New Zealand may not be the corruption free zone that the world perceives, with a new survey claiming 3.6 per cent of people admit to paying a bribe in the past 12 months.
Commissioned by anti-corruption organisation Transparency International, the survey found 3.6 per cent of New Zealanders said that either they, or someone in their household, had paid a bribe in that time….. Transparency International pointed to recent high profile arrests by the Serious Fraud Office as a sign of increased corruption. NZ’s image tarnished by briberty survey.
NZ’s image tarnished by bribery survey, By Hamish Rutherford. The Dominion Post. December 10. 2010, p. A5. Previous surveys by Transparency International found that New Zealand was perceived around the world as among the least corrupt countries on earth, along with Denmark and Singapore.
Bribery levels were higher than Australia (2 per cent) and Britain (1 per cent) but below Singapore (9 per cent).
The survey interviewed 1291 New Zealanders this year and was carried out by Colmar Brunton.
It found 73 per cent of Kiwis believed the country was becoming more corrupt, with political parties, Parliament and the private sector viewed as the most corrupt, and the military the least corrupt.
Transparency International New Zealand director Murray Petrie said he was surprised by the result, and would have expected a figure under 1 per cent. However, it was naive to belive New Zealand was free of corruption.
“To say that we’re perceived to be less corrupt than elsewhere doesn’t mean we’ve got none.”
Transparency International pointed to recent high profile arrests by the Serious Fraud Office as a sign of increased corruption. Nick Paterson, SFO fraud and coruption manager, said little was known about the actual extent of bribery in New Zealand.
Establishing the extent of corruption was a “key focus” of the SFO, he said.
“Internationally, corruption is widespresad, so logic would suggest that if there isn’t corruption in New Zealand that it will find its way here eventually.”
Phil O’Reily, chief executive of Business New Zealand, dismissed the survey as a disservice to New Zealand.
“If nearly four out of every 100 people had paid a bribe in the last year, we would know about it … My honest belief is the real figure is so close to zero it isn’t funny.”
Source: NZ’s image tarnished by briberty survey. By Hamish Rutherford. The Dominion Post. December 10. 2010, p. A5.