No corruption in NZ? Of course there is

People think New Zealand has no corruption. Of course there is, and here is why…little or no penalties.

A private eye who has helped two clients lay bribery charges under the Secret Commissions Act in the past month says the penalties need updating as they haven’t changed in more than a 100 years.

Danny Toreson of Thompson and Toreson Investigations would not name the clients, but said: “One is a commercial organisation and the other is a government body”.

The Secret Commissions Act is the main law outlawing staff taking backhanders for awarding work and contracts without their employer’s knowledge. For example, a government worker could give a contract to a company in return for a secret payment or benefit. 

But despite a rising tide of secret commissions charges being laid, an update of the act is long overdue.

“We have had an increase in dealing with matters concerning allegations of corruption and bribery,” Toreson said.

Maximum penalties under the act amount to only a $2000 fine for a company and up to two years prison for a person, which Toreson says is a “bit light”.

“It needs a massive overhaul.”

It doesn’t need an overhaul, it needs a whole new law which also creates and Independent Commission against Corruption


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  • GazzW

    Corruption has always existed in NZ. Modern technology has just exposed it for all to see.

  • Cowgirl

    Wherever there are people, there will be corruption.

  • toryboy

    The problem with this act is not that the penalties are low, but that few in the private sector would want any sort of prosecution –

    1. The sales manager of company A pays backhanders to the purchasing manager of company B to gain large monthly orders.

    2. Company A doesn’t want to lose the business of Company B

    3. Company B doesn’t want it known they are “open for business” – (in all sorts of ways haha!)

    4. It is in no one’s interest for any sort of prosecution.

    5. This sort of thing is not only commonplace (like eating and breathing) but was occurring a lot earlier than 1910.

  • blokeintakapuna

    Totally agree… And the corruption is so wide spread and cancerous, we even have a situation where the media’s self-regulating industry body, the Press Council, now has unions/financiers of the Labour Party as an imbedded part of the very watchdog charged with keeping politicians and elected officials honest.

    How credible or corrupt would their “impartial” outcomes be?

    Corrupting a system or process is just as corrupt as political nepotism and cronyism or attempting to re litigate an election using someone else’s money using a non binding process as the medium.

  • Dave

    1) Lets not reinvent the wheel. Get a copy of the ICAC law from Australia, remove references to Australia etc, insert NZ.
    2) A budget of say $50Mill a year, all proceeds to their operating costs.
    3) Start with an inquiry into the unions rorts and corruption.

  • WABloke

    You want to see corruption in action? Check out the workings of the the Waitangi Tribunal.

    • Night Stick

      And the law firms raking it in.

  • thor42

    There have been countless instances of political parties flouting the Electoral Act and never being held to account. That’s one of the most easily-seen aspects of corruption here. It seems that the politicians have a nudge-and-a-wink agreement with the police that such things will not be followed up.

  • John Phillips

    You don’t have to scratch the surface very deeply to find a great deal of corruption. Get ready for a lot more, as we import hordes from countries where corruption is a well established way of life. And the Waitangi Tribunal is corruption personified.

  • KinaRolf

    New Zealand is one of the worst polluting, corrupt and racist countries in the world, and now they are suppressing freedom of expression as well.

  • Whanga_Cynic

    and, according to the SST, if we didn’t overpay our judges so much, they would all be corrupt, too.

  • Rex Widerstrom

    creates and Independent Commission against Corruption

    Amen to that. Watch the cockroaches scatter as the searchlight falls on their activities. I always roll my eyes when NZ finds itself near the bottom of international corruption indexes, which don’t measure the more sophisticated forms of corruption such as secret commissions and ‘noble corruption’ amongst law enforcement, for instance.

    Till we have a mechanism through which ordinary citizens can blow the whistle and have things properly investigated, we’re deluding ourselves.

  • Mr_V4

    There is no corruption in NZ, only a bunch of people who:
    * Are focussed at getting on with the job.
    * Can’t recall or remember.
    * Are only guilty of trying too hard for their constituents.

    You might laugh at these excuses but for some reason they work.