Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: John Banks: what next?

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  • BenWilson,

    I don't think corruption is a meaningless concept, however much it might rely on perceptions to be rated. When you encounter the more blatant forms of it, then it sticks out like a sore thumb. In NZ, the idea of even attempting to slip a bribe to a police officer doesn't cross most minds. Getting through border controls doesn't involve giving birthday presents to the guards. It isn't normal here, when facing the bureaucracy, to find it completely intransigent until the routine kickbacks are given all the way up the chain. Buying judges is not a common way of winning a case. I've been to a number of countries where none of those assurances can be made.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    Excellent points, one thing I’m struck by in China is that while this behavior you mentioned is rife here, the nation has largely, as far as I’m aware, resisted pressure to avail itself of its national assets.

    I’m not sure asset sales fits comfortably within any traditional definition of corruption, but New Zealand’s sovereignty could be argued to have taken a dent or two in the last 30 years.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to mark taslov,

    avail

    = divest

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to mark taslov,

    Yes, having low corruption is not the same as being perfect. If a system is evil, it hardly matters that no one along the way will take a bribe, indeed that might only make it more evil. I don't think NZ is evil, but we do seem to give in to authority easily.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    = divest

    That's the word! Thanks Sacha I was on the way out the door, looking for something with a v, I'm glad you could parse that.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    but we do seem to give in to authority easily.

    Certainly, we proles do. Apropos Jon's post, is topping this kind of list a win? A corruption problem or a perception problem?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to mark taslov,

    A corruption problem or a perception problem?

    Read the questions asked in the survey. They're not just about subjective "Do you think your country is corrupt?" measures. "Have you bribed an official to move things along?" "Have you used contacts to move things along?" (both paraphrased) Those are objective questions.

    NZ does worse on the perception measures than on the objective ones. We think our country is run for business interests, for example. We don't have a problem with visible corruption as measured by actual experiences, which is why we score well, but we have just as much invisible corruption of national interest in favour of business as in other countries.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Read the questions asked in the survey. They’re not just about subjective “Do you think your country is corrupt?” measures. “Have you bribed an official to move things along?” “Have you used contacts to move things along?” (both paraphrased) Those are objective questions.

    I thought they were two different survey, leading to two different reports. May be wrong.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    The Transparency International report pulls together a bunch of other research, some of which is subjective analysis by "experts" and some of which is direct questioning of residents. So it's almost a meta analysis, but not quite. The full methodologies and sources are part of the information pack here.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Yeah, I’ve looked at that Matthew, they're relatively limited in the forms of corruption they're surveying and I feel you’re fudging it a little, if these are the questions which you paraphrased:

    • In your country, how commonly do the following firms pay bribes to public servants or
    public officials? (domestic and foreign firms)”

    • In your country, how common is it for firms to make undocumented extra payments or
    bribes connected with the following:
    a. Imports and exports?…

    More importantly, who ultimately reaps the benefits of us taking our high ranking at face value? The NZ corrupt must be feeling pretty confident right now.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to mark taslov,

    6: Have you or anyone in your household paid a bribe to one of these eight services in the last 12 months?

    There was another document I was reading on Friday, which I now cannot locate, which also had the other question I paraphrased (as well as this one) about having used contacts to deal with bureaucratic roadblocks.

    So no, I'm not fudging. I accurately recalled the question for which I have provided a quote, and of the two that is the more damning.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I thought they were two different survey, leading to two different reports. May be wrong.

    Yes they are, The Global Corruption Barometer to which Matthew has just linked was published on the July 9th and doesn’t feature country rankings. Andre was obviously referring to the CPI

    The fact that today the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International has declared, once again, that New Zealand is the least corrupt nation in the world, ranked equally with Denmark.

    Published on December 3rd. It’s been real.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    avail= divest

    Empirically, the error may be a corollary of corporal punishment. Though it could also be that late Middle English was the standard in Naenae

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    …and I fucked up.

    Which reminds me...

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW, in reply to mark taslov,

    one thing I’m struck by in China is that ... the nation has largely, as far as I’m aware, resisted pressure to avail itself of its national assets. I’m not sure asset sales fits comfortably within any traditional definition of corruption, but New Zealand ...

    avail = divest

    That's the word!

    Works both ways, I'm afraid - the NZ National Party with Banks' support is availing itself of our national assets, as in selling them off to its core supporters. A serious corruption of our system if Genesis Energy is substantially sold off as well, notwithstanding ...

    Only a few days left to vote in the referendum.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Thanks ChrisW, in the context of the sentence and the thread I'm pretty sure the more loaded 'avail' was what I was aiming for.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    A 10-day trial in May. Was not expecting that length.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    A 10-day trial in May. Was not expecting that length.

    That almost seems excessive. How long did the committal hearing take?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    A 10-day trial in May. Was not expecting that length.

    Does that suggest a lot of witnesses?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Well it sure isn't for briefing a jury.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Does that suggest a lot of witnesses?

    Yes. Presumably defence witnesses.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    "And we interrupt the Finance Minister's election year Budget to go live to our reporter, who is standing by for a verdict ..."

    Ooops.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    character witnesses :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    completely off topic - Graeme - care to comment on this

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    completely off topic – Graeme – care to comment on this

    I've known of a couple of other instances recently. It's legal. They don't need a particular reason. They can't require you to hand over your password when using their powers under that section. He'll likely get it back in a couple of weeks. Not sure how Christmas will effect that.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

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