Michael Reddell on the declining standards in New Zealand public life
This week on Taxpayer Talk, Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, sits down with economist Michael Reddell. Michael is a former Head of Financial Markets at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, has worked for central banks of a number of other countries and has been an Alternate Executive Director on the Board of the International Monetary Fund.
Michael has recently been raising concerns around the seemingly declining standards in New Zealand public life. Whether it be Ministers (or their appointees) lying to the public, government contracts going to Ministers’ family members or undisclosed shareholdings, Michael is concerned that these instances of inappropriate (or at least perceived as being inappropriate) behaviour are becoming increasingly excused, justified or ignored by politicians and the media.
Also discussed in the podcast is Michael’s concerns around the ease with which politicians have been able to quickly move into highly-paid private sector positions, particularly those in sectors where the Government has a significant influence on their success such as banking. Michael points to the recent example of Sir John Key, the Chairman of New Zealand’s largest bank, who was also involved in the National Party election campaign. While he does not say that anyone has acted dishonourably, Mr Reddell says that, for the sake of public trust and integrity, we need systems and processes in place that let the public have confidence that people are behaving appropriately, especially when politicians may be potentially making significant decisions around regulation, or taxpayer-funded bailouts if things go wrong.
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