Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) Chair, Suzanne Snively visited “Civic Leaders for Clean Transactions Integrity Fiji” (CLCT Integrity Fiji) last month to work together on an approach to address corruption.
While there, she was invited as the guest speaker by the Fiji National Sports Commission Talanoa.
Corruption in sport
She discussed how integral sport is within the DNA of both Fiji and New Zealand.
Both countries have excellent athletes and take a great deal of pride in their successes.
Because of this, it is important to avoid the tendency to turn a blind eye when it comes to cheating at the sport.
Particularly vulnerable are our youth and teens where the rules about the use of performance-enhancing drugs are unclear or non-existent.
Many experience long term health issues and dependencies that disqualify them at the professional level if they succeed in getting there.
Youth are also vulnerable because they can be tempted by relatively small sums of money.
Online gambling challenges
With the growth of on-line gambling, led by corrupt individuals, young people involved in sport, even from small, rural teams, can be groomed and bribed to fix a game.
It is critical to deal with issues of integrity in sport now. It is important that all our athletes learn to compete fairly, and we work to keep drugs, corruption, fraud and bribery out of sport.
Practical steps needed
The Fiji Sun covered the event Put it into practice, says Snively in the same edition that covered the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians team’s initial game at the Rugby World Cup.
Ms Snively’s visit to Fiji was arranged by CLCT Integrity Fiji who has developed a partnership with the Fiji National Sports Commission. The latter provides sport governance policies to all 45 sporting bodies.
Governance integrity workshop
While in Suva, Ms Snively facilitated a governance workshop for the CLCT Integrity Fiji team to assist in contextualising their anti-corruption work.
The topics covered included (a) Policies around governance and behaviour (b) Innovative ideas about fundraising (c) Suggestions for improvements to their Strategic Plan 2020-2022.
Transparency International New Zealand and CLCT Integrity Fiji have a long history of working together to oppose corruption in the Pacific.
Source: Transparency Times (October 2019) of Transparency International New Zealand.
Transparency International New Zealand Chair Suzanne Snively