Corruption elsewhere challenges Kiwi businesses

This is a good year to examine the question of standards of governance in the corporate sector.

New Zealand enjoys an enviable position at the top rating level with regard to absence of corruption.

Transparency International, whose headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, published the regular Corruption Perception Index (CPI) on December 6, 2012 following the most recent study.

Considerable information is assessed by specialist researchers examining material from sources like the World Bank and the Economist Intelligence Unit, before coming up with a rating and score.

New Zealand’s latest rating, which is shared with Denmark and Finland, is Number 1 and its score out a possible 100 is 90.

Our hallmark

This creditable state of affairs speaks well of a number of things – the trust that New Zealanders can have in their public sector, the dislike of New Zealanders for unfairness and the lack of tolerance for corruption.

It would not have gone unnoticed that two recent holders of office as Government Ministers have faced the courts and been convicted for unlawful conduct in the nature of corruption.

It is hoped this kind of approach will remain in place and will continue to be a hallmark of New Zealand.

The CPI Study is external and considered remotely.

External Index

Every so often, in many countries, there is a study undertaken within the country, of its institutions and practices to test their durability and to emphasise, if that is possible, the ‘External Perception Index.’

That study is under way during the first months in New Zealand by the local Chapter of Transparency International with the research being led by a team under the direction of Liz Brown, former Banking Ombudsman.

Its results will emerge in midyear.

There is a broader challenge immediately ahead for the country in that New Zealand, having traditionally relied on trade and export of commodities and services, has done so with countries where similar standards prevail in both public and private sectors.

However, the era ahead will emphasise trade with a number of countries in new areas where standards and practices with regard to tolerance and presence of corruption are much different.

It will be increasingly important for New Zealand companies to maintain approaches where there is resistance to payment of bribes and facilitation fees, which are not warranted by price or service.

Relevant topic

Thus, the Lecture, in the writer’s name in July entitled, ‘Transparency: Myth or Reality?’ to be delivered by notable Auckland based international businessman, Vino Ramayah, portends an insightful look at this territory by someone who has recent and relevant experience of business in a number of settings.

The Lecture will be at the junction of the events described.

Hence, the statement at the beginning about this being a good year for discussion has a relevance.

Sir Anand Satyanand is former Governor General of New Zealand. He is also the Patron of the New Zealand Chapter of Transparency International. He holds a number of other posts both New Zealand and overseas. Among these are Head of the ‘Expert Advisory Group on Information Security’ established recently by the New Zealand Government, Chairman, ‘ Commonwealth Foundation’ of The Commonwealth based in London (as announced on January 29, 2013) and Member, Board of Governors of the ‘Indian Development Foundation for Overseas Indians’ of the Indian Government, based in New Delhi.

About Vino Ramayah

Vino Ramayah is a corporate leader known for his business acumen with wide-ranging interests in many parts of the world.

Vino has been involved in the development, growth and management of healthcare technology companies in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

He has lived and worked in several countries including England, Singapore, and South Africa.

Born in Singapore, where he completed his early schooling, Mr Ramayah served as a Commissioned Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces during his national service.

Lawyer & Pilot

He obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree from the University of Singapore, a Master of Laws postgraduate degree from the University of London and a Diploma in Airspace Law from the London School of Economics.

He is a Member of the Royal Aeronautics Society and a qualified solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Singapore.

He is a qualified pilot and a flying enthusiast.

He practiced corporate and commercial law internationally in several countries and served as a Director of a number of multinational companies in the Asia Pacific, particularly in the aviation industry.

Winning solutions

Mr Ramayah is the Executive Chairman of Medtech Global Limited, a publicly listed company on the ASX. The Company has been providing award winning technology solutions to the primary healthcare sector worldwide for 28 years.

Under his leadership, Medtech Global has expanded its offerings in Australasia in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare, and increased its market share in New Zealand, Australia, India, Ireland and the US.

Mr Ramayah is also Chairman of Cereus Holdings Limited, an investment holding company whose investments in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and Europe include health and bio-informatics, bioscience and information technology.

He is Chairman of Bionova Holdings Limited, a biotech company involved in tissue engineering based in Melbourne, Australia.

The New Zealand government appointed him as a Trustee of the Asia New Zealand Foundation in 2002 based in Wellington. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation.

He lives in Auckland with his wife and three children.

About the Lecture

The Indian Newslink Sir Anand Satyanand Lecture has been structured as a mark of respect and tribute to Sir Anand Satyanand, who retired as the Governor General of New Zealand after five years in office on August 23, 2011.

The inaugural lecture, at which Mr John Allen, Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade was the Guest Speaker, was held on Monday, July 4, 2011 at Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland. The theme of his Lecture was, ‘Shaping New Zealand’s Future: Leadership, Law and Laughter.’

The Second Lecture was held on July 30, 2012 at the same venue, at which BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly was the Guest Speaker. The topic of his lecture was, ‘Good Governance: Who wins, the Shareholder, the Public or Gordon Gekko?’

Sir Anand, Lady Susan Satyanand, Indian High Commissioner, Judges of High and District Courts, barristers, solicitors, lawyers, Ministers, leaders of political parties, Members of Parliament, businesspersons and consultants were among the attendees of the event, which included cocktails, followed by Dinner and Lecture.

Vino Ramayah, Executive Chairman of Medtech Global Limited and other companies will be the Guest Speaker at this year’s Lecture, to be held on Monday, July 29, 2013, beginning with cocktails (from 630 pm to 730 pm) at Stamford Plaza, Auckland. Further details will be published shortly.

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