With $30 billion set to flood into the rebuild of Christchurch's CBD, a disaster relief expert warns that the construction industry is particularly open to bribery and corruption.
Visiting Deloitte partner Peter Dent co- ordinated crisis management after the catastrophic 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.
Today he meets Police Minister Anne Tolley, who oversees the Serious Fraud Office, and is also talking to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and the Earthquake Commission this week.
Dent's message is that New Zealand's systems for identifying fraud are likely to be overwhelmed by the massive influx of cash and claims.
'And of course, there are people out there who are going to take advantage of this situation,' he said.
'Bribery doesn't take the route of paper bags under the table any more.'
Instead, the underhand deals he has seen include the use of a yacht, gifts, paying for a child's education, and even donations to a favourite charity, Dent said. 'It's basically quid pro quo.'
He said construction was "a much riskier industry", with potential for backhanders, price fixing and cosy subcontracting arrangements on big capital projects.
In Christchurch, those juicy contracts might include 'roadways, any sort of public buildings, all the underground infrastructure, water treatment - everything'.
Dent will also meet insurers in Christchurch and Auckland. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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