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1.2  Structure and style of the annual report

While there is no prescribed format for the annual report, it is sensible that:

  • the annual report reflect the framework of the most recent strategic intentions
  • output classes in the annual report are aligned with those in the strategic intentions and in the Estimates of Appropriations, and
  • the information is set out in a way that is clear and accessible, plain in style, concise, relevant, and focussed on meeting the needs of Ministers and Members of Parliament.

Including a glossary and / or defining specialised terms can also be of assistance.

1.2.1  Annual reports which are parliamentary papers

Some Crown entity annual reports, once presented to the House, are treated as parliamentary papers and published under the authority of the House. Such annual reports must conform to requirements for parliamentary papers, which have been promulgated by the Office of the Clerk. Under current requirements, parliamentary papers must be produced in A4 size and include the appropriate shoulder number in the top right-hand corner of the cover and title page. Shoulder numbers are issued by the Office of the Clerk (Bills Office).The title page should include the formal name of the Crown entity and the financial year to which the annual report relates. It should also indicate that it is presented to the House of Representatives pursuant to section 150(3) of the CEA.Crown entities are advised to contact the Bills Office if they are unsure whether their annual report is a parliamentary paper.

The current guidance produced by the Office of the Clerk is currently being updated to reflect the changes to the CEA and PFA to allow annual reports to be grouped in single documents. Please contact the Office of the Clerk directly when presenting reports in this manner to ensure that the correct procedure is followed.

1.2.2  International standard serial number (ISSN)

An ISSN is a worldwide identification code for serial publications. There is no requirement for annual reports to have ISSNs. If a Crown entity does not have an ISSN for its annual report, it is not required to obtain one. If, however, a Crown entity already has an ISSN for its annual report, it may continue to use this. The ISSN for the annual report does not change between years, and should be used and printed on the cover in the bottom left-hand corner. Crown entities that wish to obtain a number for their annual report should contact the National Library of New Zealand within the Department of Internal Affairs.

1.2.3  Preparing for publication

As well as placing a copyright statement on your annual report you are also encouraged to insert a licence setting out the terms by which this copyright work can be re-used. Please refer to the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL) which is government guidance approved by Cabinet (CAB Min (10) 24/5A refers) for agencies to follow when releasing copyright works and non-copyright material for re-use by others.

NZGOAL seeks to standardise the licensing of government copyright works for re-use using Creative Commons New Zealand law licences and recommends the use of ‘no-known rights' statements for non-copyright material. Creative Commons licences are freely available copyright licences that enable the sharing of copyright works for re-use in a standardised way and in forms that are human, machine and lawyer readable.

Cabinet has:

  • directed all Public Service departments, the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Parliamentary Counsel Office, and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
  • strongly encouraged other State Services agencies (other than school boards of trustees, and
  • invited school boards of trustees,


  • familiarise themselves with NZGOAL, in its current form and as may be updated from time to time, and
  • take NZGOAL into account when releasing copyright material and non-copyright material to the public for re-use.

Please contact for further information

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