Integrity gone awry
29 September 2011
Integrity is about wholeness, the art of completeness, of doing everything properly. Leadership requires integrity. Leaders set the tone that others will replicate. The reality is that too few in leadership roles show a wholeness in what they do. Often they lack the appreciable completeness that inspires and influences others. Where people in public sector leadership positions act without integrity, public confidence in government suffers.
A blogger yesterday drew attention to the sort of behaviour which undermines confidence in political leaders. The Parliamentary Order Paper included several contentious Bills. Voting shows noes cast by a Member who now has a United Nations role in Afghanistan. It appears that there was a lack of wholeness about his resignation from Parliament. He deliberately made himself unavailable to participate in the business of the House but has relied on party voting arrangements to continue to influence parliamentary decision-making. He has not only left the country but is a salaried employee of the UN, tasked, ironically, with promoting measures that combat corruption.
Why are MPs not outraged? Maybe there are fewer distinctions between New Zealand and Australia than we like to believe.
The Sydney Morning Herald recently alleged that the Australian Public Service is as corrupt as State and local governments. The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption has announced an enquiry into corrupt conduct by employees in 110 agencies within the State. Australia is in a bad way if corruption is as equally widespread in the Federal Public Service. What are the implications for New Zealand?