18 Nov 2009

Pacific countries feature on TI anti-corruption list

10:07 am on 18 November 2009

New Zealand has been named the World's least corrupt country by the anti-corruption group, Transparency International.

The index of 180 countries places New Zealand just ahead of Denmark but well in front of Australia, which was found to be eight least corrupt.

Papua New Guinea is near the bottom of the list, in 154th place.

Kiribati is 111th equal with Solomon Islands and Samoa is 56th.

Tonga and Vanuatu climbed the list significantly this year, at 99th equal, and 95th respectively.

Transparency International says following the 2006 riots, Tonga has undergone reforms that seek to grant greater political power to popularly elected officials and its anti-corruption drive has earned the support of local civil society organisations.

It says the political stability and high fiscal freedom helped to improve perceptions of corruption in Vanuatu.