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New Zealand least corrupt country

The world believes New Zealand is the least corrupt country – but we shouldn't get complacent.

Charlotte Woodfield
Thu, 01 Dec 2011

The world believes New Zealand is the least corrupt country – governmentally speaking.

This is according to Transparency International’s just-released Global Corruption Perceptions Index. New Zealand last year tied for first place with Denmark and Singapore, with Finland and Sweden close behind (see infographic below for 2011 listings, click to expand).

Compiled in Berlin, using assessments from experts and members of the business community, the index of 182 countries shows that New Zealand is perceived as the least corrupt.

The index has consistently shown New Zealand as a country with a strong reputation for clean government.

“New Zealand’s reputation for clean government is an important driver of economic prosperity,” said Transparency International New Zealand Co-Chair Claire Johnstone. “It is important that we do not squander or take for granted this reputation.”

Don’t get complacent

The New Zealand chapter of Transparency International warned against using the country’s performance on the index as an excuse for complacency.

It urged the incoming Government to expedite necessary reforms in order to maintain New Zealand’s reputation. 

“The Corruption Perceptions Index is a measure of perceived public sector corruption only,” Transparency International New Zealand Director Suzanne Snively said.

“It does not address private sector corruption, nor does it serve as a measure of the broader public perception of corruption issues.“

How many countries are highly corrupt in 2011?
(click to expand)

Still some cause for concern?

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer released in December 2010 showed that 3.6% of New Zealanders surveyed reported that they or someone in their household had paid a bribe to a service provider in the previous year. 

And a recent survey by the Office of the Auditor General showed that 22.5% of public servants were aware of fraud having occurred in their organisations.

Ms Snively said although New Zealand signed the UN Convention Against Corruption almost 8 years ago, it was now one of only a tiny number of countries which has not yet ratified the convention.

“Consideration of the convention has been languishing in select committee “other business” for more than two years. 

“We strongly encourage the new Government to address this urgently.”

Charlotte Woodfield
Thu, 01 Dec 2011
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New Zealand least corrupt country