Call to remove business bribes but no calls to remove the other ones

Parliament’s being urged to crack down on call facilitation payments in business which a lobby group says are little more than bribes.

The law and order select committee considering the Organised Crimes Bill has been asked to outlaw the payments which will send a signal that New Zealand is beyond corruption.

Transparency International New Zealand chair Suzanne Snively says this country has a reputation as one of the most corruption free nations on earth.

But Ms Snively warns that reputation could be tarnished unless facilitation payments are outlawed.

She says they’re paid overseas, particularly in Asian countries, to get something like a shipping container through customs more quickly.

Suzanne Snively seems to have forgotten to include the most insidious “facilitation” payments of all. ?You know the ones:

  • Payments to bless something
  • Payments to rid an area of a taniwha
  • Payments to ensure any of a dozen local Maori groups can’t find offence at you doing your legal business

I’m all for open and honest. ?I’m all for transparency. ?What I detest is that we’re going to beat up business for doing it, but?Transparency International New Zealand doesn’t have the stones to call out the cultural stand-over tactics that exist in this country.

Until then – talk to the hand Suzanne.


– Barry Soper, Newstalk ZB