Transparency International Flags Warning Over NZ’s #DirtyPolitics Debacle, Corruption Taints NZ Reputation

Transparency report highlights our dirty politics

A new report by Transparency International has called for “serious and urgent action” to protect government integrity and highlights the dirty politics played by National, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“This latest report highlighted concerns about appointments to boards and high level public sector positions, a decline in the quality of public service advice, transparency around lobbying of MPs and Ministers and government independence from business interests.

“One example was the Prime Minister’s involvement in direct negotiation with SkyCity over the convention centre in exchange for changes to gambling rules. The Office of the Auditor-General found a lack of due process led to a perception of favouritism. Transparency International also said National’s decision-making process failed to meet ‘established principles of fiscal transparency’.

The report also stressed the need for the Government to reassure the public it is using its powers in the public interest, especially with respect to appointments. New Zealanders deserve better than John Key phoning his old school friend when the Government Communications and Security Bureau was looking for a new boss.

“Unfortunately, the report’s first two recommendations rely on the Justice Ministry to lead a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy and develop an ambitious Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership.

“It would be perverse for that to be overseen by Judith Collins, whose integrity is under question after becoming repeatedly embroiled in scandals involving favourable treatment of her friends and family.

“The Justice Minister’s use of her Ministerial position to advantage her husband’s company Oravida stands as an example of everything we need to guard against. Her release of the private details of a public servant to a destructive blogger make her unfit to oversee a plan for open government. She clearly misunderstands the term. New Zealand would be a laughing stock if she was in charge.

“There is much work to be done to clean up our systems and maintain our reputation internationally. However, John Key and Judith Collins are not the people to do that,” Maryan Street says.”

Press release from the NZ Labour Party.

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3 thoughts on “Transparency International Flags Warning Over NZ’s #DirtyPolitics Debacle, Corruption Taints NZ Reputation

  1. > Dirty secrets, like those that plague this country, can no longer be contained.

    Except … few outside the E2NZ community care about any one story. This a long-term campaign for cumulative pageviews, and the hearts and minds of the global community.

    Kiwis could care less whether some disgruntled expat from the UK or US posts a critical video on YouTube that gets …. drum roll please …. 5,000 views. And even then, how many of those viewers will be outraged kiwis quick to rubbish the video and post hateful comments? The same goes for negative tweets on twitter – they only serve to rally self-righteous kiwis in cyberspace. It is easy for the faithful to equivocate and point the finger back at the source of disapproval, and unless a story makes Campbell Live repeatedly, it will have little or no domestic impact.

    However, the gradual accumulation and weight of the truth will eventually affect opinions and attitudes. It will require sites like E2NZ and Kiwisfirst to continually (re-)publish the stories that offer a compelling, critical, alternative perspective that is sorely lacking. As this site continues to grow in popularity – and hopefully spawn other kindred sites – new readers will be confronted with other viewpoints that contradict the bogus myths of the New Zealand PR machine. As more people who interact with New Zealand adjust their view of this not-so-magical kingdom, kiwis will be forced to wake up – and grow up. But this could take a long time.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. The image the world has of New Zealand is changing rapidly. The list of areas where the truth about this country is shown to be VERY different from how it is presented is growing all the time.

    New Zealanders like to behave like they are living in the 1970s and can hide all the incompetence, fraud, corruption and violence that defines New Zealand society from the rest of the world by relying on geographical isolation. But, in the digital world of the 21st century this approach doesn’t work. Dirty secrets, like those that plague this country, can no longer be contained. When any individual with a computer (or smartphone) is capable of posting information online such as videos on Youtube, or make comments on social networks such as Facebook that can be spread to hundreds (sometimes thousands, sometimes tens of thousands) of people around the world in seconds, the truth is exposed very quickly.

    Maybe a part of it is how backward the country is. Maybe New Zealanders don’t realise how much more advanced a genuine first world country is, and how much faster the pace of life is once you get away from a country that operates in permanent slow-motion.

  3. anyone remember how smug they were about their 100% Pure Transparent government in New Zealand, and how we couldn’t believe the extent to which they kept the corruption under wraps in order to maintain that rating? Maybe the wrap has finally split open, revealing the rotten contents!

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