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Government Finance Statistics (Central Government): Year ended June 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  21 June 2013
Data quality


Period-specific information

This section contains data information that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section contains information that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Reference period

This information release presents GFS for the central general government sector for the years ended June 2009 to 2012.

General information

Data source

Data in the accompanying Excel tables is primarily derived from Treasury’s database (CFISnet) and supplemented by information from annual reports, survey data, and data direct from ministries. This differs from Treasury's GFS estimates, which are solely derived from CFISnet.

Accuracy of the data

Internationally, GFS are presented in a consistent format. However, there may still be underlying data capture, measurement, and recognition-point differences between countries that may affect cross-country comparisons.

GFS is reported on a June year. However, data sources have different reporting periods, including March, June, and calendar years, which require different techniques in order to be standardised.

Consistency with other periods or datasets

The set of concepts and principles that is the GFS is one of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) four macroeconomic standards. The other three are the balance of payments, national accounts, and money and banking (financial) statistics. As the concepts behind GFS are consistent with these other statistics, GFS estimates are directly comparable with them.

Generally, the GFS estimates have been compiled consistently with Treasury GFS, but Statistics NZ has used a bottom-up and line-by-line approach rather than Treasury's top-down approach. Statistics NZ plans to work with Treasury to do a reconciliation of differences in the future.

Interpreting the data

The central government sector includes all core Crown departments and most Crown entities. State-owned enterprises are public non-financial corporations and therefore not included in the scope of the central government sector.

Some Crown entities, such as Housing New Zealand, are excluded as they operate as market entities. A market entity provides goods or services at prices that are economically significant. However, equity ownership of the market-operating Crown entities and state-owned enterprises is included in the balance sheet as a financial asset. This is consistent with the GFS manual but may differ from the GFS estimates produced by Treasury.

Conceptually, GFS treats individual government entities as if they were all the same single entity, and nets off all transactions (and assets and liabilities) that this entity has with itself. This process is called 'consolidation'. In compiling this output, this GFS principle has been followed for the balance sheet and the non-financial assets reconciliation tables. Further work is required to produce the revenue and expenditure on a net basis, using detailed counterparty information so this may differ from the Treasury GFS estimates.

In 2012 there was separate reporting of state highways as structures, and the land under the roads as land, in CFISnet. The figure had previously been reported as a total that was classified to structures. A split of highways and land was available in annual reports so the split was applied to all years. This differs from Treasury's GFS as they do not revise their estimates.

Understanding the tables

While the Government Finance Statistics Manual (2001) recommends a particular layout for each table, it recognises that different transactions can have greater or lesser importance in some countries than others. Statistics NZ has used some discretion for the final format of the following tables – to adapt to New Zealand’s circumstances. Generally, the layout of the tables is consistent with the manual’s recommendations. A brief description of the content and purpose of each table follows.

Table 1 – Operating statement (central general government)

A summary of the government’s accrual transactions in a given accounting period. The statement is similar to a company's statement of financial performance but also includes transactions in non-financial assets (eg land, buildings, infrastructure, and intangibles). Provisions and valuation or other changes are treated as other economic flows in government finance statistics rather than as transactions.

Table 2 – Balance sheet (central general government)

Records the market value of a government's stock of financial and non-financial assets, liabilities, and net worth at the end of each accounting period.

Table 3 – General government expenses by purpose (central general government)

Shows the functional split of total operating expenses and total net acquisition of non-financial assets from the operating statement.

Table 4 – Taxation revenue (central general government)

Identifies the different types of tax charged by government.

Table 5 – Non-financial assets reconciliation (central general government)

Brings together the transactions in non-financial assets (with the exception of inventories) included in the operating statement, the balance sheet values, and the actual or implied other economic flows associated with those same assets (ie valuation or other changes) between successive balance dates.

Timing of published data

Government Finance Statistics (Central Government) is generally published 12 months after the end of the reference year. This is to allow government departments to complete their accounts, including auditors’ approval, and questionnaire processing by Statistics NZ.

Confidentiality and accessing the data

Data collected and information contained in this publication must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. This requires that published information maintains the confidentiality of individual respondents.

More information

Further information on GFS and the concepts and principles behind them is in the IMF's Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM 2001).The GFSM 2001 is currently being reviewed by the IMF following releases of updated balance of payments and system of national accounts manuals.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.

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