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Perception everything when it comes to corruption

Transparency International’s latest report that shows New Zealand’s reputation as one of the least corrupt countries has taken a hit is a timely warning about becoming too complacent, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2014 ranks the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians of 175 countries on a scale of 0 to 100.

“Since 2006 New Zealand has been ranked, with various other countries, at number one. That is no longer the case, and in a year that has seen its share of reports into unsavoury political and public sector activity it should give everyone pause to think.

“While it is noted New Zealand’s failure to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Corruption - which most countries have ratified and which we are moving to rectify with the Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Legislation Bill - has played a part in the downgrade, increased perception of corruption can be hugely damaging in terms of public trust and the economy.

"Good governance, transparency and vigilance in the face of a changing globalised environment are all key of we are to maintain a well-functioning democracy. Today’s report shows we cannot take anything for granted if we want to maintain our hard fought for reputation.”