Part 1: Introduction

Auditor-General’s mid-term review

This Part discusses the scope of the mid-term review and how it was carried out.

This year, I reached the mid-point of my seven-year term as the Controller and Auditor-General (the Auditor-General). I commissioned this review to reflect on where we are as an Office,1 the challenges we face, and our priorities as I complete my term and prepare the Office for the next Auditor-General in 2025.

Scope of the mid-term review

During this review, I considered:

  • the progress that the Office has made against our current strategy;
  • the environment that I expect the Office to work in for the remainder of my term; and
  • what I need to focus on so that the Office continues to deliver on its mandate in that environment.

I have not considered:

  • whether any change to the functions, duties, and powers of the Auditor-General under the Public Audit Act 2001 (the Act) is needed;
  • making any changes to the Office's approach to appointing auditors, including having Audit New Zealand as a separate business unit within the Office; or
  • the merits of individual audits, reports, or decisions and advice the Office has given or published.

These matters are either primarily for Parliament's consideration or subject to other independent review processes that are separately reported on, including in the Office's annual report.

How the review was carried out

To carry out the review, we completed several different pieces of work. These included:

  • an assessment of the Office using the Supreme Audit Institutions Performance Measurement Framework (SAI PMF);2
  • interviews with a range of people who have an interest in our work;3
  • a survey sent to all Office staff; and
  • analysis of key information, including surveys of members of Parliament, public organisations, the results of quality assurance, and findings from other reviews.

External reference group work

An external reference group tested the findings of the review. These experts challenged my thinking and assisted with the review process. They also provided me with advice and support to help meet the objectives of the review.

The group members were Sir John Clarke, Sir Maarten Wevers, Margaret Devlin, and Grant Hehir. Appendix 1 includes background information on each member of the reference group.


This review would not have been possible without those people who provided valuable time and input to inform the findings. These included the external reference group members and the wide range of people we interviewed in Parliament, academia, the media, the public sector, and beyond.

I thank all of those who took time to provide their input. It has all been of value to me.

1: In this report, references to the "Office" include the Office of the Auditor-General, Audit New Zealand, the Corporate Services Group, and other contracted audit service providers, all of which carry out work on the Auditor-General's behalf.

2: The SAI PMF is an International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) tool that provides SAIs with a framework for voluntary assessments or peer reviews of their performance against the Framework for INTOSAI Professional Pronouncements and other established international good practices for external public auditing. We used the SAI PMF as a base and adjusted for matters where the international framework is not relevant to the Office. As allowed in the SAI PMF, we also relied on the Office's systems of quality assurance as evidence to inform the indicators on audit processes and quality.

3: Appendix 2 lists those we interviewed.