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National Integrity System Assessment Report Card

National Integrity System Assessment Report Card – Could do better

A culture of fear created by the National Government has been highlighted in a new report on integrity in the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“The National Integrity System by Transparency International NZ found four areas of weakness in our system: the funding of political parties; Parliamentary oversight of the Executive; the relationship between the political Executive and officials; and the interaction between central and local government.

“In each of these areas we have seen the Government compromise our high standards.

“The Government does nothing to dispel the impression it works in the interests of the few who provide it with substantial donations, instead of working in the interests of all New Zealanders.

“That is obvious for all to see in the Sky City convention centre deal, the Rio Tinto gift, the Warner Bros law change and the Anadarko permits.

“Public servants no longer feel able to give free and frank advice, particularly those in the health sector and in conservation. They are forced to constantly try to second guess their ministers and provide only advice the Government wants to hear. The Ruataniwha dam is a classic example.

“Local government officials and ordinary citizens have repeatedly lamented the Government’s intrusion into local democracy, such as the sacking of ECan and changes to Resource Management Act.

“New Zealand recently tied for first place with Denmark in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index because of the perception that the two countries’ public sectors have the lowest levels of corruption internationally. However, the National-led government has turned disdain for the public sector into an art form.

“Labour in Government will act on the recommendations of the report and restore the integrity of the public service,” Maryan Street says.


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