New Zealand Trade and Enterprise: Administration of the Visiting Investor Programme.

In May 2004, the Commerce Committee of the House of Representatives asked me to look at the Visiting Investor Programme. The Visiting Investor Programme is administered by Investment New Zealand, which is a business unit within New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

At the time of the Committee’s request, I was conducting a performance audit of the administration of grants by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. I agreed to also examine the Visiting Investor Programme.

Since 1998, the Visiting Investor Programme has brought potential investors to New Zealand to meet with Ministers, leaders and decision-makers in business, and in local and central government. The investors come to New Zealand as guests of the Government, and are hosted accordingly.

In this audit, I looked at the establishment of the Visiting Investor Programme, the policies and procedures governing it, how it has operated, and its evaluation. I also examined the expenditure incurred under the Visiting Investor Programme, and considered whether or not it was appropriate.

Specifically, I examined visits made by potential investors during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 financial years. For some of those visits, and particularly those during 2002-03, the standard of documentation was poor.

In the 2003-04 year, in cases where the supporting documentation was clear, the expenditure incurred was appropriate given the nature of the Visiting Investor Programme. However, I was concerned that there were no policies setting out appropriate types and levels of expenditure.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has already responded to the findings of the audit, setting out how it intends to implement each of the recommendations in this report.

I thank the Board and staff of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for their assistance during the audit.


K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

1 December 2004

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