Re: Why share?
"Officially they've not existed, and it's apparently even offensive now to say they are, "
New Zealand has far more problems than it likes to let on and the usual response to anyone pointing the issues out is mass ostracisation for daring to break step from the "accepted legends" of 'Rugby, Racing and Beer', 'Clean Green'(*), 'egalitarianism'(**)and the 'Fair Go'
Whatever you do, don't bother with Transparency International NZ "perceptions" reports - bearing in mind that TINZ NZ is 100% government funded, kicked out (and issued trespass notices to) its actual researchers and activists about 20 years ago and has remained 100% opaque since around 2002.
This is the "NZ Way" of dealing with problems - pretend they don't exist and if that doesn't work, shut down or take over the outfits showing them up.
(*) This one is particularly pernicious as NZ has some of the most polluted rivers in the world and spent the best part of 60 years denying increasing levels of pollutants by desperately clinging to the "it can't happen here" mentality,
(**) Unless you're a brown NZer or a poor NZer or not in the right Old Boys' Club,
It's a social environment which has allowed issues like this (and rampant systemic corruption) to fester for decades without being dealt with because the first step to dealing with such issues is to admit they're actually occurring.
Corruption has been a particularly difficult issue to address because the _only_ legal definitions of it in NZ are related to bribery - the other corrupt practices defined by the OECD aren't touched and as such are regarded as "acceptable" - in fact a number of them are "standard practice", if not outright encouraged, particularly nepotism/cronyism and influence peddling.
The government likes to deflect the issue too - I was peripherally involved in an incident in the early 2000s which resulted in the discovery that WINZ (welfare) and IRD (tax department) staff in _every_ office throughout the country were illegally selling personal information of individuals to private investigators and debt collectors(***) which resulted in thousands of staff being investigated and several prosecutions. Interestingly enough - although it was established this had been going on for many years, _nobody_ at branch management level or higher was "found to be involved" and the official government line was "These are all isolated cases of individual fraud"
(***) The IT contractors who discovered this came under severe economic and physical pressure to not take it to the police and the backlash shut their company down. The staffers who broke step and went to the police ended up leaving the country as a direct result of having been identified as the whistleblowers.