Racist Invective is Latest Corruption Diversion in New Zealand

Fairfax media’s business story yesterday concerned Deloitte’s annual business survey which found 24% of NZ business people Ian-Tuke-TINZ-Directorexperienced domestic corruption in the past five years.  But it was the first sentence which told the true objective.

“An increase in bribery and corruption tarnishing New Zealand’s ethical image may be due to an influx of migrants from countries where such practices are normal.”  The reporter than cited one recent case of a Chinese developer “allegedly attempting” to bribe an Auckland Council officer as support for this “working theory”.

The racist theory was attributed to Ian Tuke (pictured), an associate director of Deloitte in New Zealand. Tuke’s consulting CV touts his many years “dedicated to protecting public and private sector clients from reputational harm in NZ and across the region”.

What better way than to blame recent Chinese immigrants for New Zealand’s corruption.  Not surprisingly, there is no evidence to support Mr Tuke’s working theory – not even close.

Mr Tuke’s xenophobic attack hides the reality that Tuke’s interest in the debate is financial and very personal.  He was not involved in the survey report.  However, his New Zealand clients are admitting to collecting and paying the bribes.  His stated professional goals confirm his intent to spin an alternate reality to the report findings.

Being kind, all this went over the head of Fairfax reporter Richard Meadows, who now is facing a number of Broadcast Standards Authority complaints for his hate-provoking and unsupported propaganda story.

Karma being what it is, another Fairfax story appeared the same day with connections to Ian Tuke’s own ethics breaches and corruption cover-ups.   The article concerned convicted fraudster and unsuccessful Christchurch mayoral candidate Victor Cattermole who is under criminal scrutiny again for running a shady NZ shell company with Tuke’s good friend and fellow Transparency International NZ director Suzanne Snively.   The company, Vault Compliance Systems NZ Ltd., formed last year, had its registered office at a vacant Christchurch property, a company phone number to a boiler room office in Hong Kong and a 100% Cayman Island holding company shareholder.  Its website listed operations throughout Asia and North America but appears to have recorded no sales.  Ms Snively is Vault’s Chairman of the Board.

In a judicial review which is currently the subject of appeal before the New Zealand Court of Appeal, Transparency International NZ Board Minutes produced in that litigation show Mr Tuke and Ms Snively picked the committee members who secretly dismissed members complaints of Ms Snively promoting yet another fictitious company last year.   The same Board Minutes record “Transparency International-Secretariat has been informed of the informal advice from the Police, Serious Fraud Office and the judiciary that (complaints against Snively) should be ignored.”

How nice to engage in corruption with the documented complicity of New Zealand Police, Serious Fraud Office and Judiciary.   Still, it takes incredible gall for the NGO officially tasked with exposing corruption in New Zealand to actually record government assistance in their concealing corruption.  But, again, Mr Tuke and Ms Snively have this covered.  As directors of the local TI chapter, they consistently created TI’s “corruption perception index” which asserts no perceived corruption exists in any government department.

The unfortunate reality in New Zealand is if any migrant acted with as little ethics as Mr Tuke has done and continues to do, they would undoubtedly be the second example supporting Mr Tuke’s working theory to explain rising corruption in New Zealand.

Ian Tuke was sent an advance draft of this story with an offer to print his response but he refused comment