Wellbeing Budget 2023

Support for today
Building for tomorrow



The amount of new funding available at each Budget is set aside in envelopes called allowances. This is the amount of money available for Budget decisions to be counted against when agencies bid to increase expenditure or reduce revenue.

Operating allowance

An operating allowance is the amount of new funding available for the day-to-day operating costs of the government.

Capital allowance

A capital allowance is the amount of new funding available to spend on assets that will increase the value of the Crown’s balance sheet, for example investment into infrastructure like schools and hospitals.

Annual review

Scrutiny by the House and its committees of the performance for the previous financial year, and current operations, of Government departments, Officers of Parliament, Crown entities, State enterprises, and public organisations.


Appropriations are legal authorities granted by Parliament to the Crown or an Office of Parliament to use public resources. Most appropriations are set out in Appropriation Acts.

Appropriation Bill

A Government bill that seeks authority from Parliament to spend public money and incur liabilities. Details of the Government’s spending plans are set out in papers that are presented in association with each Appropriation Bill. (See Estimates).


A resource controlled by an entity. A resource is an item with service potential or the ability to generate economic benefits.

Baseline funding

The level of funding approved for any given area of spending (eg, Vote Education).


A proposed law that the House may consider.


The process for preparing and documenting the Government’s economic policies and spending plans each year resulting in the introduction of an Appropriation Bill and the delivery of the Budget statement.

Budget at a Glance

The Budget at a Glance is an overview of the Budget information and contains the main points for the media and public. This summarises the Government’s spending decisions and key points included in the Budget Speech and Wellbeing Budget document, and the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update.

Budget Economic and Fiscal Update

The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update or BEFU includes the Treasury’s economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government incorporating the financial implications of Government decisions and other information relevant to the fiscal and economic outlook. The BEFU also discusses key risks to the economic and fiscal forecasts.

Budget Day

The day identified by the Minister of Finance when the Government will present its Budget and for the delivery of the Budget statement.

Budget policy statement

A paper presented by the Minister of Finance in the months before the Budget, foreshadowing the Budget and its policy goals. The Finance and Expenditure Committee examines the Budget policy statement and reports to the House (compare with Budget statement).

Budget Speech

The Budget Speech is the statement the Minister of Finance delivers at the start of Parliament’s Budget debate. The statement generally focuses on the overall fiscal and economic position, the Government’s policy priorities and how those priorities will be funded.

Capital expenditure

The expenditure incurred to acquire or develop assets (including tangible, intangible, or financial assets and any ownership interest in entities).

Consumers Price Index (CPI)

Stats NZ’s official index to measure the rate of change in prices of goods and services purchased by households. Core or underlying inflation measures exclude or give little weight to extreme or irregular price movements.

Cost pressures

Additional funding needed because of higher demand under current policy settings due to, for example, higher population growth or changes in demographics, higher cost of delivering or continuing to deliver services due to external market factors (eg, inflation) or collective bargaining agreements and wage progression pressures, or to fulfil an already existing regulatory or legislative requirement.

Core Crown

A reporting segment consisting of the Crown, departments, Offices of Parliament, the New Zealand Superannuation (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 or purchase physical assets by the core Crown. This is an accrual measure of expenses and includes non-cash items, such as depreciation on physical assets.

Core Crown revenue

Consists primarily of tax revenue collected by the Government but also includes investment income, sales of goods and services and other revenue of the core Crown.

Economic Outlook

A description of what is judged likely to happen in the future of the economy. The outlook includes forecast economic indicators such as gross domestic product (including the major components of gross domestic product), consumer prices, unemployment and employment, and the current account position of the balance of payments.

Estimates of Appropriations

A detailed statement of how the Government proposes its departments and other agencies will spend public money and incur liabilities in a financial year. This spending must be approved through an Appropriation Bill.

Financial year

A year as it is set for public finance, being the period from 1 July of one calendar year to 30 June of the next.

Financial assets

Any asset that is cash, an equity instrument of another entity (shares), a contractual right to receive cash or shares (taxes receivable and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) levies), or a right to exchange a financial asset or liability on favourable terms (derivatives in gain).

Financial liabilities

Any liability that is a contractual obligation to pay cash (government stock, accounts payable) or a right to exchange a financial asset or liability on unfavourable terms (derivatives in loss).

Fiscal intentions (short term)

Indications of the Government’s intentions for operating expenses, operating revenues and the impact of its intentions on the operating balance, debt and net worth over (at least) the next three years. These intentions are required under the Public Finance Act 1989 (PFA).

Fiscal objectives (long term)

The Government’s long-term goals for operating expenses, operating revenue, the operating balance, debt and net worth, as required by the PFA. The objectives must be consistent with the defined principles of responsible fiscal management as outlined in the PFA and must cover a period of (at least) 10 years.

Gross debt

Represents debt issued by the sovereign (the core Crown) and includes any government stock held by the NZS Fund, ACC and the Earthquake Commission (EQC) but excludes settlement cash and bank bills.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

A measure of the value-added of all goods and services produced in New Zealand. Changes in GDP measure growth or contraction in economic activity or output. GDP can be measured on either an expenditure or production basis and in either real or nominal terms.

He Ara Waiora

He Ara Waiora is a framework that helps the Treasury to understand waiora, often translated as a Māori perspective on wellbeing, and to interweave and embed Te Ao Māori perspectives in our policy advice with integrity.


Proposals with financial impact that are presented to Ministers during the budget process. Initiatives that are accepted and approved by Ministers are reported in the Summary of Initiatives that are included with the Budget documentation released.

Imprest Supply Bill

A bill that seeks to give the Government temporary authority to spend public money and incur liabilities in advance of detailed spending proposals being approved through an Appropriation Bill.

Labour productivity

Output per unit of labour input (where labour inputs might be measured as hours worked or the number of people employed).

Living Standards Framework

The Living Standards Framework (LSF) is one of the Treasury’s wellbeing frameworks, alongside He Ara Waiora, a mātauranga Māori wellbeing framework. The LSF prompts consideration of the broader impacts of policy in a systematic and evidenced way. The framework includes many dimensions addressing the factors that can expand people’s choices and opportunities to live the lives they value – including health, education and income.


Dealing with the performance, structure, behaviour, and decision-making of an economy as a whole.

Multifactor productivity

Multifactor productivity (MFP) relates a change in output to several types of inputs, typically capital and labour. MFP is often measured residually, as the change in output that cannot be accounted for by the change in combined inputs.

Multi-year funding

Multi-year funding approaches to allocating funding mean that some of the allowance impact of Budget decisions is pre-committed against future Budgets’ operating allowances. This reduces these future Budgets’ available operating allowances to reflect that some funding decisions have already been made.

Net debt

Net debt provides information about the sustainability of the Government’s accounts. Net debt represents core Crown and Crown entity borrowings less core Crown financial assets (including advances). It includes the financial assets and borrowings of the NZS Fund.

Net worth

Total assets less total liabilities. The change in net worth in any given forecast year is largely driven by the operating balance and property, plant and equipment revaluations.

Net worth attributable to the Crown

Represents the Crown’s share of total assets less liabilities of the Government. It excludes minority interests’ share of those assets and liabilities (eg, the share attributable to other shareholders in mixed-ownership-model companies).

Operating balance

Represents OBEGAL (refer below) plus gains and less losses. The operating balance includes gains and losses not reported directly as a movement against net worth. The impact of gains and losses on the operating balance can be subject to short-term market volatility and revaluations of long-term liabilities.

Operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL)

Represents total Crown revenue less total Crown expenses, excluding minority interest share. OBEGAL can provide a more useful measure of underlying stewardship than the operating balance as short-term market fluctuations are not included in the calculation.


Projections relate to the period beyond the five-year forecast period and are based on long-run economic and fiscal assumptions. For example, the projections assume no economic cycle and constant long-run interest, inflation and unemployment rates.

Public Finance Act

The Public Finance Act is the statute that provides the core legislative framework within which the Government can borrow money or spend public money. It contains reporting requirements to ensure the Crown is transparent and accountable for its actions impacting on public finance.


In the Budget process this is the reassignment of existing funding from one area to another.


Reduction in cost or expenditure from baselines.

Select committee

A committee whose membership is confined to a limited number of members. Most of the committees are subject select committees, each of which deals with a particular subject area.

Supplementary Estimates

A statement of further amounts to be spent by Government departments, Officers of Parliament, Crown entities, State enterprises, and public organisations in the current financial year in addition to the details of spending contained in the Estimates. This spending must be approved by an Appropriation Bill.

Tagged contingency

Tagged contingency is funding that is ring-fenced for a particular purpose and held in the centre, ie not appropriated into baselines. Treasury may use tagged contingencies as a policy tool where an initiative is likely to be funded but needs further work before funding can be appropriated.

Tax revenue

The accrual, rather than the cash measure of taxation. It is a measure of tax over a given period in time, regardless of whether or not it has actually been paid.


When Parliament considers legislation relating to appropriations, the appropriations are grouped within ‘Votes’. Generally, a ‘Vote’ will group appropriations together that are the responsibility of a portfolio Minister (eg, Vote Health includes all health-related appropriations that are the responsibility of the Minister of Health).

Vote (Estimates)

Part of an Appropriation Bill containing details of the authority to spend public money or incur expenses in a particular area. For example, Vote Health.

Year ended

Graphs and tables within this document use different expressions of the timeframe. While some tables may refer to the end of the tax year (31 March), others will refer to the end of the Government’s financial year (30 June). For example, unless otherwise stated references to 2021/22 or 2022 will mean the year ended 30 June.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Back to Top