Summarised by Centrist
Professor Matevz (Matt) Roskovic says transparency, accountability, and strong anti-corruption measures are essential to safeguard ‘Brand NZ.’ Roskovic says that the safe, clean, green image that NZ enjoys abroad is worth nearly $100 billion dollars (Editors note: his wild guess), but can be squandered quickly as a result of poor governance. Already, New Zealand has fallen from 16th to 26th in the Global Soft Power Index between 2021 and 2023 and dropped to third in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
This decline not only affects international perceptions but also has economic implications, influencing the cost of finance, investment decisions, and market entry by global firms, which ultimately filter down to individual households and may affect such things as mortgage rates.
The CPI’s dip is attributed to perceptions among business leaders, especially concerning high-profile cases of COVID subsidy fraud, tax evasion, and insufficient governmental responses to issues like scamming and a lack of transparency in spending.
Australia improved its CPI score by establishing an anti-corruption commission and enhancing whistleblower protection. New Zealand’s government needs to ensure there is no perception of state capture by vested interest groups such as Tobacco and foreign property developers.
Image: Erlend Aasland