The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

Help ‘Public Watchdog’ Penny Bright ‘blow the whistle’ at Transparency International’s 14th Anti-Corruption Conference 10 – 14 November 2010!

16 October 2010

Transparency International are holding their 14th Anti-Corruption Conference from 10 – 14 November 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand.

It is Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – that New Zealand is supposed to lead the world.

I want to ask Transparency International heavyweights – to their faces, how on earth NZ can be ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – when we have so little genuine transparency in so many areas?

Issues I intend to raise, include, but are not limited to the following:

1) Because details of ‘contracts issued’ are not published in local or central government Annual Reports, residents and ratepayers, and taxpayers don’t know where billions of dollars of public monies are being spent.
We are NOT being given the ‘devilish detail’ of the name of the contractor; the value, term and scope of the contract. If NZ was truly ‘transparent’, this information would be published in Annual Reports so it was available for public scrutiny.

2) There is no mandatory statutory requirement for ‘Registers of Interests’ for local government elected representatives, or council staff responsible for signing off contracts worth hundreds of millions of citizens and ratepayers hard-earned dollars.


3) There has never been any ‘due diligence/ cost-benefit’ analysis since the last council amalgamations; of the ‘contracting-out’ model; or of the Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) model – yet the Auckland $UPERCITY has been forced upon the public of the Auckland region without a binding vote of citizens and ratepayers.

4)There is no ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ MPs.

5)NZ Ministers can hold shares.
(Australian Federal Government Ministers cannot.)

6)There is no ‘Register of Lobbyists’, so that there is transparency regarding who is lobbying Ministers, and on whose behalf.

7) There is no ‘quarantine period’, particularly for Ministers, when leaving public office for the private sector.

8) NZ has no equivalent ‘INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION’, ie: we have no statutory third party ‘Public Watchdog’ which is tasked with PREVENTING corruption and corrupt practices.

The Police, SFO, Office of the Auditor-General, all deal with complaints AFTER the event.
(If they bother to act after they have been provided with facts and evidence.)

9)NZ has very little legislation which enforces transparency in public office, but has been pushing through legislation which encroaches on the privacy and civil liberties of ordinary citizens.
(Search and Surveillance legislation).

10 ) NZ lacks the most basic form of transparency in our judiciary when court proceedings are NOT recorded. Particularly in the High Court, I have witnessed and personally experienced the failure to record proceedings, and failure to provide transcripts or recordings of proceedings.


11) Judgments made in public courts are being suppressed by Judges making ‘Court Orders’ based on ‘judicial discretion’ – NOT the ‘rule of law.

12) Members of Transparency International New Zealand, after denying membership to citizens actively fighting corruption here in New Zealand,had Police arrest two of us after denying access to the Transparency International NZ AGM on 9 November 2009 – International Anti-Corruption day.


When 125 people donate $20 – I will have enough money to get to and attend this Conference.

Any donations will be an ‘investment’ in the fight against corruption in New Zealand!


Account Name: P M Bright
Account Number: 38-9010-0725719-00

Hope you can help!



Penny Bright
Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”.


28 September 2010

Setting the global agenda
Innovation and change

2010 IACC hosts

This November more than 1,000 people are heading to Bangkok to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges at the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC). Since 1983, the conference series has served as the leading international platform for those committed to advancing the global governance agenda. The importance of transparency and anti-corruption has steadily risen on national, regional and international agendas. Yet the challenges we face today – a global economy still reeling from a severe recession, a global community lacking consensus on a binding climate agreement, and stumbling progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals – have eroded public trust in governments and institutions.

The 14th IACC seeks to address these challenges head on with its theme “Restoring Trust: Global Action for Transparency”. Under that banner, participants and visionary speakers from civil society, business, government, academia and the media will address the following issues at five plenary sessions and more than 40 workshops:

>> Global peace and security

Insecurity caused by illegal networks destabilises social, economic and political orders worldwide, while individuals, especially the most vulnerable, bear the biggest cost – in many cases with their own lives.

>> Fuelling transparency and accountability in the natural resources and energy markets

So many of the countries endowed with great natural resource wealth remain home to some of the world’s poorest people. Fostering greater transparency and accountability in the extractive industries is critical to improving people’s lives and our environment.

>> Climate governance: ensuring a collective commitment

The effects of climate change are already being felt around the world, requiring a globally coordinated response. Transparency and effective monitoring are crucial to ensuring corruption does not undermine climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

>> Strengthening global action for an accountable corporate world

A lack of transparency and failed oversight triggered the financial crisis, leading to a crisis of investor confidence and public trust. The time has come for financial markets to be forged in the spirit of transparency and accountability to the benefit of everyone.

>> Reaching our millennium development goals

World leaders have recently met at a UN summit to determine how to build on progress made in the past decade towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Removing the brakes corruption puts on development will be key to accelerating progress in the remaining five years.

A key objective of the IACC is to bring practitioners and decision makers together to create change and confront the view that corruption cannot be beaten. The Bangkok IACC will offer multiple platforms to foster creativity and thematic exchanges. A special feature will be the People’s Empowerment Initiative, organised as an open format BarCamp, where a small number of speakers deliver 20 minute inspirational speeches on their areas of expertise. Priority issues for the People’s Empowerment Initiative include:

* Social media, social monitoring, whistleblowing and complaint mechanisms
* Citizen engagement in collective action, and the application of technology and marketing for social outreach and activism
* Empowering the victims of corruption through civil and criminal litigation.

Following the speeches, participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas in an open marketplace. The People’s Empowerment Initiative sessions will take place on days two, three and four of the conference.

For the first time the IACC, in collaboration with the host country, will welcome the Leadership Forum, a round table discussion facilitating a cross-country dialogue between heads of state. Participating leaders will be announced on in early October.

A much anticipated highlight of each IACC is the conference declaration. The IACC declarations serve as testimony to the spirit of the conferences. The Guatemala Declaration drawn up at the 12th IACC, for instance, records the commitment of Central American countries and the Dominican Republic to a corruption-free zone. Drawn up during the conference, the Bangkok Declaration will capture the essence of the 14th IACC discussions.

The IACC facilitates exchange and dialogue between people from around the globe who share a common vision: eliminating corruption. If you would like to attend please visit and register before 31 October 2010. Onsite registration will be available during the conference.

Confirmed speakers include:

* Alan L. Boeckmann, Chairman of the board and CEO, Fluor Corporation
* Prof Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Director for the Centre for the Study of African Economics, University of Oxford
* Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
* Ashok Khosla, President, International Union for Conservation of Nature
* Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank
* Kunio Mikuriya Secretary General, World Customs Organization
* Salil Shetty, Secretary General, Amnesty International
* and many more…

Press accreditation for the 14th IACC is available for all journalists. Please visit the Press Accreditation Guidelines.

The 14th IACC is being hosted jointly by the IACC Council, the Royal Thai Government, the Thai Ministry of Justice, the office of the country’s National Anti-Corruption Commission, Transparency International and Transparency Thailand.

For more details please write to:

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October 16, 2010 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting water privatisation in NZ, Stop the $uper City, Transparency in Govt spending


  1. Add to that that MFAT did not include an important complaint against itself in it’s collated human rights abuses/progress report to the UN universal periodic review, and failed to advise the submitter that it could make a separate submission to the UN if unhappy with lack of complaint inclusion in the NZ report.
    Also that the Independent Police Condiuct Authority is so Police riddled as to not be independent and that it has no teeth regardless to enforce uptake of recommendations. It’s poor hit ratio when a Police commissioner has no ears means transparent processes produce most often no results to correct what is bent – an important matter given Kiwis lack of any constututional rights under the dreamtime regime of a non enforceable bill of rights.
    Also Judges can protect themselves from transparency by prohibiting access under the OIA to trial transcripts by people who wish to bring private perjury prosecutions against witnesses they might favour. Judge Heron (the late) stopped release of damning trial transcripts he claimedf or his own property for 7 years by which time perjury evidence (a confession no less by the guilty party) was lost by Police. The transcript was of course needed proof. Seems the Judge didn’t want his manipulated trial under the spotlight and Police helped the perjurer as saving its skin was dome in return for the perjurer turning informant. Also how many drink driving and drug charges never se the light of day but are used as leverage to enlist informants and why won’t Poolice hand out such info under the OIA. NZ is truly riddled with corruption and Clarl spent many an hour with lawyers stitching it up so NZ has pseudo transparency and an agency to propagate belief in phantasmic transparency.

    Comment by rachael ford | October 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. Another biggy is why MPs spouses need not declare interests and why Ministerial advisors can have shares in companies affected by their Ministers decisions eg pharmaceuticals.

    Comment by rachael ford | October 16, 2010 | Reply

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