31 October 2018

Yesterday’s NZ Politics Daily lists 19 social media items commenting about the Minister of Immigration exercising his discretion to grant a residence visa to Mr Sroubek (who once upon a time gained resident status as Mr Antolik ) an imprisoned drug smuggler and criminal associate of the Hell’s Angels, whose responses at a recent parole hearing were described by the Judge chairing the Parole Panel as self-exculpatory, evasive, long-winded and …. manifestly untruthful.

None seems to understand the Minister’s motivation. Few are sympathetic to his refusal to give reasons for his decision. Some infer from the Minister’s actions that his advisers persuaded him that the Czech Republic is a corrupt and lawless society where Mr Sroubek would soon fall victim to extrajudicial killing should he be repatriated. The Opposition immigration spokesperson is agitated by such a portrayal of the Czech Republic, a long-standing EU democracy.

But how does the Czech Republic measure up as an effective, corruption free, politically stable democracy committed to the rule of law and the well-being of its citizens? The Worldwide Governance Indicators provide a sound basis for comparison. Although not placed like New Zealand in the 90 – 100 percentile on the WGI six dimensions of good governance, the Czech Republic is in 75 – 90 percentile for five of the dimensions.  However, it drops to the 50 – 75 percentile for the Control of Corruption, aligning it with states like Italy, Spain, Hungary, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Latvia and Greece  – and ahead of Central and South America, most of Asia and Africa, Russia etc.

The International Civil Service Effectiveness (InCiSE) Index provides a similar sort of picture. Of the 31 countries in the pilot survey, the Czech Republic (Czechia) is ranked 28th – with a hopeless tax administration and weak integrity systems.  Canada topped the Index, New Zealand was second helped by a very strong integrity rating, and Australia was third.

Worldwide Governance Indicators 2018


New Zealand Czech Republic
Voice & Accountability



Political Stability / Absence of Violence



Govt. Effectiveness



Regulatory Quality



Rule of Law



Control of Corruption

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