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New Zealand has held on to its spot as top in the world anti-corruption rankings.

The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100.

New Zealand has always done well in the rankings, but it has been ranked #1 in six of the last eight years.

The honesty and integrity of the public service and judiciary have kept Aotearoa at the top of the Corruption Perceptions Index once again.

New Zealand has a well-deserved reputation for being relatively free of corruption, with a high level of public trust in government built on a foundation of transparency.

While the impact of the covid pandemic on the Corruption Perceptions Index won’t be seen for another year or two, New Zealand’s response strengthens its standing as a safe and fair country to live in and do business with.

Two years into the pandemic, this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows corruption levels have stagnated worldwide.

Despite commitments on paper, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade and this year 27 countries are at historic lows in their CPI score.

Meanwhile, human rights and democracy across the world are under assault. This is no coincidence. Corruption enables human rights abuses, setting off a vicious and escalating spiral, the index says.

As rights and freedoms are eroded, democracy declines and authoritarianism takes its place, which in turn enables higher levels of corruption.

The past year has brought disturbing examples of this, from the killing of human rights defenders and the closing of media outlets to government spying scandals.