Part 1: An independent view of public sector performance

Annual plan 2024/25.

The Office of the Auditor-General is a source of independent and trusted information about public sector performance and accountability. The Public Audit Act 2001 sets out the role and functions of the Controller and Auditor-General (the Auditor-General). As an Officer of Parliament, the Auditor-General is independent of the Government and their work can not be directed by the government of the day.

The Auditor-General has two business units – the Office of the Auditor-General and Audit New Zealand. They are supported by a shared corporate services group. The Auditor-General also contracts private sector audit firms to carry out about half (by value) of public sector audits on their behalf.

The Auditor-General is responsible for auditing every public organisation in New Zealand (about 3300) each year. These annual audits provide assurance to Parliament and the public that public organisations are reporting reliable and relevant information about how they have used public money and how they have performed. These annual audits represent about 85% of the Office’s work, and they are generally funded by fees charged to the organisations we audit.

We also carry out performance audits, inquiries, and special studies, and we produce commentaries, sector reports and updates, and good practice guidance. Through this work, we aim to improve trust in, and the performance of, public organisations. This work is generally funded directly by Parliament.

We use the information and insights we get from all our work to provide advice and support to Parliament. We provide expert advice to parliamentary select committees for the annual reviews of central government organisations and their scrutiny of the estimates of appropriations (the Budget).

The Auditor-General is also the Auditor-General of the governments of Niue and Tokelau. He is also the Secretary General of the Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions (PASAI), which promotes transparent, accountable, effective, and efficient use of public sector resources in the Pacific.1

We contribute to the development of public audit internationally by participating in country-to-country peer reviews and assistance.

Our strategic direction

The Auditor-General’s strategic intentions to 2028 provides the strategic context for our 2024/25 annual plan.

Our vision is a high-performing and accountable public sector. The ultimate outcome we seek is for Parliament and New Zealanders to have trust and confidence in the public sector.

Our performance framework triangle.

The Auditor-General’s strategic intentions to 2028 describes what we will focus on in that period to help achieve our long-term outcomes.

Our annual plan is based on our strategic priorities:

  • strengthening our core assurance role;
  • increasing our impact with public organisations (by encouraging more meaningful performance reporting, an increased focus on value for money, a long-term view in planning and decision-making, and strong integrity practices);
  • enhancing our impact in te ao Māori; and
  • building on our reputation as a source of trusted information.

1: PASAI currently has 30 supreme audit institution members.