New Zealand has lost its top spot in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index after a drop of two points since 2017.

“Last year, ACT predicted Shane Jones’ loose management of the Provincial Growth Fund would see New Zealand slide down the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Transparency International reported a significant 9-point drop in perceptions of corruption from a survey of 66 New Zealand businesses executives.

“Transparency International hasn’t been able to pinpoint the exact cause of our slide in the rankings, but ACT can help shed some light on the situation:

- In February 2018, $4.6 million of funding was announced for the Manea Footprints of Kupe Cultural Heritage and Education Centre, a project which ACT revealed Shane Jones has been connected with;

- Also in February, Shane Jones said he wanted to personally approve projects of up to $19.9 million rather than taking them through Cabinet;

- In December 2018, ACT revealed the Mt Titirangi – Puhi Kai Iti Connection had been ‘triple dipping’. It was given $6.1 million despite the project requiring over $1 million less than that because it had already obtained funding from other government sources.

“The potential for at the least the perception of corruption within the Provincial Growth Fund is enormous given Shane Jones needs to spend $3 million a day.

“New Zealand’s slide down the Corruption Perceptions Index rankings should worry the Government immensely.

“ACT would end the Provincial Growth Fund, and all other corporate welfare, and return the money to those who earned it.”