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Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update 2017

An introduction to the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update

The Treasury is New Zealand's economics and finance ministry. We advise on the direction of New Zealand's economic policy with the aim of achieving a strong and sustainable economy, and raising New Zealand living standards. This includes reporting on the expenditure of government (fiscal) revenue, and assisting to ensure spending is fit for purpose and can improve outcomes for New Zealanders.

Sharing what we do

As the government's lead economic and financial adviser we forecast the economic outlook for New Zealand and the Government's fiscal outlook. This Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) is part of a suite of documents we release as required by the Public Finance Act 1989. With the announcement of an election date of 23 September 2017, the 2017 PREFU must be published between 20 and 30 working days prior to this date.

The PREFU is an opening of the Government's books ahead of the General Election. It primarily outlines what the Treasury observes in our current economic and fiscal climate, what we might see in the future, and what risks we may face over the next four years (our forecast period). This gives an indication of what the economy is most-likely to do to inform decision-making.

Making it New Zealander-centric

Our advice is not just based on facts and figures. Improving outcomes means we need to understand which outcomes to improve, and what is important to New Zealanders. We use the Treasury's Living Standards Framework to recognise the different aspects of New Zealanders' living standards and well-being. Our framework is based on four areas:

  • financial and physical capital eg, housing, machinery, buildings, money
  • human capital eg, health, skills
  • social capital eg, institutions, trust
  • and natural capital eg, water, biodiversity.

We took this approach further and last year presented a living standards perspective that stretches over the next 40 years. He Tirohanga Mokopuna: 2016 Statement on the Long-term Fiscal Position, shares our take on long-term fiscal issues facing New Zealand. We know that sustainable government finances are a requirement to improving long-term living standards, and vice versa.

Understanding our path

The Treasury is in a unique position to focus on improving the way our economy can raise New Zealand living standards. Along with delivering first-rate economic and financial advice, we are committed to providing it in a way so New Zealanders understand how we work to achieve our goals. If you would like to know more about who we are and what we do, or want a simpler overview of the PREFU please go to our website at

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