A global anti-corruption agency has again ranked New Zealand first, equal with Denmark, in a list of the least corrupt nations in the world.
The Corruption Perceptions Index, released today by Transparency International, scores New Zealand 87 out of 100 in the annual ranking of public sector and judiciary perception.
New Zealand has frequently ranked in the top spot, or near the top, in the annual list.
The chair of Transparency International New Zealand, Suzanne Snively, says there is much to celebrate about our trustworthy public service ranking.
"We know fraud and bribery exists in New Zealand, and we see instances of this happening in central and local government. But we also know that when it is found out, serious wrongdoing is investigated and prosecuted. That is one of our strengths," she says.
Justice Minister Andrew Little also touted the ranking today.
“New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” he says.
“Since coming to office, this Government has launched a public information campaign to raise awareness about the problem of money laundering by domestic and foreign criminals here in New Zealand called Keep Our Money Clean.
“We’ve strengthened New Zealand’s democracy by making several important amendments to our electoral law, including making it easier for New Zealanders to enrol and vote.
“Most recently we have banned foreign donations, sending a clear signal that foreign interference in our democracy is not welcome," Mr Little says.
The Corruption Perceptions Index is the most widely used indicator of corruption worldwide.
New Zealand was ranked first equal out of 180 countries on perceived levels of corruption.