Thumbnail Image

Clean and green with deepening shadows? a non-complacent view of corruption in New Zealand

New Zealand has long been regarded as a country with little or no governmental corruption. In recent times it has been ranked consistently as one of the five least corrupt countries in the world, on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). In 2009 and 2011 it was ranked as the single most corruption-free country on the CPI, and in 2012 it shared first place with Denmark and Finland. This paper examines the reasons why historically New Zealand has been largely free of governmental corruption, using widely accepted definitions of what constitutes corrupt behaviour. It goes on to argue that, at least by its own normal standards, the country might now be more susceptible to corruption, for a variety of reasons, in both the public and private sectors, and that more political and administrative attention may need to be paid to this issue. The paper discusses New Zealand’s surprising tardiness in ratifying the United Nations Convention against Corruption, an apparent reluctance that leaves the country sitting alongside other non-ratifying countries which have endemic levels of corruption in all its forms. In this context, the paper also notes some international dissatisfaction with New Zealand’s anti-money laundering legislation, enacted in 2009.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Gregory, R. & Zirker, D. (2013). Clean and green with deepening shadows? a non-complacent view of corruption in New Zealand. Paper presented to the 8th Annual Conference of The Asian Studies Association of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Tai Po, 8-9 March 2013.
© 2013 the authors