What's the cost of a National government? Corruption:
New Zealand is slipping down the ranks of the least corrupt countries, with watchdog Transparency International accusing the Government of "astonishing" complacency.
After topping the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for seven years in a row until 2013, the 2015 survey ranked New Zealand behind Denmark, Finland and Sweden. In 2014 New Zealand was ranked second, behind Denmark.
The survey draws scores from a range of other surveys to give an overall rating of the perceptions about corruption for 167 countries. In 2015 New Zealand scored 88, a marked fall from the 91 it scored in 2014.
And now we rank fourth. And its easy to see why: because of the way National does business. The Saudi-sheep bribe. Sky City's crony casino deal. Oravida. Throw in wall-to-wall crony appointments and a politicisation of the OIA, and its easy to see why perceptions of corruption are growing. As for how to fix it, cronyism, corruption and the old boy network are fundamental to how National does business; if we want to change our reputation, we need to change the government.