A crisis of confidence in New Zealand political institutions and politicians is revealed in the latest Transparency International global corruption survey. The results for this country show that political parties in particular are perceived as being corrupt, along with institutions such as Parliament and the media. Transparency International surveyed 1000 people (using Colmar Brunton) about their perceptions of corruption. [Read more below]
Political parties are the institution seen as most corrupt in New Zealand according to the survey. On a scale of one to five, where one means ‘corruption is not a problem at all’ and five means ‘corruption is a very serious problem’, the average score for New Zealand political parties was 3.3. In total, according to the survey, 75% of New Zealanders believe that political parties are affected by corruption. 12% believe the parties are ‘extremely corrupt’.
The media is perceived similarly, with a rating of 3.3 out of 5 on the scale of seriousness, and 74% believing the media is affected by corruption.
Business, too, fares badly, with a rating of 3.1 out of 5, and 73% saying the private sector is affected by corruption to some degree.
Parliament is the next worst – 3 out of 5, and 63% saying its affected by corruption.
The public sector as a whole fares very poorly, with a 3.3 score out of 5. This suggests that New Zealand might have a more serious corruption problem than is generally assumed. New Zealand is normally seen as being at the top of the Corruption Perception Index, but on this measure, the country is in the middle of the pack. As a comparison, Denmark, which is often seen as having a similarly low-level of corruption, scored 2.2.
Corruption is seen as a growing problem by New Zealanders, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of New Zealanders stating that levels of corruption in New Zealand have increased in the past two years.
Also of concern, is the survey evidence that 3% of New Zealanders report paying bribes. This compares unfavourably to other comparative low-corruption countries such as Denmark (1%). Even Spain (2%) performs better, and Portugal is similar (3%).
Who runs New Zealand?
According to the survey, 79% of New Zealanders believe the country to be run by ‘a few big entities acting in their own best interests’.
Government effectiveness against corruption
New Zealanders are far from convinced that the government is effective in combating corruption. 44% believed that the New Zealand government’s actions are ineffective in the fight against corruption.
And in fact there was little appetite for a government solution to the problem. Of the 92% who said they would report corruption, only 36% said they would do so to a government hotline if it existed.
Below are some additional survey outcomes of interest:
Media coverage in New Zealand: