Does the public trust the institutions of defence and security to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in their establishments?
New Zealand score: NS/100
The public view the defence establishment as entirely indifferent to corruption within it, or as clearly corrupt, without the political will to tackle the problem.
The public view is that bribery and corruption are not, according to official rhetoric, acceptable to the defence establishment, but there is a widely-held belief that this is just that: rhetoric, and not seriously intended.
The public view is that bribery and corruption, though not acceptable to the defence establishment, is insufficiently addressed by the measures in place to tackle the problem.
This indicator is not scored. Please discuss conditions in the country context related to good practice (Score 4).
The public view is that there is a clear commitment from the defence establishment that bribery and corruption are not acceptable and must be prosecuted, and that their efforts to tackle the problem are sincere and effective.
This indicator is not assigned a score in the GDI.
The Assessor has found nothing substantive to indicate any legitimate concern by the public surrounding issues of bribery and corruption in the defence and security sector. New Zealand consistently ranks among the least corrupt nations and this would logically be reflected in the public’s trust of defence and security institutions . A high profile court martial of a senior officer charged with having an intimate relationship with a subordinate while deployed with the United Nations to the Sinai was publicised . The media’s reporting presented a “matter-of-fact” story, which suggests an inexperienced commentary . Indeed, another news outlet had an addendum to its piece entitled “What is a court martial?” . Additionally, a significant section of the text within the NZ Herald article included quotes from NZDF personnel, which perhaps speaks towards a lack of understanding around the extent of the charge and its effects on morale. Such reporting appears to coalesce with the aforementioned lack of defence knowledge among New Zealand journalists. The lack of interest suggests that public trust in defence institutions, although somewhat detached, remains stable. A more serious matter was the inquiry into Operation Burnham which revealed systematic inadequacies of reporting within the NZDF . While these did not directly relate to issues of bribery and corruption, as it was an operational matter, the failings identified raise questions about whether such inadequacies extend into other areas of the NZDF. In saying that, the report found no evidence of criminal activity, and by in large, the public has a good opinion of defence.
1. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2019#; NZ Herald, “New Zealand ranked world’s least corrupt country”, 24 January 2020, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12303119
2. NZ Herald, “Court martial for senior army officer accused of relationship with subordinate”, 2 March 2020, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12313244
3. NZ Herald, “Senior army officer who slept with subordinate guilty of breaching orders”, 5 March 2020, https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12314073
4. “Court martial for alleged sexual relationship between senior officer and captain”, Stuff, 3 March 2020, https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/119929365/court-martial-for-alleged-sexual-relationship-between-senior-officer-and-captain
5. Terence Arnold, and Geoffrey Palmer, Report of the Government into Operation Burnham and related matters (July 2020), https://operationburnham.inquiry.govt.nz/assets/IOB-Files/Report-of-the-Government-Inquiry-into-Operation-Burnham-print-version.pdf
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