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)
Nowhas 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 . 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.”
- GLOBAL POLL: Corruption has worsened… (cbsnews.com)
- Transparency International: Corruption in PH decreased a little (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Map: Which country pays the most bribes? (bbc.co.uk)
- One in 4 admit to paying bribes in last year, global survey shows (business.financialpost.com)
- Corruption getting worse, says poll (bbc.co.uk)
- Interdean Responds to New Zealand Encouraging Overseas Students to Study at its Universities (prweb.com)
- Global corruption survey reveals one in four people bribed in past year (guardian.co.uk)