Media statement

Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the Nine Months Ended 31 March 2015

Paul Helm, Chief Government Accountant

The Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the nine months ended 31 March 2015 were released by the Treasury today.  The statements are compared against forecasts based on the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) published on 16 December 2014. 

The total Crown’s operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was a deficit of $358 million in the nine-month period, $856 million stronger than forecast, reflecting higher than forecast tax revenue and lower than anticipated core Crown expenses.

Core Crown tax revenue, at $48.2 billion, was 1.8% or $844 million above forecast.  Around half of this tax variance is expected to reverse by 30 June.  This variance was mainly due to higher than expected corporate tax ($545 million) and other individuals tax ($357 million).  Partially offsetting these, GST was $201 million lower than forecast.

Core Crown expenses, at $53.7 billion, were $127 million (0.2%) lower than forecast.  This variance was spread over a number of departments.

Net losses on non-financial instruments were $4.6 billion higher than forecast, mainly due to actuarial losses on the liabilities of ACC and the Government Superannuation Fund, mostly reflecting lower interest rates.  Partially offsetting these losses, net gains on financial instruments were $1.5 billion higher than forecast largely due to favourable market movements.  

When gains and losses are combined with the OBEGAL result, the operating balance was a deficit of $1.3 billion ($1.9 billion weaker than forecast).

The core Crown residual cash position, at a deficit of $3.4 billion, was $1.3 billion stronger than forecast, mainly due to core Crown tax receipts tracking above forecast ($670 million) and capital payments being $374 million less than forecast.  Net debt, at $63.0 billion, (equivalent to 26.5% of GDP) was $1.7 billion lower than forecast, largely reflecting the residual cash result.

Gross debt at $88.2 billion (37.1% of GDP) was $4.4 billion higher than forecast and was mostly matched by an increase in financial assets.

At 31 March, total Crown assets were valued at $264.4 billion and liabilities were $184.9 billion while the Crown’s share of net worth stood at $74.2 billion.

The Treasury’s updated forecasts will be released as part of the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update on 21 May 2015.


  Year to date Full Year
$ million March
Core Crown          
Core Crown tax revenue 48,175 47,331 844 1.8 65,626
Core Crown revenue 52,495 51,525 970 1.9 71,466
Core Crown expenses 53,732 53,859 127 0.2 73,018
Core Crown residual cash (3,419) (4,731) 1,312 27.7 (4,009)
Gross debt3 88,155 83,748 (4,407) (5.3) 80,289
as a percentage of GDP 37.1% 35.2%     33.6%
Net debt4 63,036 64,766 1,730 2.7 63,494
as a percentage of GDP 26.5% 27.2%     26.5%
Total Crown          
Operating balance before gains and losses (358) (1,214) 856 70.5 (572)
Operating balance (1,298) 607 (1,905) (313.8) 1,900
Net worth attributable to the Crown 74,211 76,118 (1,907) (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]