It’s really funny how New Zealand always manages to land the number one spot for the country with the least corruption. Transparency International makes use of their so-called Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) to determine the rankings of different countries according to public views and opinions regarding political corruption in their country and localities.
Wrong or Blind Perception
In the year 2013, there have actually been some high-profile corruption cases in the country especially in terms of electioneering. These scandals were explicitly reported by local and world media. So why is it that people still seem immune to all of these things? Is it just because New Zealanders like looking at the bright side? Well, I’ll be very frank with you. If we continue to look at our politics with rose-colored glasses, we’re bound to keep rotting deep within. Our government system might eventually crash, bringing down with it all sectors of society.
Open your eyes and ears, everyone! Be wary of what’s actually happening in our local government offices. It’s up to regular citizens of our country to expose the well-hidden corruption in the local councils.
Importance of Awareness
It’s important for us to be fully aware of what’s happening in our local governments and in our own communities. One way to increase our awareness is to be familiar with the different types of political corruption that usually occur in local councils. Here they are:
- Bribery- This refers to the acceptance of money by a government official in exchange for a special favor he can accomplish through his authority and official powers.
- Patronage- When someone in position chooses less competent people to be given jobs or special assignments over more able ones just so he can better promote his interests and implement what he wants, then this is considered corruption by patronage.
- Nepotism and Cronyism- This means the favoring of relatives and friends for employment or when negotiating and closing business deals.
- Electoral Fraud- This refers to illegal ways of interfering with the official electoral process.
- Embezzlement- When a government official steals funds that are entrusted to him or to his office, this is embezzlement.
- Extortion- This is the case when someone is threatened or harmed not only physically but in terms of properties and reputation, for the purpose of obtaining money, services, actions, and more.
- Kickback- When there are misappropriated funds that are allocated to a particular organization from the office of a government official, he may be given a certain portion of these funds to serve as his “kickback”.
When you’re better acquainted with these different types of corruption that often take place in the local government, you become more alert and able to detect them. You might be hearing things and simply ignoring them. You might even be working close to someone doing one of these forms of corruption. Please don’t let it go.
Loving this country doesn’t mean being blind to the corruption occurring right under our noses. It doesn’t mean only focusing on what’s good about NZ so that we can be known around the world as a great country with the least corruption. It’s not about image, but reality. Let’s expose the evils of our local councils and work toward a better future for our country and children.