NZ among top nations in fighting corruption

  • Amy Adams

New Zealand has been reaffirmed as one of the top countries in the world for low corruption levels, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

In Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index released today, New Zealand was ranked fourth out of 167 countries on perceived levels of corruption in the public sector.

“Our ranking reflects the good systems we have in place for investigating and exposing corruption in the public sector. What’s more, we’ve demonstrated a zero-tolerance for corruption and bribery,” Ms Adams says.

New Zealand has a score of 88/100 – a slight drop from last year, where New Zealand ranked second on the index with a score of 91/100. New Zealand was ranked across seven different categories, and was placed in the top two in five of them.

“While the slight slip in rankings to fourth place is disappointing, the Government has strengthened our anti-corruption measures and enhanced transparency since the underlying surveys for this index were undertaken, which we would expect will have a positive impact next year.”

This includes passing the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill which increased the penalties for bribery and corruption offences in the private sector and introduced new offences. These provisions came into force in November 2015.

“New Zealand then formally ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 1 December 2015. The Convention is the first legally binding global agreement to address corruption in the private and public spheres. Ratification is a clear demonstration that New Zealand values a fair and corruption-free international trading system,” Ms Adams says.

“While New Zealand’s score and ranking on the index have dropped since last year, we are still perceived as one of the least corrupt countries in the world and held in high esteem internationally.

“New Zealand has a sound legislative framework to prevent corruption and enhance integrity. Amongst other statutes, our Crimes Act criminalises a broad range of corrupt activities, the Protected Disclosures Act protects whistle-blowers, and our Official Information Act ensures the public can access government information.

”The National-led Government takes corruption seriously and works hard to protect New Zealand’s clean and transparent reputation,” Ms Adams says.