Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Eight Months Ended 28 February 2015

Paul Helm, Chief Government Accountant

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the eight months ended 28 February 2015 were released by the Treasury today.  These statements are compared against forecasts based on the 2014 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) released on 16 December 2014.  

The total Crown’s operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was a deficit of $269 million in the eight-month period, $343 million lower than forecast, reflecting higher than forecast tax revenue and lower than anticipated core Crown expenses.

Core Crown tax revenue, at $42.4 billion, was 0.4% or $162 million above forecast.  This variance was mainly due to higher than expected other individuals tax ($217 million) and corporate tax ($91 million).  Partially offsetting these, GST was $261 million lower than forecast primarily due to higher than forecast earthquake-related refunds and weaker-than-forecast growth in nominal consumption.

Core Crown expenses, at $47.2 billion, were $312 million lower than forecast.  This variance was spread over a number of departments.

Net losses on non-financial instruments were $4.3 billion higher than forecast, mainly due to actuarial losses on the ACC and GSF liabilities mostly reflecting lower interest rates and a weaker inflation outlook.  Partially offsetting the net losses, net gains on financial instruments were $1.7 billion higher than forecast largely due to favourable market movements.  As a result, the operating balance was a deficit of $952 million ($1.9 billion below forecast).  

The core Crown residual cash position, at a deficit of $3.7 billion, was $428 million stronger than forecast, mainly due to capital payments being $308 million less than forecast.  Net debt, at $63.5 billion, (26.7% of GDP) was $0.7 billion lower than forecast, largely reflecting the residual cash result and higher than forecast public demand for currency in circulation.  Gross debt at $87.5 billion (36.8% of GDP) was $3.5 billion higher than forecast but was mostly matched by an increase in financial assets with no flow on impact to net debt. 

At 28 February, total Crown assets were valued at $263.5 billion and liabilities were $183.7 billion while the Crown’s share of net worth stood at $74.6 billion.

The Treasury’s next updated economic and fiscal forecasts will be published on 21 May 2015. 

  Year to date Full Year
$ million February
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 42,414 42,252 162 0.4 65,626
Core Crown revenue 46,026 45,970 56 0.1 71,466
Core Crown expenses 47,231 47,543 312 0.7 73,018
Core Crown residual cash (3,683) (4,110) 428 10.4 (4,009)
Gross debt3 87,470 83,950 (3,519) (4.2) 80,289
as a percentage of GDP 36.8% 35.3%     33.6%
Net debt4 63,537 64,224 687 1.1 63,494
as a percentage of GDP 26.7% 27.0%     26.5%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses (269) (612) 343 56.0 (572)
Operating balance (952) 941 (1,893) (201.2) 1,900
Net worth attributable to the Crown 74,570 76,454 (1,884) (2.5) 77,376
  1. Using GDP for the year ended 31 December 2014 of $237,924 million (Source: Statistics New Zealand).
  2. Using forecast GDP for the year ended 30 June 2015 of $239,188 million (Source:  Treasury).
  3. Gross sovereign-issued debt excluding settlement cash and Reserve Bank bills.
  4. Net core Crown debt excluding student loans and other advances.  Net debt may fluctuate during the year largely reflecting the timing of tax receipts.


Officer for Enquiries

Kamlesh Patel | Office of the Government Accountant
Tel: +64 4 917 6094
Email: [email protected]