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Legislation Administered by the Treasury

Page updated 21 Mar 2011

This page provides details of legislation administered by the Treasury including the Public Finance Act 1989.

The Treasury administers two of the three major statutes that establish the legislative framework for the public sector financial management system:

  • Public Finance Act 1989
  • State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986

The third statute is the State Sector Act 1988, which is administered by the State Services Commission.

Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill and Changes to Legislation

Parliament passed the Public Finance (State Sector Management) Bill on 16 December 2004 and four resulting acts received Royal Assent on 21 December 2004. These include:

  • Public Finance Amendment Act 2004
  • State Sector Amendment Act 2004
  • Crown Entities Act 2004
  • State-owned Enterprises Amendment Act 2004.

The Acts came into force on 25 January 2005. There are several transitional provisions that for example apply to specific parts from the 2005/06 financial year.

New Zealand Acts can be viewed free of charge at

List of Legislation Administered by the Treasury

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet maintains a full list on its website of legislation administered under each ministerial portfolio. The Treasury administers legislation under these ministerial portfolios:

Public Finance Act 1989 (PFA)

The Public Finance Act provides a framework for Government financial activity and expenditure of public money.  The PFA:

  • provides the basis for the appropriation and management of public resources;
  • specifies how the Crown, government departments and Crown entities report to Parliament on their intentions and results;
  • requires an appropriation by Act of Parliament for all expenditure of public money;
  • determines the way Parliament votes appropriations to Ministers; and
  • makes provision for banking, investing and borrowing arrangements.

State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986

Where government services may be managed as commercial operations, the State-Owned Enterprises Act allows the government to provide these services through a similar organisational form as private sector enterprises.

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been established as Crown companies charged with achieving a commercial return on the Government's equity investment.

State Sector Act 1988

The State Sector Act establishes the accountability relationship between departmental chief executives and their Ministers.  Chief executives are appointed for a fixed term. They are responsible for employing their own staff under similar conditions to those applying in the private sector.

The Act devolves responsibility to chief executives for running their departments and for managing the resources allocated to those departments, with minimal central input control.

The State Sector Act 1988 is administered by the State Services Commission.

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