The Treasury Annual Report 2019/20 highlights a year of notable adaptability and responsiveness from the Treasury as it supported New Zealand’s economic response to COVID-19.
In her Introduction, Secretary to the Treasury Caralee McLiesh remarked that, in its 180-year history, seldom has the Treasury’s expertise as the government’s lead economic and financial advisor been more called upon than it is now.
“From the time COVID-19 began to cast a shadow on New Zealand’s economy, the Treasury provided policy advice for the Government’s economic response to the pandemic. This included wage subsidies, business loan schemes, tax initiatives and coordination of the provision of funding required by the Government, along with many other examples.
“The Treasury’s adaptability came to the fore in our preparation of Budget 2020. In exceptional circumstances and tight timeframes, we met the challenge to support the Minister of Finance to deliver a Budget that reflected the real-life impact that COVID-19 is having on New Zealanders’ lives and livelihoods.
“Across our work, we apply wellbeing analysis and evidence using our Living Standards Framework (LSF). The LSF helps us provide high-quality advice by more systematically considering the broader impacts of policy, including taking account of distributional impacts and risk. We continue to refresh the LSF to better capture different aspects of wellbeing. The LSF has also guided our stewardship focus in applying a medium to long-term, whole-of-system view to core public sector systems."
Dr McLiesh noted that, alongside its core advice and stewardship work, the Treasury has implemented changes designed to strengthen its governance, risk management, information security and incident response. It has also prioritised several initiatives to build cultural competence and capabilities to engage effectively with Māori and Pacific communities.
“Commitment to inclusion and diversity has been a foundation of the Treasury’s culture for several years. We make the most of our capabilities by building a rich diversity of thought into our work, and fostering an inclusive working environment to harness it. Evidence of this commitment is our aim to increasingly use He Ara Waiora, a te ao Māori view of wellbeing, in our work alongside the LSF.
“I wish to acknowledge the many people in and outside the public service who have supported the Treasury’s work this year. Most of all, thank you to everyone at the Treasury for the professionalism, know-how and deep commitment to public service and raising living standards that you bring to your work.”
The Treasury’s latest Annual Report is available here: The Treasury Annual Report 2019/20