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Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Four Months Ended 31 October 2015

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 8 December 2015
Corporate author: 
View point: 

Paul Helm, Chief Government Accountant

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the four months ended 31 October 2015 were released by the Treasury today.  The statements are compared against forecasts based on the 2015 Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU) published in May.

Overall the fiscal results have improved from the previous year with the OBEGAL deficit of $478 million compared to deficit of $1 billion at the same time last, with net debt relatively constant. Core Crown tax revenue has increased by 5.8%, while core Crown expenses have grown by 2.5%, over that time.

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was a deficit of $478 million for the four months to 31 October, which was $687 million better than the expected deficit based on BEFU[1].  The two main contributors were tax revenue which was $367 million (1.7%) higher than forecast with source deductions and corporate tax performing above expectations. In addition, ACC results were $263 million higher than expected, primarily due to lower insurance expenses as a result of a decrease in the outstanding claims liability.  Core Crown expenses, at $24.5 billion, were close to forecast.

A period of volatility in equity markets saw the NZS Fund record losses on financial instruments of $249 million, which was $926 million below forecast.  When combined with the OBEGAL result, the operating balance deficit of $867 million was $757 million lower than forecast.

The core Crown residual cash position, at a deficit of $1.6 billion, was $925 million better than forecast.  This stronger result was mainly due to higher tax receipts as well as lower operating and capital payments than forecast.  Core Crown tax receipts were tracking $788 million above forecast of which a portion related to the tax revenue result while the remainder is considered timing in nature.  This lower-than-forecast cash deficit, together with the lower than forecast opening net debt position, has flowed through to net debt which was $2.0 billion lower than forecast at $62.2 billion (25.9% of GDP).

Gross debt at $86.9 billion (36.1% of GDP) was higher than expected largely attributable to a $2 billion Government bond syndication that was forecast to happen in November 2015, occurring in October.

At 31 October 2015, total Crown assets were valued at $275.7 billion and liabilities were $184.6 billion while the Crown’s share of net worth stood at $85.4 billion.

  Year to date Full Year
$ million October
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 22,089 21,722 367 1.7 68,868
Core Crown revenue 24,003 23,767 236 1.0 74,585
Core Crown expenses 24,547 24,702 155 0.6 74,531
Core Crown residual cash (1,571) (2,496) 925 37.1 (4,166)
Gross debt3 86,911 83,711 (3,200) (3.8) 87,162
as a percentage of GDP 36.1% 34.8%     34.9%
Net debt4 62,193 64,195 2,002 3.1 65,597
as a percentage of GDP 25.9% 26.7%     26.3%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses (478) (1,165) 687 59.0  176
Operating balance (867) (110) (757) 2,990
Net worth attributable to the Crown 85,430 74,722 10,708 14.3 77,812
  1. Using GDP for the year ended 30 June 2015 of $240,571 million (Source: Statistics New Zealand).
  2. Using forecast GDP for the year ended 30 June 2016 of $249,890 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.


  • [1] While the current full year forecast is for an OBEGAL surplus, OBEGAL fluctuates month to month due to the seasonal nature of tax revenue and expense trends.



Officer for Enquiries

Nicky Haslam | Office of the Government Accountant
Tel: +64 4 917 6943
Email: [email protected]
Last updated: 
Thursday, 18 February 2016