3% of New Zealanders Admit to Paying a Bribe as Corruption Increases in New Zealand

corruption

We here at E2NZ have known for some time that New Zealand isn’t free from corruption and that it has lax standards for identifying and curbing it (Read our Fraud and Dishonesty in New Zealand Wiki for further information)

Now Transparency International has revealed that 3% of Kiwis admit to paying a bribe. Countless others aren’t so honest but it’s a good start at dismantling the perception that there is a freedom from corruption in New Zealand. Ironically, something that Transparency International were once credited with starting. They have now laid that myth to bed with the statement

“There is a mistaken impression that New Zealand is somehow removed from bribery practices which are common place in the rest of the world. In fact, as we seek to strengthen our business and trade opportunities with countries that are commonly ranking poorly on anti-corruption indices, our exposure to illegal activity such as bribery is increasing.”

Furthermore, a staggering 65% of people surveyed thought that corruption had increased in New Zealand over the last two years. 44% said that the New Zealand government’s actions are ineffective in the fight against corruption and  88% of New Zealanders reported their willingness to sign a petition asking the government to do more to fight corruption.

You may wish to read this before reading Transparency International’s press release:  Transparency International New Zealand -not what it is cracked up to be . It has some information about the entities that fund the organisation and raises the question “can you be  part of a watchdog organization if you are the dog being  watched?”

For better or worse, here’s the TINZ press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 July 2013
Transparency International New Zealand
Wellington New Zealand
3% of Kiwi’s Report Paying a Bribe in Global Survey

“Transparency International today released the 2013 Global Corruption Barometer, and its key finding from the global survey of 114,000 respondents in 107 countries: bribery is widespread with 27 per cent of those surveyed globally reporting they have paid a bribe in the last 12 months when interacting with public institutions and services.

The New Zealand component of the survey involved 1000 New Zealanders and was undertaken by Colmar Brunton in January and February this year and found:
• 3% of New Zealanders surveyed reported paying a bribe
• Of those who reported paying a bribe their reasons for doing so were because:
o It was the only way to obtain a service (35%)
o To get a cheaper service (29%)
o To speed things up (21%)
o As a gift/gratitude (15%)
• 65% of those surveyed thought the level of corruption in New Zealand has increased over the past two years
Transparency International New Zealand Chair Suzanne Snively says she is not surprised by the research but acknowledges many will be.

“There is a mistaken impression that New Zealand is somehow removed from bribery practices which are common place in the rest of the world. In fact, as we seek to strengthen our business and trade opportunities with countries that are commonly ranking poorly on anti-corruption indices, our exposure to illegal activity such as bribery is increasing.

“Having a public sector that operates with high integrity provides an opportunity for the lower cost of doing business, access to quality markets, more satisfied customers, better shareholder return and the attraction and retention of employees who want to work for ethical organisations.”, she said.

“Internationally we are ‘perceived’ as a country of little corruption. We currently rank at the top of the annual Corruptions Perception Index which rates perception not experience. This reputation presents significant competitive advantages and economic benefits for New Zealand business. But we need to ensure that perception is reality.”

“There is no place for complacency for any of us whether we are at work, in school, or at board, management or government level in New Zealand. We must be vigilant about these matters and ensure we manage our risks actively and resoundingly” according to Snively.

Other New Zealand findings include:
• 44% responded that the New Zealand government’s actions are ineffective in the fight against corruption.
• 88% of New Zealanders surveyed reported willingness to sign a petition asking the government to do more to fight corruption.
All New Zealanders are encouraged to join TINZ; a strong national chapter is a very effective mechanism for systematically fighting bribery and corruption in New Zealand.

NOTES TO EDITORS
1. Transparency International is the global civil society coalition leading the fight against corruption – http://www.transparency.org/. Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is the local chapter of the global organisation – http://www.transparency.org.nz/.

2. Transparency International undertook the first Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) in 2003. This is the second time New Zealand has participated in the survey; the first time was in 2010.

3. About Transparency International New Zealand:
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. The local chapter works to actively promote the highest levels of transparency, accountability, integrity and public participation in government and civil society in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Transparency International New Zealand is currently undertaking a comprehensive assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems. The concept lead by Transparency International is the assessment of a country’s institutional arrangements for integrity from the perspective of fighting corruption and fostering ethical behaviour. It is a comprehensive assessment across 13 pillars, focussed on integrity, a concept that embraces a great deal more than a lack of corruption.
It will include research into selected governance issues important to New Zealand illuminate the reasons for the high standing of New Zealand’s institutions and identify any weaknesses that are not immediately apparent. Full results are expected to be released by the end of the year.
Visit http://www.transparencynz.org.nz for further detail on the work of Transparency New Zealand.”

One thought on “3% of New Zealanders Admit to Paying a Bribe as Corruption Increases in New Zealand

  1. Grace Haden of Anticorruption New Zealand states the following regarding corruption in New Zealand:

    I would love NZ to be the least corrupt and actually be the least corrupt not it being a perception/ an illusion….

    The reality is that New Zealand has a lot more corruption than the average person is aware of. If you want to know the level of corruption try reporting some….

    We currently have many agencies which claim to deal with corruption but most don’t even know what corruption is and as soon as the complaint involves another government department or agency they pass the buck .

    There are various forms of corruption and they are found throughout New Zealand. Many forms of corruption are so well entrenched that they are seen as acceptable when in reality they are not. By way of example look at Types of Corruption Found in Local Government‎.

    New Zealand signed the United Nations convention against corruption on 10 December 2003 . While there are many countries who have passed the concepts of the convention into law New Zealand has not….

    Many of the codes relate to public officials and how they should conduct their business , it is an excellent document the majority of the counties int he world have adopted it yet the least perceived country has not facilitated many of the recommendations prescribed by the articles in the treaty.

    The united nations convention against corruption deals with just about every form or corruption, you just need to look through the list and note how few of them are addressed in New Zealand. I have added my own comments based on my experience of New Zealand’s approach to each article, it will give you an insight as to why we don’t have corruption in New Zealand, its either condoned or its not seen as corruption.

    Article 5. Preventive anti-corruption policies and practices – No we don’t have these
    Article 6. Preventive anti-corruption body or bodies- No we don’t have these
    Article 8. Codes of conduct for public officials- No we don’t have these
    Article 9. Public procurement and management of public finances- No we don’t have these
    Article 10. Public reporting- No we don’t have these
    Article 11. Measures relating to the judiciary and prosecution services- No we don’t have these
    Article 13. Participation of society- No we don’t have these
    Article 14. Measures to prevent money-laundering- yes some if you can prove that you have enough interest in the matter.
    Article 15. Bribery of national public officials – yes we have measures but we still give the Christmas ham .. that’s not bribery is it ??
    Article 16. Bribery of foreign public officials and officials of public international organizations – We call them gifts .. so its OK
    Article 17. Embezzlement, misappropriation or other diversion of property by a public official-My case proves that this is alive and well .
    Article 18. Trading in influence- again my case proves that in New Zealand it is not what you know but who you know
    Article 19. Abuse of functions- Yes this is alive and well but not seen as corruption
    Article 20. Illicit enrichment- So whats wrong in making a bit off money off the side?
    Article 21. Bribery in the private sector – back to the Ham
    Article 22. Embezzlement of property in the private sector- Happens all the time
    Article 23. Laundering of proceeds of crime- Its Ok if you dont get caught but if you report it make certain that you have sufficient self interest or your will be sued
    Article 24. Concealment- Trusts faithful trusts NZ is full of them
    Article 25. Obstruction of justice – Our lawyers do it all the time the court is what you use to protect our white collar criminals.
    Article 26. Liability of legal persons – we confuse the courts with identities , bit of luck the judge wont notice that you are using a trading name or your company has switched names.
    Article 27. Participation and attempt- No that’s too hard to prove its uneconomic so we don’t bother.
    Article 28. Knowledge, intent and purpose as elements of an offence.. Most of our offenses have become strict liability offences and we enforce those they are much easier.
    Article 29. Statute of limitations… yes we have this Yeh!
    Article 30. Prosecution, adjudication and sanctions..no we have no one to report corruption to so how can we prosecute.
    Article 31. Freezing, seizure and confiscation.. we do this to the whistle blowers
    Article 32. Protection of witnesses, experts and victims- no whistle blowers are on their own as are the victims.Its better to sacrifice an honest person than to have the public lose confidence in a government department such as MAF
    Article 33. Protection of reporting persons.. No we leave them to themselves to fight off the white collar criminal in court.
    Article 34. Consequences of acts of corruption.. there are none
    Article 35. Compensation for damage..no hopefully the whistle blower will be bankrupted that will keep them quite.
    Article 36. Specialized authorities.. we’ve got them they specialist in writing off complaints
    etc

    http://www.anticorruption.co.nz/petition-for-an-independent-commission-against-corruption/

Comments are closed.