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Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Nine Months Ended 31 March 2013

Issue date: 
Monday, 6 May 2013
Corporate author: 
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The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the nine months ended 31 March 2013 were released by the Treasury today.

These financial statements are the last to be compared against forecasts based on the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU), released on 18 December 2012.

The Operating Balance before Gains and Losses (OBEGAL) was in deficit by $5.0 billion, which was $273 million lower than forecast largely owing to core Crown tax revenue being $535 million higher than expected. Continuing the pattern of recent months:


  • Other individuals tax revenue was $406 million (14.8%) above forecast, likely the result of solid investment incomes, driven by recent strength in equity markets; and
  • Source deductions was $187 million (1.1%) above forecast due to a higher effective tax rate. Recent economic data suggests that aggregate labour incomes have been consistent with forecast, but that the composition of the labour force has changed (a decrease in the proportion of low income workers). This change increased the revenue collected because of the progressive nature of the income tax scale.

Core Crown expenses were close to forecast at $52.2 billion. While underspends relating to delays in treaty settlements and New Zealand’s aid programmes were recorded, these were largely offset by higher than expected costs associated with an earthquake-related provision for horizontal infrastructure (wastewater, storm water and freshwater) in Canterbury.

Including net gains, the operating balance was in surplus by $2.5 billion, some $4.5 billion above the forecast deficit, largely owing to significant net investment gains made by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and ACC ($1.7 billion and $0.7 billion above forecast respectively). In addition, favourable actuarial valuations were recorded on the Government Superannuation Fund’s retirement liability and ACC’s outstanding claims liability of $0.7 billion and $0.6 billion above forecast respectively, driven by discount rate movements and favourable payments/claims experience.

The residual cash deficit was $1.3 billion smaller than expected, mainly reflecting higher than expected tax receipts and underspending on capital programmes.

Gross debt was $1.8 billion below forecast at $84.2 billion (40.2% of GDP), mostly due to the Reserve Bank purchasing $2.7 billion more Government bonds than forecast, reducing the amount of debt owed by the Crown to third parties.

Net debt was $1.5 billion lower than forecast largely reflecting the residual cash result.

  Year to date Full Year
$ million March
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 41,864 41,329 535 1.3 57,376
Core Crown revenue 45,832 45,297 535 1.2 62,939
Core Crown expenses 52,168 52,223 55 0.1 71,998
Core Crown residual cash (7,632) (8,948) 1,316 14.7 (9,782)
Gross debt3 84,243 86,014 1,771 2.1 80,176
as a percentage of GDP 40.2% 41.1%     37.1%
Net debt4 58,483 59,936 1,453 2.4 59,998
as a percentage of GDP 27.9% 28.6%     27.8%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses (4,950) (5,223) 273 5.2 (7,340)
Operating balance 2,518 (1,979) 4,497 227.2 (3,275)
Net worth attributable to the Crown 61,900 57,377 4,523 7.9 56,285

1    Using GDP for the year ended 31 December 2012 of $209,324 million (Source: Statistics New Zealand)
2    Using forecast GDP for the year ended 30 June 2013 of $216,048 million (Source:  Treasury)
3    Gross sovereign-issued debt excluding settlement cash and Reserve Bank bills
4    Net core Crown debt excluding student loans and other advances


Officer for Enquiries

Kamlesh Patel | Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accountant Portfolio
Tel: +64 4 917 6094
Last updated: 
Tuesday, 4 June 2013