Guide to Budget documents

A number of documents are released on Budget Day. The purpose of these documents is to provide information about the Government's fiscal intentions for the year ahead and the wider fiscal and economic picture.

Budget at a Glance#

The Budget at a Glance provides an overview of the Budget. It summarises the Government's spending decisions and key points raised in the Wellbeing Budget: Securing Our Recovery, the Budget Speech, the Fiscal Strategy Report, and the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update.

The Wellbeing Budget: Securing Our Recovery#

The Wellbeing Budget: Securing Our Recovery is the main document that communicates Budget 2021 decisions. It includes sections on the wellbeing outlook for New Zealand, the Government’s wellbeing approach in Budget 2021, Budget 2021 investments, the Fiscal Strategy Report, the Child Poverty Report and the Summary of Initiatives.

The Fiscal Strategy Report#

The Government's fiscal strategy is its plan for managing its finances, which include spending, revenue and the portfolio of assets and liabilities on the Crown balance sheet. New Zealand governments frequently express their fiscal strategies using goals for public debt and the gap between spending and revenue (that is, whether the annual Budget is in surplus or deficit). The Public Finance Act 1989 (PFA) requires the Government to produce a fiscal strategy every year and to set it out in a transparent way.

Summary of Budget initiatives#

The Summary of Initiatives lists and describes the new initiatives included in Budget 2021.

The Child Poverty Report#

The Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018 amended the Public Finance Act 1989, introducing section 15EA which requires the supporting information for the main Appropriation Bill (the Budget) to include a report on child poverty. The report must:

  1. discuss any progress made, in the most recent completed financial year, in reducing child poverty consistent with the targets under the Child Poverty Reduction Act 2018; and
  2. indicate whether and, if so, to what extent, measures in or related to that Bill will affect child poverty.

Budget Speech#

The Budget Speech is the Budget Statement the Minister of Finance delivers at the start of Parliament's Budget debate. The speech generally focuses on the overall fiscal and economic position, the Government's policy priorities and how those priorities will be funded.

Budget Economic and Fiscal Update#

The Update includes the Treasury's economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government incorporating the financial implications of Government decisions and other information relevant to the fiscal and economic outlook. The Update also discusses key risks to the economic and fiscal forecasts.

The Estimates of Appropriations#

The Estimates outline, for the financial year about to start (the Budget year), expenses and capital expenditure the Government plans to incur on specified areas within each Vote, and capital injections it plans to make to individual departments. The Estimates are organised into 10 sector volumes, with each Vote allocated to one sector. Supporting information in the Estimates summarises the new policy initiatives and trend information for each Vote and provides information on what is intended to be achieved with each appropriation in a Vote and how performance against each appropriation will be assessed and reported on after the end of the Budget year.

Also released on Budget day:

The Supplementary Estimates of Appropriations#

The Supplementary Estimates outline the additional expenses, capital expenditure and capital injections to departments required for the financial year about to end. Supporting information for each Vote provides reasons for the changes to appropriations during the year, related changes in performance information and full performance information for new appropriations.