The people who do the corruption rankings must be corrupt

Because New Zealand only fell one spot, to number two.

Colin Hamilton writes:

New Zealand has fallen from its top spot as the world’s least corrupt country being pushed out by Scandinavian nation Denmark.

In the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index released today New Zealand was ranked the second least corrupt out of 174 countries.

The index which compiled by Transparency International, ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be.

A country’s score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

New Zealand’s score of 91 was second only to Denmark on 92.

Last year the two nations were tied on 91 and in 2012 they were tied on 90.

New Zealand was the only non-Scandinavian nation in the top five while Australia slipped out of the top 10 to eleventh place with a score of 80 points.

Now, depending on your political proclivities, you’d expect New Zealand to have plummeted.  Either because of the National Party and me, or because of Kim Dotcom, Hone Harawira, Laila Harre, Matt McCarten, David Cunliffe, Lyn Prentice, Martyn (Martin) Bradbury, and Russel Norman.

But either way, how did NZ only slip one rating point?

Bryce Edwards continues:

There is certainly something of a paradox in which New Zealand has a reputation as a politically clean country, but many of us experience something different. It could simply be that the international reports and investigations – which could be seen to have something of an elite-bias – do not capture the public experience. And in some respects they are blunt measures that cannot detect the more detailed dynamics of corruption and integrity in public life.

Perhaps for these reasons Transparency International also commissions other investigations and studies to provide complementary information on corruption. For example, last year’s Global Corruption Barometre showed a very different picture of public life in New Zealand. Based on surveys of public opinion, it showed that there is a crisis of confidence in many public institutions.

The results for this country show that political parties in particular are perceived as being corrupt, along with institutions such as Parliament and the media. For example, according to the survey, 75% of New Zealanders believe that political parties are affected by corruption. 12% believe the parties are ‘extremely corrupt’.

And what Bryce forgot to add was that we also have a problem with academics presenting themselves as neutral when there is sufficient prima facie evidence to prove otherwise.

Either way, I don’t think many of us would disagree that New Zealand still deserves to be at the top.  But it would be unfair to say that we haven’t noticed a general decline over the last 20 years where, how to put this tactfully, we lowered our own expectations as to what is acceptable and what is not.


– NZ Herald, Stuff


Footnote from Bryce
Disclosure: Bryce Edwards is on the Board of Directors of Transparency International New Zealand. However these comments are made in his personal capacity and should not in any way be seen as the view of Transparency International New Zealand.

That’s damned fascinating.  So people can wear different hats?  Like be a Prime Minister one minute, and a National Party leader the next?

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.