Sep 27, 2008

New Zealand Least Corrupt Country In The World

Poneke has a thoughtful post today on the 2008 Transparency International Global corruption survey.

Now Poneke has a bit of a rant about bloggers and members of the mainstream media who would suggest that we are not totally without corruption. We don't agree fully with his case.

The reason we are upset with politics at present is that, for the first time in our lifetime here in New Zealand, we have blatant corruption at play. In part it is due to one person, but also it is a consequence of our MMP electoral system, which has allowed Pork Barrel politics to really come into play here.

We want New Zealand to remain the least corrupt place on earth. And given political inaction - again a consequence of MMP - it has fallen to bloggers and the media to fight the fight. ACT with its two members of Parliament has been staunch all along, and it has been great to see National, Green, United and Maori parties all line up against the offender also. If Labour would join the others we would be happy and the issue could be removed from the political agenda.

Fortunately we don't need to worry for much longer, the public will vote for a clean up on 8 November and then the enquiries can really start - scampi, hoki, racing, organised crime - all can be investigated without political interference, and hopefully we will be an even better role model for the world than we are right now.

However, we do need to learn from this and put processes in place to stop this issue coming to the fore in future. One solution would be to change the electoral system. Another would be to create a powerful and totally independent anti-corruption commission.

While, with one group aside, we are largely free of corruption at central government level, we are less confident about local government. An ICAC could usefully focus attention in that direction.