Wellington Scoop

Election candidates to be questioned on integrity and accountability

Press Release – Transparency International NZ
Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) contributes to local government democracy by promoting integrity and civic literacy. More than 1000 local body candidates will receive its ‘Questions on Integrity‘ this week.

These questions are on topics around ethics, accountability, transparency and community representation.

The questions ask candidates to think about their personal motivation in standing. Candidates are also asked to reflect on their stance on accountability and their knowledge of the law relating to access to official information and how well it is applied in their area.

Questions also explore how candidates will balance economic, social and environmental matters. Further, the questions ask about their understanding of local tangata whenua priorities, which parts of the community they think are missing out on participation in local body decision-making and what they would do to change that.

Transparency International New Zealand’s Chair Suzanne Snively says that the aim of these questions is to encourage candidates to think about where their ethical compass is pointing, and if there are gaps in their experience or knowledge.

“We think a positive and open approach to community leadership is something that is learned. Candidates often stand on one issue, or from one point of view. But when elected they make decisions that affect whole communities – whether it is the District Health Board, or the Council or a Community Board or Trust.”

Snively says TINZ is encouraging candidates to pick a couple of questions and answer them in social media or at a hustings meeting. The questions are available on the TINZ website for anyone who would like to ask questions of their local candidates.

“This is an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their integrity and wisdom,” says Snively.

“We acknowledge the initiative and courage of all of those who are putting themselves forward for local body leadership. Having many people running for office who reflect a commitment to their communities, a range of interests and diversity is a sign of healthy democracy, which is a treasure for our country.”

Wellington Mayoral Candidates will outline their approach to transparency, integrity and accountability on 26 September 12:30pm – 1:30pm at Lecture Theatre 3 on the ground floor of the Old Government Buildings. Please RSVP here.

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  1. Jane C, 11. September 2019, 14:01

    What do they think politicians are going to answer if they ask them “Are you accountable and do you have integrity?” Would they really say “No I’m unaccountable and have no integrity… vote for me” ? All it will show is how PC and quick they are to regurgitate political agendas and the trending socially appropriate answers.

  2. Anand Kochunny, 12. September 2019, 9:28

    Jane, please take a look at the Philosophy and Values pages of my website at https://www.candidatekochunny.nz/

    As voters, we need to stop regarding elections as popularity contests and vote on the basis of name recognition. Instead, we should be voting for candidates whose values align with ours – and hold them to account for every promise that they make while on the campaign trail.

    Perhaps the only thing that would keep elected representatives accountable to voters is legislating Recall elections (please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_election). The UK did so in 2014. New Zealand should do so now.