for practically half of the value of total large fraud cases in the survey period.

“These figures show that there has been no let up in large frauds continuing to occur and brought before the New Zealand courts. Fraud is a constant and serious threat to all sectors of the New Zealand economy, including commercial business, governments, non-profit organisations, and individuals,” says Stephen Bell, Head of Forensics at KPMG New Zealand…”

In July 2013 Transparency International revealed that 3% of Kiwis admitted to paying a bribe. Furthermore, a staggering 65% of people surveyed thought that corruption had increased in New Zealand over the last two years. We assume this has something to do with the Christchurch earthquakes and rebuild

If fraud and corruption in New Zealand is of interest to you perhaps you should take some time to read the Wikipedia page on this topic, the following is taken from it

“…the extent of corrupt practice in New Zealand is not entirely clear – even in the public sector. One especially blurred case involves the Corrections Department. In 2010 the Dominion Post reported that the Department failed to disclose to Parliament a huge contract it gave to one company by claiming that the company provides services and maintenance but “the contract is not to a contractor”.[27] That company was Honeywell – a multinational technology and security firm which Corrections used to install cell phone blocking technology. Originally budgeted at $6 million, the cost of the service blew out to $11 million. Several former Honeywell employees work for Corrections, manage Corrections’ contract with Honeywell and even approve payments to Honeywell.

The Dominion Post said the undisclosed contract was among hundreds of contracts worth tens of millions of dollars which Corrections has with consultants and contractors that were never tendered.[27] The editor of the Dominion Post was sufficiently concerned about the dubious nature of Corrections contracting arrangements to suggest there should be an independent inquiry.[28] A few questions were raised in Parliament about the Corrections Department’s procurement processes but no inquiry was held.

A much clearer case was that of former Auditor General and ACC boss, Jeff Chapman, who in 1997 was convicted of 10 charges of fraudulently using documents totalling $54,594. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.[29] One of the biggest public sector cases was that of Michael Swann who was Chief Information Officer of the Otago District Health Board. He was convicted of defrauding the DHB of approximately $16.9 million between 2000 and 2006 and was sentenced to nine years six months in prison. On a smaller scale, tax department investigator Alex Song, was sentenced to three months’ home detention in 2008 for soliciting $120,000 to make a tax investigation go away.[10]

The immigration section of the Labour Department also has problems with fraud. It has a fraud unit which investigates the sale of fake degrees, sham marriages and bogus job offers to aid residency applications to New Zealand. In 2005, former head of the immigration unit, Mary Anne Thompson, told the New Zealand Herald: “We come across many cases every year where people have tried to provide forged documents for qualifications, marriages that are not genuine…it’s pretty brazen and out there, and that’s a worry.” National’s Asian affairs spokeswoman Pansy Wong said she had spent years complaining to officials about the scams, but nothing had been done.[30]

Ironically, Ms Thompson was forced to resign three years later after using her position to help three family members from Kiribati gain residency.[31] In 2012 she was found guilty of fraud after pleading guilty to three counts of using a document for pecuniary advantage. She claimed on her CV she held a PhD from the London School of Economics (LSE) – credentials she used when applying for New Zealand public service jobs in 1989, 1998 and 2004.[32] Another high profile case involving a forged CV was that of Canadian John Davy who was appointed head of Maori TV after claiming he held a master of business administration degree. His case was taken much more seriously by the Courts; he was only in the job for three months but was sent to prison and then deported. According to one editorial, “he did no harm after dishonestly getting his job” while Ms Thompson benefited from her fraud for much longer but was simply told her offence was ‘out of character’.[33]

Here are some links to reports of fraud and corruption in New Zealand and Kiwis who are using fraud to maintain lavish lifestyles, some of them also have serious million-dollar gambling habits that result in the companies they work for being dragged to the brink of receivership.

The largest employee theft committed in New Zealand was by former ASB investment banker Stephen Versalko, who stole $17.8 million over nine years. source.

The largest (alleged) fraud in New Zealand’s history, involving $1.7 billion involves five people in the affairs of South Canterbury Finance. It is currently under investigation and will go to court in January 2012.” source

Despite stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars people are frequently sentenced to nothing more onerous than community service.

Click on the links to read the full stories:

A broad view

Fraud is hurting the not-for-profit (NFP) sector and more needs to be done to police the issue according to accounting firm BDO. BDO’s 2012 Not-For-Profit Fraud survey shows that reported fraud is down 19% to 12% there are concerns fraud is still going undetected. There is a “it won’t happen to us” attitude within the NFP sector, BDO’s NFP sector leader Bernard Lamusse said.

“While the majority of respondents (86%) agree that fraud is a problem for the sector as a whole, only 8% believe it’s a problem for their individual organisation. This could also explain why 72% of respondents still don’t see a great importance in fraud prevention,” Mr Lamusse said.

A major concern is the significant rise in amounts stolen via electronic funds transfer and online banking – on average costing an organisation $370,000, which accounts for nearly half of the total value of fraud committed.” more here NBR


Kiwis “using fraud to maintain lavish lifestyles”-  Individual cases of Fraud, Deception, Theft or Corruption

  1. mis-treated
    August 19, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    how interesting! halleluyah we seeing the other side of hidden in worldwide media abt newzealanders

  2. William Boot
    March 16, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    New Zealand worse country for mutual fund investors

    http://www.newzealandtaxation.com/2011/03/new-zealand-is-worst-country-for-mutual-fund-investors/

    “The survey examined 22 countries on the general criteria of “investor protection, transparency, fees, taxation, and investment distribution.”

    “Disclosure was judged as New Zealand’s worst area…”

    Not surprising for those in New Zealand, at least those that actually pay attention instead of believing all the BS they hear.
    I’ve seen many reports about lack of transparency in NZ government and business dealings, also lack of regulation, since I’ve lived here. It sure does help explain how NZ has a reputation for percieved lack of corruption. They don’t even have proper checks and balances in place! Also, they don’t investigate much here. Investigative journalism, such as it is, is meager and substandard. I think too, the definition of corruption is very narrow. Although conflict of interest is just about the norm, I don’t think NZers consider this corruption.

  3. fodder2n
    May 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    http://www.transparency.net.nz/about/

    “Imagine therefore our surprise that when four people who have actively campaigned against corruption were denied membership of transparency International .

    We do not believe that we should select who joins our organization because we are pro active about exposing corruption and the Lack of transparency and not proactive in covering up so as to preserve the perception .

    It appears to us that Transparency International New Zealand is not very transparent and we question the motives of those who run it in directing their attention to dealing with ” the MACRO” and being concerned with corruption in ” the Islands “ while giving the biggest pacific” island ‘ of them all a corruption perception index which surpasses that of the rest of the world.

    We at transparency NZ believe that we would rather live in a corrupt country knowing it is corrupt than to live in one which claims it is least corrupt.”

  4. fodder2n
    June 8, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I am in favour of medical marijuana, prescribed professionally and used carefully (at home, not when driving etc.), so I am not an anti-drug prude, but we had a moving crew show up with a huge lorry reeking of dak fumes inside the cab and may other brushes with casual drug use in New Zealand. These are very large vehicles hurtling along narrow, curving roads. As are buses, planes, trains, SUVs, vans and other vehicles potheads here operate while high. The victims may be elderly, children or non-drug-users.

    Pot politics in New Zealand -:an escape from hopelessness?
    http://cannabisculture.com/articles/1330.html

    “A new report from police paints a grim picture of the New Zealand drug scene with more young people using opiate drugs, world-leading rates of methamphetamine use, and an entrenched and “self-sufficient” cannabis culture.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4159836/New-Zealands-drug-culture-laid-bare

    “Any attempt to clamp down on the cannabis culture is a wasted effort that is doomed to fail. It’s part of being Kiwi now..”
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Clamping-down-on-cannabis-culture/tabid/1341/articleID/156360/Default.aspx#ixzz1x9KpKg94

    This last article makes a good point when it suggests that quiet and thoughtful is better than loud, drunk and aggressive. But cannabis legalisation advocates fail to see that 1) their thinking occurs with a tunnel effect which iacks perspective and impairs holistic awareness because it fails to take many external stimuli and details into account and juggle-prioritise them in a functionally efficient way; 2) unless you are high all the time, you will have to deal with reality as it exists, minus your numbing drug. Many cannabis users are impossible to be with, moody and yes also AGGRESSIVE at this time because their drug has been withdrawn. 3) it causes users to be paranoid to an excessive degree outside of actual measures taken by society to restrict their usage; and 4) it victimises family members who need them to fulfill certain roles; 5) it aggravates many mental illnesses, adding another layer of warp to already-existing unrealistic ideation.

    Cannabis is so acceptable here and so much a part of the fabric of their culture (police “persecution” is negligeable) that I have heard of partners’ pot use around children called into question in New Zealand Family Court cases, but entirely dismissed as a problem, even if the partner was buzzed for hours a day while having toddlers in custody, and for all intents and purposes entirely disinterested in ensuring the children’s full well-being. Parents like these create a burden on the family’s micro-“economy” by creating passive-aggressive drag and forcing the other partner to function more highly in order to pay the bills, for example by working longer hours or taking on more work. It is unfortunate then that parents like these can falsely claim their hours were filled with “nurturing and child care” while the other parents were “absent or angry workaholics” and have it swallowed without question by the courts.

    One person’s “freedom” may mean the downfall of his family, or as a road statistic – someone else’s. It may be half-futile to stem the tide like they try to do in the U.S., but abandoning the fight entirely or ignoring the extent of it is not acceptable either.. New Zealand needs to get real about its drug problem. It has an especially deleterious effect in the schools and on the roads.

  5. P Ray
    June 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm
  6. TH in the zone
    September 24, 2013 at 2:25 am

    Threatening to call the police over a set of food store toy giveaways to raise money for a coffeemaker? This insane uproar would never happen where wife and i live now. Which is not in Noo Zeelund. Are all these complaining Kiwis honest otherwise? Remembering New Zealand the way we do now, I seriously doubt it. They have a serious case of glasshouse stonethrowing over there! Seeing everyone else’s flaws but their own. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9199177/Little-shop-of-horrors

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