International Anti-Corruption Day: NZ's good reputation brings risk

  • 09/12/2017

Kiwis are being urged not to rest on our laurels despite the country consistently being rated as having low levels of corruption.

Saturday marks International Anti-Corruption Day, and recent cases such as the Paradise Papers show New Zealand is not immune.

Transparency International New Zealand chair Suzanne Snively says it's all the more reason to promote open sharing of information.

"If we are complacent, we are extremely exposed. It's an irony isn't it, that on the one hand we have this excellent reputation; on the other hand, it makes us particularly attractive to people looking for places to hide ill-gotten gains."

In January, New Zealand was ranked by Transparency International as the first-equal least corrupt country in the world, tied with Denmark.

The country's low ratings for corruption could be painting a large target on our bank for those seeking to skirt tax laws.

Ms Snively says we need to know who's investing here.

"We continue to call for a public register of foreign ownership. We don't mind the assets being here - if people are bringing them in and investing in our stock market or Government bonds - but we want to know who they are."

This year's theme for International Anti-Corruption Day is ' United against corruption for development, peace and security'.

The UN estimates US$1 trillion (NZ$1.46 trillion) is paid in bribes and an estimated US$2.6 trillion is stolen annually through corruption


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