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Revenue and expenditure

This is an overview of information about government's revenue and expenditure (spending) on the Treasury website.


The following is anoverview of information about government revenue on the Treasury website, including tax outturn data.

What are the Government's main sources of revenue?

The Government's main sources of revenue come from tax, levies, fees, investment income and from the sales of goods and services.

Total core Crown revenue for the 2016/17 year was $81.8 billion. Tax revenue is the major source of core Crown revenue; this totalled $75.6 billion in the 2016/17 financial year.

Information about the Government's objectives for the tax system can be found in the Government 2018 Revenue Strategy.  You can also view the Treasury's tax topic page for more information on tax revenue.

The Treasury's Role

The Treasury is responsible for forecasting how much tax revenue the government can expect to earn. Twice a year the Treasury publishes Economic and Fiscal Updates which forecast revenue for the following five years.

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand report on revenue that the government has received.

Inland Revenue also forecasts how much the government is likely to receive in revenue in future years. The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2018 has tables showing both departments' forecast figures. The Treasury's forecasts are the Crown's official forecasts.

The Treasury provides tax policy advice jointly with the Inland Revenue.

Tax and Welfare Analysis (TAWA) is the Treasury’s microsimulation model of the New Zealand personal tax and transfer system. It is used extensively in work related to policy analysis of tax and welfare settings. There is guidance available for those want to commission TAWA work - Tax and Welfare Analysis (TAWA) Commissioning Manual.


The three largest areas of total Crown expenditure for the 2016/17 financial year were:

  • Social security and welfare: $30.6 billion
  • Health: $15.6 billion
  • Education: $14.1 billion

These figures are taken from the Analysis of Expenses by Functional Classification Total Crown in the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ended 30 June 2017. See the Analysis of Expenses for information on other areas of government expenditure - such as defence and transport and communications - and for a comparison with the 2015/16 figures.

For more information on some of the larger areas of Government spending see the Health and Education topics on this web site.

Key Publications and Data

Last updated: 
Friday, 28 September 2018