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New Zealand Again Tops The Corruption Perceptions Index

The New Zealand public sector and judiciary has again been ranked the least corrupt in the world.

The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index released today by global anti-corruption organization Transparency International ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark, with a score of 88 out of 100. This score reflects a one point improvement from last year.

Compiled annually, this index ranks countries worldwide by perceived levels of public sector corruption.

Over the past nine years New Zealand has vied with Denmark and Finland to be the first-ranked country with the least corrupt public sector.

"It is great to see that the integrity of New Zealand public service has again kept us at the top of the Corruption Perceptions Index.This is a formidable achievement." says Anne Tolley, Chair of Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ).

"Doing the things that make it possible to maintain this position over time has been good for our economy and good for our democracy. It is hard won, but easily lost, as can be seen from the ranking of other countries.We can't be complacent," Mrs Tolley adds.


COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis, but a corruption crisis too. Over the last year, reports of corruption during COVID-19 have spread across the globe.

Corruption undermines an equitable response to COVID-19 and other crises, highlighting the importance of transparency and anti-corruption measures in emergency situations.

"This is where New Zealand government agencies need to improve transparency" says Julie Haggie, Executive Director of TINZ. "Public trust in the government's response has been built on a high level of transparency, for example on the causes of change in rates of infection and of operational practices. This is being undermined by inadequate reporting on COVID-19 procurement."

"The full impact of the global pandemic on the CPI will not be seen for a year or two, but the firm but open response shown by our whole parliament strengthens our reputation as a fair and safe country to trade with and to visit. At the same time crisis breeds corruption and we must stay vigilant," she adds.

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