6 December 2012

The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index was released yesterday NZ time. Two aspects were unsurprising – that New Zealand remained among the front runners as the least corrupt, but also that New Zealand’s standing primus alter pares is under challenge.

The top spot as the least corrupt under the CPI assessment process was shared with Denmark and Finland. New Zealand has shared “honours” previously with these countries. ( Today is Finland’s national day, marking the 1917 separation from Russia, but also the date in 1941 when Britain declared war on Finland because it was the enemy of Russia (then USSR). Whereas Finland shares least corrupt status with New Zealand, Britain shares 17th place on the CPI with Japan. Russia is placed 133rd.)

As blogged earlier this week, the rating on the 2012 Rule of Law Index was a portent of a jostling for the upper places. On that index New Zealand was marked down from top place for controlling corruption in 2011 and was positioned in 6th place this year.

Interestingly TI  explained that scoring for the best rated countries was helped by “strong access to information systems, and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions”.  New Zealand and Finland are among five countries in the top ten countries on the CPI which have stayed out of the Open Government Partnership.

2012 Least Corrupt Ratings   Transparency International and World Justice Project

LeastCorrupt TI Corruption Perceptions Index WJP  Rule of Law Index 
1 New Zealand Sweden
Denmark Denmark
Finland Norway
4 Sweden Finland
5 Singapore Netherlands
6 Switzerland New Zealand
7 Australia Singapore
Norway Australia
8 Canada Hong Kong
9 Netherlands Japan

Of general concern is the TI observation that “… many of the countries where citizens have challenged their leaders to stop corruption .. … have seen their positions in the index stagnate or worsen…”