Publications produced during 2023

This is a list of the publications produced in 2023 (the most recent items are listed first).
Observations from our central government work in 2022/23

14 December 2023: This report sets out the operating environment for central government, our observations about performance reporting across central government, the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2023, and our work carrying out the Controller function.

Making infrastructure investment decisions quickly

13 December 2023: Any spending of public money should deliver good value for New Zealanders. We carried out this audit to understand how consistent the decision-making processes for investments in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme and the Shovel-Ready Programme were with the Government’s guidelines and the public’s expectations that public money is well managed.

Results of the 2022 school audits

12 December 2023: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2022. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Inquiry into Callaghan Innovation’s procurement process

7 December 2023: Concerns were raised with us that Callaghan Innovation had not properly managed a conflict of interest nor natural justice process, and inappropriately shared confidential information with others. We decided to carry out an inquiry into whether the actions and procurement processes for the Start-up programme met good practice expectations.

Freshwater planning, farmers, and financial interests

21 November 2023: This note is about one of our recent decisions under the Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968. It will be helpful for councillors with financial interests in plans under the Resource Management Act 1991.

Do your measures measure up?

16 November 2023: Good performance reporting is crucial to enabling the public and Parliament to determine whether public money is being spent appropriately. However, it has long been unclear what outcomes are being achieved with public spending. We looked at information in the 2023/24 Estimates and share examples of what public organisations are doing well when it comes to performance reporting and where they need to improve.

Reporting on the public sector’s performance in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

31 October 2023: Given Auckland’s significance and the public services that central and local government organisations deliver there, we wanted to understand whether there is clear reporting on how much public money is being spent in the region, where it is being spent, and what difference it is making.

UniServices – Management of conflicts of interest

26 October 2023: We wrote to Andy Shenk, the Chief Executive of Auckland UniServices Limited (UniServices) about how UniServices managed conflicts of interest for work it did for a government department in 2020 and 2021.

Annual Report 2022/23

17 October 2023: This 2022/23 annual report describes the work we have carried out to demonstrate how we will achieve our ultimate outcome – that Parliament and the public have trust and confidence in New Zealand's public sector.

Controller update: September 2023

19 September 2023: This update explains recent events in Parliament’s authorising of public expenditure and our work in monitoring government spending and providing assurance to Parliament and New Zealanders.

Commentary on Te Tai Waiora: Wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand

29 August 2023: In 2022, the Treasury produced a report on the state of New Zealand's well-being called Te Tai Waiora: Wellbeing in Aotearoa New Zealand. We looked at this report, as well as well-being reports from other countries, to provide observations that could help the Treasury’s future well-being reports.

Annual plan 2023/24

29 June 2023: Our annual plan outlines our discretionary programme of work for 2023/24 – performance audits, special studies, regular reports and updates, and good practice guidance. This is work that we consider will help us to achieve our ultimate outcome – that Parliament and the public can have trust and confidence in New Zealand’s public sector.

Responses to our recommendations about strategic suppliers

29 June 2023: We asked the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission, the Department of Internal Affairs, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury, and the National Emergency Management Agency for an update on their responses to recommendations we made in 2021 about how they understand and manage the risks of service disruption from strategic suppliers.

Meeting the needs of people affected by family violence and sexual violence

27 June 2023: We published a report in 2021 that described how effectively a joint venture involving 10 government agencies had been set up to support efforts to reduce family violence and sexual violence. In this report, we look at how the government agencies are working individually, together, and with tangata whenua, communities, and non-government organisations to understand and respond to the needs of people affected by family violence and sexual violence.

Summary of unappropriated expenditure: 2015/16 to 2021/22

15 June 2023: On average, $155 million of government spending in six of the last seven years has lacked proper authority from Parliament. The number of instances has decreased and the value of unappropriated expenditure is a low percentage of the Government’s budget.

Responses to our recommendations about managing freshwater quality

14 June 2023: We asked the Ministry for the Environment, Statistics New Zealand, Waikato Regional Council, Taranaki Regional Council, Horizons Regional Council, and Environment Southland for an update on their response to recommendations we made in 2019 about managing freshwater quality.

Review of the Provincial Growth Fund reset

12 June 2023: We wrote to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee after reviewing how Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit managed the repurposing of more than $600 million from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Four initiatives supporting improved outcomes for Māori

1 June 2023: We looked at three agencies and four initiatives (He Poutama Rangatahi; the Māori Agribusiness Extension Programme; Te Ahu o te Reo Māori; and Whānau Engagement) that aim to support improved outcomes for Māori.

Response to concerns about the Measles Catch-up Campaign

22 May 2023: Dr Shane Reti MP wrote to us with concerns about the Ministry of Health’s Measles Catch-up vaccination campaign, including its cost, the number of vaccines that expired, and its failure to address Māori equity. This is our letter in response.