Timaru street, South Island

Improving trust, promoting value: We give New Zealanders an independent view of public sector spending and performance

Our recent work

Procurement lessons

We have carried out a multi-year work programme looking at how well the public sector manages procurement. This report brings together the findings of that work since 2018 and highlights where most improvement is needed.

Draft annual plan

Our annual plan outlines our programme of work for 2024/25, which includes performance audits, special studies, regular reports and updates, and good practice guidance. This work considers issues facing the public sector and how we can best use our role to influence positive change.

Freshwater follow-up

In 2019, we looked at how effectively four regional councils were managing freshwater quality. We followed up with them and spoke with iwi and hapū representatives to see what progress the regional councils had made in response to our recommendations.


What we do

The Controller and Auditor-General is an Officer of Parliament. This means he is independent of the Government and can't be directed by whichever political party is holding power. 

The Auditor-General has two business units – the Office of the Auditor-General (this site) and Audit New Zealand (auditnz.parliament.nz)

Together, our work gives Parliament and the public an independent view of how public organisations are operating. That independence, along with watching the spending, is why the Auditor-General is sometimes called the public's watchdog.

Here's the video transcript, and there's more information in the About us section.

Read about our priorities

Strengthening our core assurance role

We want to ensure that the public audit system is sustainable in the long term, that we can continue to deliver our mandatory audit and assurance services, and that we can modernise our audit function and respond to changes affecting the audit profession.


Increasing our impact with public organisations

We want to increase our impact by increasing our focus on topics that are important to public accountability. There are key stakeholders in the public accountability system who can influence change, so we will consider how we continue to engage with, support, and build relationships with them to maximise the impact of our work.


Enhancing our impact in te ao Māori

We want to continue to build trust and confidence among Māori in our role, and for our work to have increased relevance to, and impact for, Māori. We also want to influence the public sector to improve the public accountability system to reflect the uniqueness of New Zealand.


Building on our reputation as a source of trusted information

We want to build on our reputation as a source of trusted information about public sector performance and accountability, which the public and Parliament can use to help hold public organisations to account.


What does an auditor do?

An auditor checks that information organisations report annually is reliable, and lets us know if it isn’t. (Here’s the video transcript.)

What is the Controller function?

The Controller checks that money is spent lawfully, and can "turn off the money tap" if it isn't. (Here's the video transcript.)

blog posts

Our blog posts

Our staff are regularly blogging about the interesting and thought-provoking aspects of their work... 

Data Home page

Data (including fraud notifications and school audit results)

We're working to make some of our data available online. We welcome your feedback. 

school resources

Resources for students and teachers 

We've turned some of our reports into teaching resources, mainly for social studies. Check them out!

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