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Transparency International releases integrity findings

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) has released the first wave of its emergent findings in its independent review of New Zealand's National Integrity Systems with a public forum at Victoria University, Wellington.

TINZ Executive Chair, Suzanne Snively said that the work has been undertaken to understand if New Zealand is as good as it is perceived. "New Zealand ranked as having the least corrupt public sector, scoring 90/100 on the TI Corruption Perception Index. This is very good but there is room for improvement".

"What we cannot deny is that the world perceives us as number one. What we need to remember is that the issues in review are central to and relevant for the whole of New Zealand. This is not something that is nice to do; this matter is being treated with great depth and seriousness".

"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. The objective of the assessment is to keep New Zealand as good as it is perceived", she said.

Emergent overall findings across the pillars of the Judiciary, Electoral Management, Ombudsmen and the Supreme Audit Institution (in New Zealand's case the Office of the Auditor General) found that high standards of independence, integrity and accountability were generally met, although areas for improvements were noted. New Zealand also scores highly for fiscal transparency.

The media pillar, procurement and environmental integrity systems were also assessed as having areas for improvement.

An overview of the Pillars Assessment to date can be found at www.transparency.org.nz.

A second wave of initial findings will be presented in July and will relate to further New Zealand public sector findings including the legislation and executive, civil society and business.

The New Zealand public are invited to provide feedback on all findings as they emerge through the TINZ website www.transparency.co.nz. Recommendations will be prepared only after public consultation. The final report is to be released on 27 August.

The first National Integrity System Assessment of New Zealand was undertaken was part of a multi-country project lead by the TI Secretariat in 2003.

Transparency International's work to assess New Zealand's integrity systems was welcomed by Minister of State Services Jonathan Coleman and Labour spokesperson for State Services Phil Goff.

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