Corruption becomes transparent in Botany

If this National/ACT Government thought that the departure of (Ethnic Affairs Minister and National MP) Pansy Wong would switch the light off the corruption issue, they could not have been more mistaken.

I will be standing as an independent candidate in the Botany by-election on an Anti-Corruption and Pro-Genuine Transparency platform, in order to focus as big a public spotlight as possible on these issues.

I prepared and distributed a ‘New Zealand Corruption Reality Checklist’ at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) of Transparency International held in November in Bangkok.

It is high time that New Zealand got its domestic house in order and established a legislative framework to prevent and fight corruption, whilst promoting and ensuring transparency and accountability in the Local and Central Governments and within the Judiciary.

I predict that the up-coming Botany by-election will assist this process, which I believe is long overdue.

It is also my prediction that these anti-corruption issues raised in the Botany by-election will have an impact on the 2011 General Election.

I addressed issues concerning transparency, conflicts of interest and democratic accountability with the Auckland Council at the Auckland Town Hall on December 16.

I spoke about the serious lack of transparency regarding information not made available to citizens and ratepayers of the Auckland region.

I also detailed developments with the ‘railroading’ of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2010 and implications regarding the application of ‘due diligence’ to the current seven New Zealand United Water contracts and the continuing persecution of Water Pressure Group members over disputed water services accounts.

Penny Bright is Spokesperson of the Water Pressure Group based in Auckland and an Anti-Corruption campaigner. She was a Mayoral candidate at the recently held Local Government Election for the Auckland Council.

Least corrupt nation should also be transparent

Has NZ ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption? NO

Does NZ have an independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and preventing corruption? NO

Do NZ laws ensure transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central government level? NO

Do NZ Members of Parliament have a ‘Code of Conduct’? NO

Do NZ Local Government representatives have a ‘Code of Conduct’? YES

Is it an offence for elected representatives to breach the ‘Code of Conduct’? NO

Is there a lawful requirement for a publicly available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives? NO

Is there a lawful requirement for a publicly available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for procurement? NO

Is there a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued,’ including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector and Local Government (Council) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny? NO

Is it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government public finances be undertaken to substantiate private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective? NO

Does NZ have a legally enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for the Judiciary? NO

Are all Court proceedings recorded and audio records made available to parties who request them? NO

Is there a lawful requirement for a publicly available Judicial ‘Register of Interests’? NO

Is there a lawful requirement for a publicly available ‘Register of Lobbyists’ at the Ministerial level? NO

Is there a legal requirement at the Central and Local Government levels for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period, from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector? NO

Is it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of public majority that can determine whether public assets held at Central Local Government level are sold or long-term leased via Public-Private Partnerships? NO

Is it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at the Central or Local Government level? NO

Do NZ laws promote and protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistle blowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at Central and Local Governments and within the Judiciary? NO

Prepared by Penny Bright for the 14th Annual Conference of Transparency International held in Bangkok on November 14, 2010

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