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Notes to the Financial Statements

Note 1: Basis of Reporting

Statement of compliance

These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989 and with New Zealand Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (NZ GAAP) as defined in the Financial Reporting Act 2013.

These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Public Sector PBE Accounting Standards (PBE Standards) - Tier 1. These standards are based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

For the purposes of these financial statements, the Government reporting entity has been designated as a public benefit entity (PBE). Public benefit entities (PBEs) are reporting entities whose primary objective is to provide goods or services for community or social benefit and where any equity has been provided with a view to supporting that primary objective rather than for a financial return to equity holders.

The use of public resources by the Government is primarily governed by the Public Finance Act 1989, the State Sector Act 1988, the Crown Entities Act 2004 and the State-owned Enterprises Act 1986.

These financial statements were authorised for issue by the Minister of Finance on 30 September 2016.

Reporting period

The reporting period for these financial statements is the year ended 30 June 2016.

Where necessary, the financial information for State-owned Enterprises and Crown entities that have a balance date other than 30 June has been adjusted for any transactions or events that have occurred since their most recent balance date and that are significant for the Financial Statements of the Government. Such entities are primarily in the education sector.

Basis of preparation

These financial statements have been prepared on the basis of historic cost modified by the revaluation of certain assets and liabilities, and prepared on an accrual basis, unless otherwise specified (for example, the Statement of Cash Flows).

The financial statements are presented in New Zealand dollars rounded to the nearest million, unless separately identified.

Accounting Standards issued and not yet effective and not early adopted

In 2015, the External Reporting Board issued Disclosure Initiative (Amendments to PBE IPSAS 1), 2015 Omnibus Amendments to PBE Standards, and Amendments to PBE Standards and Authoritative Notice as a Consequence of XRB A1 and Other Amendments. These amendments apply to PBEs with reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2016. The Government will apply these amendments in preparing its 30 June 2017 financial statements but expects there will be no material effect in applying them.

Government Reporting Entity as at 30 June 2016

Reporting entity

The Government reporting entity as defined in section 2(1) of the Public Finance Act 1989 means:

  • the Sovereign in right of New Zealand, and
  • the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the Government of New Zealand.

The description “Consolidated Financial Statements of the Government reporting entity” and the description “Financial Statements of the Government” have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably.

Basis of combination

These financial statements combine the following entities using the acquisition method of combination:

Core Crown entities

  • Ministers of the Crown
  • Government departments
  • Offices of Parliament
  • the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
  • New Zealand Superannuation Fund

Other entities

  • State-owned Enterprises
  • Crown entities (excluding tertiary education institutions)
  • Air New Zealand Limited
  • Regenerate Christchurch
  • Education Council of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Organisations listed in Schedule 4 and 4A (Non-listed companies in which the Crown is majority or sole shareholder) of the Public Finance Act 1989
  • Organisations listed in Schedule 5 (Mixed ownership model companies) of the Public Finance Act 1989
  • Legal entities listed in Schedule 6 (Legal entities created by Treaty of Waitangi settlement Acts) of the Public Finance Act 1989

The Crown has a full residual interest in all the above entities with the exception of Air New Zealand Limited, Tāmaki Redevelopment Company Limited (listed in Schedule 4A of the Public Finance Act 1989), Regenerate Christchurch and the entities listed in Schedule 5 of the Public Finance Act 1989 (Mixed Ownership Model Companies).

Corresponding assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, are added together line by line. Transactions and balances between these sub-entities are eliminated on combination. Where necessary, adjustments are made to the financial statements of controlled entities to bring the accounting policies into line with those used by the Government reporting entity.

Tertiary education institutions are equity-accounted for the reasons explained in note 19 to the financial statements for the period ended 30 June 2016. This treatment recognises these entities' net assets, including asset revaluation movements, surpluses and deficits.

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