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Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Five Months Ended 30 November 2016

Issue date: 
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Corporate author: 
View point: 

Paul Helm, Chief Government Accountant

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the five months ended 30 November 2016 were released by the Treasury today.  The statements are compared against forecasts based on the 2016 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) published on 8 December 2016.

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was a deficit of $768 million for the five months to 30 November 2016, compared to a forecast deficit of $1,704 million.  This favourable variance of $936 million was largely due to core Crown tax revenue being higher than forecast and core Crown expenses being lower than forecast.

Core Crown tax revenue at $28.8 billion, was $460 million or 1.6% higher than forecast and $2.5 billion (9.4%) higher than for the same period last year.  GST revenue was $252 million (3.3%) above forecast and corporate tax revenue was $87 million (2.5%) above forecast.  It is currently too early to know if these variances are timing in nature or will be permanent.

The preliminary estimated fiscal cost of the Kaikōura earthquakes is expected to be between $2 billion and $3 billion.  As a result, $1 billion was added to the HYEFU 16 forecasts in relation to estimated costs that could not be met by insurance proceeds, reprioritisation or existing budget allowances. An initial estimate of EQC claims costs has been included in the November results, but a number of other costs are currently too uncertain to recognise in the actual results. Over time, as reasonable estimates are able to be made, we expect that these costs will be recognised and included.  As a result, Core Crown expenses were slightly under forecast, at $31.7 billion. 

Net gains were $5,358 million ($2,550 million higher than forecast), mostly as a result of a decrease in the ACC claims liability due to an increase in the discount rate used to convert future cash flows into present day dollars (resulting in an actuarial gain of $3,468 million). 

Net gains combined with the OBEGAL deficit resulted in an operating balance surplus of $4,692 million, $3,483 million higher than forecast.  The higher surplus largely contributed to net worth attributable to the Crown being $3,484 million ahead of forecast.

Core Crown net debt and the core Crown residual cash deficit were close to forecast. Gross Debt however, was $1,057 million lower than forecast as a result of increased repurchasing of government stock.

$ million Year to date Full Year
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 28,832 28,372 460 1.6 74,224
Core Crown revenue 31,490 31,077 413 1.3 80,455
Core Crown expenses 31,723 31,989 266 0.8 78,276
Core Crown residual cash (1,447) (1,377) (70) (5.1) (2,192)
Gross debt3 87,119 88,176 1,057 1.2 91,970
as a percentage of GDP 34.0% 34.4%     34.7%
Net debt4 63,452 63,514 62 0.1 64,440
as a percentage of GDP 24.8% 24.8%     24.3%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses (768) (1,704) 936 54.9 473
Operating balance 4,692 1,209 3,483 288.1 3,795
Net worth attributable to the Crown 94,096 90,612 3,484 3.8 93,034
  1. Using the most recently published GDP (for the year ended 30 September 2016) of $256,191 million (Source: Statistics New Zealand).
  2. Using forecast GDP for the year ending 30 June 2017 of $264,760 million (Source: The 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

Jayne Winfield | Office of the Government Accountant
Tel: +64 4 890 7205
Email: [email protected]
Last updated: 
Monday, 6 March 2017