Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption

Even Australia has an Independent Commission Against Corruption with wide powers.

### Sunday, 11 May 2014
Sunday Serve
The curse of the C-word
By Colin Espiner – Sunday Star-Times
OPINION: There are still a few words in the English language that are unacceptable in polite company. There’s the N-word, for example, as Jeremy Clarkson has found out to his cost in the UK just recently. The F-word is starting to become more acceptable, but it’s still a little strong for a family newspaper. In Parliament, you’re not allowed to use the H-word; for reasons too banal to go into here, MPs are forbidden to call each other hypocrites in the Debating Chamber (although liar, cheat, fraud and fool are all fine). Then there’s the C-word, still the last taboo in New Zealand at least. I refer, of course, to the word corruption, which, along with economic depression, is something we don’t have here, OK?

New Zealand just seems to hope it doesn’t happen here.

But corruption is a slippery, insidious disease that is difficult sometimes to diagnose or even recognise. It can become so endemic that participants may not even identify their behaviour as corrupt or even wrong. Although there are many definitions of corruption, the one I think best sums it up is “the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest”. And given political events of the past few weeks, it is a term that has been bandied about quite a bit.
Read more


Last week, the ODT used the word fraud in the same ‘breath’ as Forsyth Barr Stadium (see Saturday’s In Brief report of Bev Butler’s submission to the DCC Annual Plan hearings).

Related Posts and Comments:
9.5.14 DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 Submission by Bev Butler
11.5.14 Stadium: DCC proposes extra funds for stadium debt repayment

Good Read:
9.5.14 Stuff (Fairfax News) Stadium could cost Dunedin ratepayers millions

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Business, Democracy, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management

9 responses to “Stuff: Colin Espiner usefully defines Corruption

  1. alanbec

    In The Press/Stuff: “Forsyth Barr is a Great Big Carbuncle, says Court”. The Court Theatre actually, complaining about the nearby Christchurch F. B., formerly Robert Jones House.

    {Link -Eds}

  2. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    No Elizabeth, the money goes to pay the monkeys we would be better off paying with the original peanuts. What we have to understand in New Zealand is that the public service is a halfway house between the old Seaview house for the insane and unemployment.

    Yesterday the bloodbank approved allowing HIV sufferers to donate blood one year after anal sex between men. Given that HIV takes up to ten years to develop to be able to be tested positive, such a decision could really be life threatening should one need a blood transfusion. Monkeys! At the same time they allowed people to build on a swamp in Christchurch and now that the area has AGAIN proven that the city council staff were incompetent in Allowing building in that area. Monkeys! In Dunedin the Public Servants we have running Dunedin have run up a $650 million debt and the flip we elected to mayor will not find anyone guilty. In Auckland the city council employees allowed the builders to build houses which leak. Monkeys!

    We have the monkeys, they will not be found guilty and they will not resign, in fact they managed recently to add three people when they repositioned two, they are growing, you are paying and only a concerted effort by ratepayers and tax payers to reduce them will assist Dunedin and ultimately Christchurch and New Zealand.

    Today in the Australian budget, reported by the government-owned TV station proven to be a hotbed of Labour and left thinking potential politicians, [the government] approved the removal of 16,000 public servants. It was seen as good for New Zealand??? Good we will get all the ne’er do wells that left for the Australian social welfare system and the sun and they will be back in New zealand. You will pay more for that if they come.

    This is the best news for Australia in many years.

    That quantum of lost public service jobs should be the aim of any ratepayer or taxpayer.

    When the public service employ one more person you will pay more.

    Only a public servant could see that as a fair bargain.

    • Comments posted to wrong thread, originally (my fault).

      Submitted on 2014/05/14 at 8:49 pm | In reply to John P.Evans, concerned citizen.

      John, I posted this at ODT Online (‘Agreement on ethical investment‘) not long ago, although frankly I’d rather take scalps.
      They might not publish. [since published this morning, 15.5.14] Without saying, I include all New Zealanders dependent on fossil fuels… the whole population of these isles ie).

      Eeek, MacTavish’s position is “”UNSUSTAINABLE””.

      Apology due, no longer cute
      Submitted by ej kerr on Wed, 14/05/2014 – 8:22pm.
      Cr Jinty MacTavish owes Dunedin ratepayers and renters large apology for making the city look bug-eye stupid in the national headlights – in the matter of banning council investment in fossil fuel extraction industries.

      The National-led government – and New Zealand people involved in this lucrative industry – has it that prospecting for oil and gas is part of our export future. So it should be.

      The council’s actions are unlikely to assist central government investment in our region. Clearly, DCC is no longer led by conservative mainstream interests that support work and investment in the existing regional economy or its prospective development.

      Note the names of those councillors who thankfully cannot support MacTavish and her entourage.

      This is my vote of No Confidence in Cr Jinty MacTavish.


      John P.Evans, concerned citizen
      Submitted on 2014/05/14 at 8:38 pm

      The fishermen natives of Taiaroa Head and owners of the Otakou wharf say that the spring tide levels and the neap tide levels have been the same since they started fishing. They are not talking about aince the pakeha came.

      The concept that the sea level may rise is a possible, it may fall that is a possible.

      The possibilty of climate scientists being employed in the private sector is an unlikely one. My daughter is a greenie, an honours marine biology graduate who cannot get a job in the public or private system.

      So the reality is that the greatest proponents of the climate change mentality, Al Gore and climate scientists ALL have a vested interest in charging you the taxpayer more for a possible rise (or fall) in sea levels.

      The second issue is man’s contribution. That is a major case of megalomania.

      Over time we have had the flat earth society, the tulip boom, the south seas bubble, chicken little, Auckland property prices, the earth revolving around the sun- all populist ideas that proved wrong or at worst inconclusive.

      Al Gore, Jinty Mctavish, and now the Dunedin City council have conned you or someone near you.

      But keep paying the minimum 3% rate increase or 10% as they will no doubt announce. Being a victim has its merits.

      There has not been a 3% annual wage rise in ten years. What justification can the DCC demonstrate to rob wage earners or anyone else to pay more than their current share?


      John P.Evans, concerned citizen
      Submitted on 2014/05/14 at 10:06 pm

      The thing that flabbergasts me and I hope others is that these monkeys, muppets and disgraced politicians, have a fiduciary duty to improve the Waipori Fund’s performance to potentially reduce rate increases for ratepayers. They have no moral duties, they have fiduciary duties!

      We must remember that the earlier muppets including Jim Harland, the reducer of the National roads potential contribution to South Island roading costs, SOLD the Waipori ethical power scheme to private investors.

      So the double whammy, sell the Waipori water scheme (ethical) and erode the potential returns on the Waipori funds by limiting the fund managers.

      Breathtakingly Stupid.

      But of course we have few intelligent business people on this or any New Zealand council. What we have is unemployed and unemployable idealists, disgraced politicians, tv presenters. Previously, we have had bankrupt guitarists, disgraced and disbarred lawyers, and I could go on further without defaming anyone, but you get the idea.

  3. jeff dickie

    He wasn’t a guitarist. However, he did suffer from the same affliction that has blighted Mayor Cull and several fellow councillors, “lead singers’ disease”!

  4. Anonymous

    I believe employees are often the first to sense something is off but are unable to voice their concerns or are penalised for speaking up, even if they’re genuinely trying to help the business.

    He says in medium to large businesses, fraud is often carried out by a male in an executive position. “They tend to be a bit of a bully around the office, requiring that actions are carried out without room for questions,” he says, “and they know how to get around the controls.” […] He says that last year Deloitte saw “half a dozen cases where the employees knew something wasn’t right but didn’t tell anyone because they weren’t sure what to do and how they would be protected if they spoke up”.

    People in positions of authority in a workplace who are aggressive, bullying towards others should also be treated as an indicator of possible fraud. Guilt and fear of being caught has a way of manifesting itself as a tendency to shutdown further discussion.

    ### Saturday, 12 July 2014
    How to spot a fraudster
    By Narelle Henson

    Behind the sheer glass walls of the Deloitte Centre in Auckland Central Business District sits Ian Tuke. He’s a forensic tax accountant, it’s his job to detect irregularities in the rational world of numbers. In other words, it’s his job to detect fraud.

    You might think, given New Zealand’s squeaky-clean image on almost every international corruption measure, that he’s not a particularly busy man. But at least three times a week Deloitte’s forensic team get a call from distraught, emotional business people who have just discovered large amounts of money missing from the company coffers. Either hundreds of thousands, or millions have gone missing.

  5. Peter

    I see on page 3 of today’s ODT, in brief, ‘a prominent New Zealander’ has been charged with ‘serious offences’…blanket name suppression granted in the meantime. Remanded at large till February 19.
    Only a matter of time till posthumous disgrace…..if they are lucky…..falls on some famous sons and daughters.

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