The Treasury

Global Navigation

Personal tools

Glossary of Terms

Commercial sector

Consists of the assets and liabilities held by companies with commercial objectives, predominantly State-owned Enterprises.

Comparatives (Budget 2016 and Budget 2017)

Comparatives referred to as Budget 2016 were forecasts published in the 2016 Budget Economic and Fiscal Update while comparatives referred to as Budget 2017 were forecasts published in the 2017 Budget Economic and Fiscal Update.

Contingent assets

Revenue that the Crown will realise if a particular uncertain event occurs, or a present asset is unable to be measured with sufficient reliability to be recorded in the financial statements (unquantified contingent assets). Contingent assets typically comprise loans with specific events that trigger repayment and Inland Revenue pending assessments (where there is a proposed adjustment to a tax assessment).

Contingent liabilities

Costs that the Crown will have to face if a particular uncertain event occurs, or present liabilities that are unable to be measured with sufficient reliability to be recorded in the financial statements (unquantified contingent liabilities). Contingent liabilities typically comprise guarantees and indemnities, legal disputes and claims, and uncalled capital.

Core Crown

A reporting segment consisting of the Crown, departments, Offices of Parliament, the NZS Fund and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. For a list of all entities included in this segment, refer to the Government Reporting Entity (pages 39 to 42).

Core Crown expenses

The day-to-day expenditure (eg, public servants' salaries, welfare benefit payments, finance costs and maintaining national defence etc) that does not build physical assets for the core Crown. This is an accrual measure of expenses and includes items such as depreciation on physical assets.

Core Crown revenue

Consists primarily of tax revenue collected by the Government but also includes investment revenue, sales of goods and services and other revenue of the core Crown.

Core Crown net debt

Core Crown net debt represents gross debt less core Crown financial assets (excluding advances and financial assets held by the NZS Fund). Advances and financial assets held by the NZS Fund are excluded as these assets are less liquid and/or they are made for public policy reasons rather than for the purposes associated with government financing.

Corporate tax

The sum of net company tax, non-resident withholding tax (NRWT) and foreign-source dividend withholding payments (FDWP).

Domestic bond programme

The amount and timing of government bonds expected to be issued or redeemed.

Excise duties

A tax levied on the domestic production of alcohol, tobacco and light petroleum products (CNG, LPG and petrol).

Financial assets

Any asset that is cash, an equity instrument of another entity (shares), a contractual right to receive cash or shares (taxes receivable and ACC levies), or a right to exchange a financial asset or liability on favourable terms (derivatives in gain).

Financial liabilities

Any liability that is a contractual obligation to pay cash (government stock, accounts payable), or a right to exchange a financial asset or liability on unfavourable terms (derivatives in loss).

Financial sector

Consists of the assets and liabilities held by the Crown to finance or pre-fund government expenditure.

Forecast new capital spending

An amount provided in the forecasts to represent the impact on the financial position and cash flowsof capital initiatives expected to be introduced over the forecast period.

Forecast new operating spending

An amount included in the forecasts to provide for the operating balance impact of policy initiatives, changes to demographics, and other forecasting changes expected to occur over the forecast period.

Gains and losses

Gains and losses typically arise from the revaluation of assets and liabilities, such as investments in financial assets and long-term liabilities for ACC and the Government Superannuation Fund. These valuation changes are reported directly as a movement in net worth (eg, asset revaluation reserves) or indirectly through the statement of financial performance.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

A measure of the value of all goods and services produced in New Zealand. Changes in GDP measure growth or contraction in economic activity or output. GDP can be measured as the actual dollar value of goods and services at today's prices (nominal GDP), or excluding the effects of price changes over time (real GDP).

Gross debt (or Gross sovereign-issued debt)

Represents debt issued by sovereign (core Crown) and includes Government stock held by the NZS Fund, Accident Compensation Corporation, and the Earthquake Commission.

Insurance liabilities

The gross obligation for the future cost of claims incurred prior to balance date represented in today's dollars (present value). The net liability is the gross liability less the asset reserves held to meet those claims.

Inter-segment eliminations

The amounts of transactions between different segments (core Crown, Crown entities and State-owned Enterprises) that are eliminated to determine total Crown results.

Marketable securities

Assets held with financial institutions. These assets are held for both cash flow and investment purposes. Examples are bonds, commercial papers and debentures.

Net core Crown cash flow from operations

The cash impact of operating results. It is represented by the operating balance (before gains and losses) less retained items (eg, net surplus of State-owned Enterprises, Crown entities and NZS Fund net revenue) less non-cash items (eg, depreciation).

Net worth

Total assets less total liabilities. The change in net worth in any given forecast year is largely driven by the operating balance and property, plant and equipment revaluations.

Net worth attributable to the Crown

Represents the Crowns share of total assets and liabilities and excludes minority interest's share of those assets and liabilities.

Operating balance

Represents OBEGAL plus gains and losses. The operating balance includes gains and losses not reported directly as a movement against net worth. The impact of gains and losses on the operating balance can be subject to short-term market volatility and revaluations of long term liabilities.

Operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL)

Represents core Crown revenue less core Crown expenses plus surpluses from State-owned Enterprises and Crown entities. OBEGAL can provide a more useful measure of underlying stewardship than the operating balance as short term market fluctuations are not included in the calculation.

Optimised Depreciated Replacement Cost

Valuation method which represents the gross replacement cost of the asset, less allowances for physical deterioration (depreciated) and for obsolescence and relevant surplus capacity (optimised).

Public Sector PBE Accounting Standards (PBE standards)

The reporting and measurement framework under which these financial statements are prepared. These standards are approved by the External Reporting Board in New Zealand, based on requirements of the international public sector accounting standards issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, adjusted where appropriate for the New Zealand context.

Residual cash

The level of money the Government has available to repay debt or, alternatively, needs to borrow in any given year. Residual cash is alternatively termed “Cash available/ (shortfall to be funded)”.

Residual cash is equal to net core Crown cash flow from operations excluding NZS Fund activity less core Crown capital payments (eg, purchase of assets, loans to others).

Settlement cash

This is the amount of money deposited with the Reserve Bank by registered banks. It is a liquidity mechanism used to settle wholesale obligations between registered banks and provides the basis for settling most of the retail banking transactions that occur every working day between businesses and individuals.

Social sector

Consists of the assets and liabilities held primarily to provide public services or to protect assets for future generations.

Tax revenue

The accrual, rather than the cash (“tax receipts”) measure of taxation. It is a measure of tax due at a given point in time, regardless of whether or not it has actually been paid.

Top-down adjustment

An adjustment to expenditure forecasts to reflect the extent to which departments use appropriations (upper spending limits) when preparing their forecasts. As appropriations apply to the core Crown only, no adjustment is required to State-owned Enterprises or Crown entity forecasts.

Total borrowings

Represents the Government's total debt obligations to external parties and can be split into sovereign-guaranteed debt and non-sovereign-guaranteed debt. Non-sovereign-guaranteed debt represents the debt obligations of State-owned Enterprises and Crown entities that are not explicitly guaranteed by the Crown.

Total Crown

Includes the core Crown (defined above) plus Crown entities and State-owned Enterprises. Also known as the Government Reporting Entities (which are listed on pages 39 to 42).

Page top