INDEPENDENT NEWS

Elections 2019 - raising questions on integrity

Published: Tue 10 Sep 2019 10:05 AM
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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