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Transparency International has ranked New Zealands public sector again as the least corrupt in the world.

Transparency International has ranked New Zealand’s public sector again as the least corrupt in the world.

New Zealand scored 89, edging ahead of Denmark in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 after both countries shared the first position last year.

The index compiled by Transparency International, a non-government organisation, ranks countries annually by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.  

Serious Fraud Office Director, Julie Read said, “It’s fantastic to see New Zealand at number one again. The result indicates that people have a high degree of confidence in our public sector, and also supports our reputation as being a safe place to invest and do business. We can still increase our score by continuing to be proactive in preventing corruption and using the data behind the index to identify opportunities to raise our standards and ensure that we keep up with international best practice.”  

The Corruption Perceptions Index captures the views of analysts, businesspeople and experts in countries around the world. It is a composite index of different international surveys and assessments of corruption, collected by a variety of institutions.


For further media information

Henry Acland
Serious Fraud Office
027 705 4550

About the SFO

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) was established in 1990 under the Serious Fraud Office Act.

The SFO is the lead law enforcement agency for investigating and prosecuting serious or complex financial crime, including bribery and corruption.

The presence of an agency dedicated to white collar crime is integral to New Zealand’s reputation for transparency, integrity, fair-mindedness and low levels of corruption.

This work contributes to a productive and prosperous New Zealand and the SFO’s collaborative efforts with international partners also reduce the serious harm that corrupt business practices do to the global economy.

The SFO has two operational teams: the Evaluation and Intelligence team and the Investigations team.

The SFO operates under two sets of investigative powers.

Part 1 of the SFO Act provides that it may act where the Director “has reason to suspect that an investigation into the affairs of any person may disclose serious or complex fraud.” 

Part 2 of the SFO Act provides the SFO with more extensive powers where: “…the Director has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence involving serious or complex fraud may have been committed…” 

In considering whether a matter involves serious or complex fraud, the Director may, among other things, have regard to:

  • the suspected nature and consequences of the fraud and/or;
  • the suspected scale of the fraud and/or;
  • the legal, factual and evidential complexity of the matter and/or;
  • any relevant public interest considerations.

The SFO’s Annual Report 2017 sets out its achievements for the past year, while the Statement of Intent 2014-2018 sets out the SFO’s strategic goals and performance standards. Both are available online at link)

The SFO Twitter feed is @FraudSeriousNZ(external link)