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NZ's public sector the least corrupt in the world

The New Zealand public sector once again tops the charts for integrity, prompting state services minister Tony Ryall to praise public servants for leading the world in transparency.

The New Zealand public sector once again tops the charts for integrity, prompting state services minister Tony Ryall to praise public servants for leading the world in transparency.

Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2011 was released yesterday and New Zealand is again ranked in first place.

New Zealand has either been ranked first, or equal first for the last six years of the survey.

“New Zealand’s consistent reputation for integrity in the public sector has been reinforced by this ranking. The lack of corruption makes us a desirable place to do business internationally and meets New Zealander’s expectations of fairness.

“It’s very encouraging that this year New Zealand alone achieved the top position, having moved ahead of the countries that we shared first equal place with last year, and I would like to congratulate New Zealand's public sector," Ryall said.

The index ranks 183 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, with results drawn from 17 different expert and business surveys.

Countries are ranked on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt). New Zealand’s public services received a score of 9.5.

The full findings are available at www.transparency.org.

The public sector union said the news came as no surprise.

Public Service Association national secretary Brenda Pilott said: "We know that the continued public service ethos – the willingness to go the extra mile – is a great asset which helps put New Zealand in the top echelon of government integrity and effectiveness internationally.”