New Zealand no longer least corrupt county in the world

New Zealand can no longer call itself the "world's least corrupt country."

New results show New Zealand has been kicked off the top spot of the world’s least corrupt country, falling to second place in global corruption measurement.   

The Corruption Perceptions Index announced today saw Denmark overtake New Zealand as the country with the lowest level of perceived corruption in the public sector.

The index ranks every country in the world on a scale of zero to 100.

Denmark moved up one point from last year’s score, sitting on 92 while New Zealand scored just under the Scandinavians at 91.

Transparency International New Zealand chairwoman Suzanne Snively says an obstacle to New Zealand leading the index is its failure to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) over the past 11 years.

"Our ability to ratify was delayed until the legislation required to deal with corruption offences was put in place.”

Mrs Snively says New Zealand’s ranking as the second most trusted public sector in the world reinforces there is still much more to do to protect our good reputation.

"This ranking of the public sector belies the fact that New Zealand companies are facing increased exposure to risks of corruption as we increase our trade and operate increasingly in countries where corruption practices exist.”

She adds New Zealand companies are urged to take the risks to New Zealand's reputation seriously and to ensure their staff are supported with policies and guidelines about what to do.

Business NZ chief executive Phil O'Reilly says it’s important employers train their staff to ensure the integrity of the country's reputation.

"We must continually improve our anti-corruption performance in business as well as government to maintain the very best standards in the world.”

North Korea and Somalia scored just eight points on the index, both sitting at the bottom of the 175 countries in the index.

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