New Zealand should not dilute quality governance

Apurv Shukla

High principles of puApurv Shuklablic sector governance and responsibility are essential to strong democracies. These ensure transparent, effective and proficient use of public resources in the wide range of entities that make up New Zealand’s public sector.

These above factors were addressed by former Controller and Auditor General Lyn Provost as the Guest Speaker at the Seventh Annual Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture held on Monday, August 7, 2017 at Alexandra Park, Greenlane, Auckland.

The theme of her Lecture was, ‘Transparency: A New Zealand Taonga – Reflections for our Current and Future Governance,’ was well-attended by corporate leaders, politicians, government officials and thinktanks of the society. The event was an opportunity to ascertain how New Zealand’s growth and success is intertwined with a public sector that is trustworthy and the least corrupt in the world.

Lecture Leaders

Medtech Global Limited Executive Chairman Vino Ramayah was the Master of ceremonies. Nirvana Health Group Director Ranjna Patel provided Perspectives of the theme of the Lecture, while former Labour Member of Parliament Dr Rajen Prasad provided a critique of the Lecture under ‘Reflections.’

In his curtain-raising speech, Former Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand outlined the shape that he visualises for the Annual Lecture series that is held in his name. He said that the event delivers to a discerning audience, a worthwhile contribution to the discourse about principle and law and governance.

Veritable Partnership

Ms Provost emphasised the partnership between good governance and accountability, determining public faith in the government and the public sector, both of which are funded by taxpayers.

New Zealand has been fortunate to have stable governments with able and trustworthy leaders throughout this millennium. These governments may have been led by different political parties, but the longevity and success that they enjoyed were due to their clean and transparent governance, she said.

According to Ms Provost, credibility will be a major factor in the forthcoming general election. Personalities of the leaders will play a part, and the Party seen as the best qualified to govern will win, she added.

Risk Management

Speaking about risk management, she said that the strong foundation of the public sector withstood the shocks of the Global Financial Crisis and Christchurch earthquakes. These bring the focus back to the economy and the vision of political parties regarding the future for New Zealand business.

An honest and responsive government was ranked fourth (behind good education, better healthcare and better job opportunities) by the United Nations-led ‘My World Survey’ in 2015. For political parties, this can indicate the issues for their campaigns.

Ms Provost described how the New Zealand Police made conscious efforts to represent multicultural New Zealand better.

New Zealand now occupies the top position for clean governance on Transparency International’s Global Corruption Perceptions Index.

Whether the country will maintain its record depends on the quality of governance of the future governments.

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Photo Caption:

Sir Anand Satyanand, Vino Ramayah, Ranjna Patel and Dr Rajen Prasad at the Lecture.

(Picture by Sai and Narendra Bedekar, Creative Fotographics)

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