Treasury - Government spending (% GDP) 1997–2023
Total Crown: Includes the core Crown (defined below) plus Crown entities and SOEs as defined by the Government Reporting Entity
Core Crown: A reporting segment consisting of the Crown, departments, Offices of Parliament, the NZS Fund and the Reserve Bank.
Core Crown expenses: The day-to-day spending (eg, public servants' salaries, welfare benefit payments, finance costs and maintaining national defence etc) that does not build physical assets for the Crown. This is an accrual measure of expenses and includes items such as depreciation on physical assets.
From 1994 onwards, expenses are recorded for the core Crown and total Crown on an accrual basis. Expenses include items such as depreciation on physical assets, but does not include capital spending.
Core Crown expenses are recorded by functional classification based on the United Nations “Classification of the Functions of Government” (COFOG) standard.
Accruals basis of accounting: An accounting basis where revenue is recognised when earned and expenses when the obligations they relate to are incurred.
IFRS = International Financial Reporting Standards.
PBE = Public Benefit Entity Standards.
COFOG - Classification of the Functions of Government: A classification defined by the United Nations Statistics Division. Its purpose is to "classify the purpose of transactions such as outlays on final consumption expenditure, intermediate consumption, gross capital formation and capital and current transfers, by general government".
GAAP - Generally Accepted Accounting Practice: The standard framework of guidelines for financial accounting used in any given jurisdiction; generally known as accounting standards or standard accounting practice. These include the standards, conventions, and rules that accountants follow in recording and summarizing and in the preparation of financial statements.
IFRS - International Financial Reporting Standards: The rules to be followed by accountants internationally to maintain books of accounts which are comparable, understandable, reliable and relevant as per the users internal or external.
PBE - Public Benefit Entity: A reporting entity whose primary objective is to provide goods or services for community or social benefit, and where any equity has been provided with a view to supporting that primary objective rather than for a financial return to equity holders.
Data from 1997-2004 for accrual measures (expenses, revenue, OBEGAL, Operating Balance and debt series) are based on values published in the Financial Statements of Government but have been backdated to be consistent with International Financial Reporting Standards. The values therefore differ from those in the published accounts. Cash measures (cash receipts and residual cash) are consistent with those in the published accounts.
Data from 2005 onwards for accrual measures (expenses, revenue, OBEGAL, operating balance and debt series) are based on values published in the Financial Statements of Government but have been backdated to be consistent with Public Sector PBE Standards. PBE Standards were adopted in 2015, therefore for 2005-2014 the values differ from those in the published accounts. Cash measures (cash receipts and residual cash) are consistent with those in the published accounts.
The nominal GDP track is based on the quarterly Infoshare series (SNDQ.SG02NAC00B15Z) available from Stats NZ.
Note - Values as a percentage of GDP may differ from those published due to revisions to the GDP series.
Changes to data collection/processing
Two new PBE accounting standards were adopted at 30 June 2020 and the results as at 30 June 2019 have been restated to reflect this change.
Data provided by
Fiscal Time Series: Historical Fiscal Indicators 2023
How to find the data
Under 'Formats and related files', select 'Fiscal Time Series Historical Indicators 1972 - 2023'.
Import & extraction details
File as imported: Fiscal Time Series: Historical Fiscal Indicators 2023
From the dataset Fiscal Time Series: Historical Fiscal Indicators 2023, this data was extracted:
- Sheet: Spending
- Provided: 324 data points
Dataset originally released on:
January 29, 2024
About this dataset
This dataset published by the Treasury contains historical fiscal data, including debt, fiscal balance, tax and spending.