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Revenue and expenditure

This is an overview of information about government's revenue and expenditure (spending) on the Treasury website.


The following is an overview of information about government revenue on the Treasury website, including tax outturn data.

What are the Government's main sources of revenue?

The Government's main sources of revenue come from tax, levies, fees, investment income and from the sales of goods and services.

Total Crown revenue for the 2019/20 financial year was $116.0 billion. Core Crown tax revenue is a major component of total Crown revenue; this totalled $85.1 billion in the 2019/20 financial year.

The Government’s Revenue Strategy sets out its current objectives for the tax system. The current Revenue Strategy can be found in the Fiscal Strategy section of the 2021 Wellbeing Budget

The Treasury's Role

The Treasury is responsible for forecasting how much tax revenue the government can expect to earn. Twice a year the Treasury publishes Economic and Fiscal Updates which forecast revenue for the following five years.

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand report on revenue that the government has received.

Inland Revenue also forecasts how much the government is likely to receive in revenue in future years. 

The Treasury provides tax policy advice jointly with the Inland Revenue.

Tax and Welfare Analysis (TAWA) is the Treasury’s microsimulation model of the New Zealand personal tax and transfer system. It is used extensively in work related to policy analysis of tax and welfare settings. There is guidance available for those want to commission TAWA work - Tax and Welfare Analysis (TAWA) Commissioning Manual.


The three largest areas of total Crown expenditure for the 2019/20 financial year were:

  • Social security and welfare: $49.9 billion
  • Health: $20.5 billion
  • Education: $17.6 billion

These figures are taken from the Analysis of Expenses by Functional Classification - Total Crown Expenses in the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Year Ended 30 June 2020. See the Analysis of Expenses for information on other areas of government expenditure.

Key Publications and Data

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 6 July 2021