Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Eight Months Ended 28 February 2019

Paul Helm, Chief Government Accountant

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the eight months ended 28 February 2019 were released by the Treasury today.  The statements are compared against forecasts based on the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2018 (HYEFU 2018) published on 13 December 2018.

Core Crown tax revenue at $53.9 billion was $0.1 billion (0.3%) below forecast.  Within this, corporate tax was below forecast and was partially offset by customs and excise duties.

Core Crown expenses of $56.2 billion were $0.7 billion (1.3%) below forecast. Of this, $0.2 billion related to education expenses which were lower than forecast as a result of demand-driven factors across all sectors.  Below forecast Social assistance benefits and impairment of sovereign receivables made up a further $0.2 billion of this variance. The remainder of the variance was spread across a number of different areas.

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was a surplus of $2.3 billion, $0.3 billion higher than forecast.  This was largely driven by the core Crown results offset by lower than forecast Crown entity and SOE results for the period. 

When total gains and losses are added to the OBEGAL result, the operating balance was a $1.8 billion deficit, $4.0 billion less than forecast. Total losses were $4.2 billion, largely due to decreases in the discount rate (used to value long term liabilities in today’s dollars) and unfavourable movements in exchange rates.

Core Crown residual cash was a deficit of $1.9 billion, which was in line with forecast.

Net core Crown debt at $59.9 billion, or 20.4% of GDP was also close to forecast.

Total borrowings of $115.8 billion was $1.9 billion (1.6%) lower than forecast, primarily relating to the higher holding of the Government Bonds by government reporting entities eliminated on consolidation (including those repurchases not forecast).

Net worth attributable to the Crown at $128.2 billion (43.7% of GDP) was $4.1 billion lower than the forecast largely due to the operating balance deficit.

$ million Year to date Full Year
February 2019
February 2019
HYEFU 2018
HYEFU 2018
HYEFU 2018
June 2019
HYEFU 2018
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 53,866 54,003 (137) (0.3) 84,325
Core Crown revenue 58,324 58,556 (232) (0.4) 91,323
Core Crown expenses 56,151 56,864 713 1.3 88,669
Core Crown residual cash (1,891) (1,946) 55 2.8 (4,993)
Net core Crown debt4 59,853 60,244 391 0.6 62,677
as a percentage of GDP 20.4% 20.5%     20.9%
Gross debt5 89,485 89,905 420 0.5 82,767
as a percentage of GDP 30.5% 30.7%     27.6%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses 2,252 1,905 347 18.2 1,724
Operating balance (excluding minority interests) (1,845) 2,113 (3,958) (187.3) 3,112
Total borrowings 115,760 117,680 1,920 1.6 111,369
Net worth attributable to the Crown 128,246 132,348 (4,102) (3.1) 133,480
  1. Using the most recently published GDP (for the year ended 31 December 2018) of $293,233 million (Source: Stats NZ).
  2. Favourable variances against forecast have a positive sign and unfavourable variances against forecast have a negative sign.
  3. Using HYEFU 18 forecast GDP for the year ending 30 June 2019 of $300,168 million (Source: The Treasury).
  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.
  5. Gross sovereign-issued debt excluding settlement cash and Reserve Bank bills.



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