A list of our work produced between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.
District health boards: Main findings from the 2019/20 audits

July 2021: We summarise the main findings from our 2019/20 audits of district health boards and other relevant work we have done. We highlight matters that might need attention in the year ahead, including management and governance capacity for dealing with change, tracking performance, and risk management.

The Government’s preparedness to implement the sustainable development goals

August 2021: In 2015, all members of the United Nations adopted The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 sustainable development goals. These goals encompass social, environmental, and economic sustainable development to improve life for current and future generations. We carried out a review of how the Government is demonstrating its commitment to the 2030 Agenda. We looked at what arrangements are in place and how the Government is encouraging stakeholders and the public to engage with efforts to achieve the goals by 2030.

Controller update: September 2021

28 September 2021: 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 the public.

Annual report 2020/21

October 2021: This 2020/21 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.

Building a stronger public accountability system for New Zealanders

October 2021: This discussion paper explores how well New Zealand's public accountability system is working in practice. For this work, we surveyed members of the public and interviewed people who work with the public accountability system. As public accountability is primarily about relationships between people, we focused on the views of people who experience the public accountability system and/or work with it.

Our observations on local government risk management practices

October 2021:We have previously reported that risk management was one of the least mature elements of governance in the public sector. Therefore, we carried out work to better understand the current state of councils' risk management, where the challenges and issues are, and what support councils need to improve how they manage risk.

Completeness of Budget estimates information Completeness of Budget estimates information

2 November 2021: We have replied to Mr Andrew Bayly MP and Hon Michael Woodhouse MP about their concerns about the quality of reporting on public expenditure and the ability of the Estimates of Appropriations to serve their wider purpose as a key accountability mechanism.

Results of the 2020 school audits

December 2021: This detailed information sets out the results of the school audits for 2020. We have provided this information, and a list of recommendations, to the Secretary for Education.

Consulting matters: Observations on the 2021-31 consultation documents

December 2021: Councils need to provide their communities with reliable and clear information about the matters proposed for inclusion in their long-term plan and the costs of these so that their community can engage with and provide feedback on this. This report provides our observations on councils' 2021-31 long-term plan consultation documents.

Inquiry into the Ministry of Social Development’s funding of private rental properties for emergency housing

December 2021: In 2020, issues were raised about the Ministry of Social Development's use of private rental properties as emergency housing. These included issues about the quality of some of the private rental properties, the amount that the Ministry paid for the rental properties, and the impact on the long-term rental market of using private rental properties as emergency housing. We carried out an inquiry into these matters.

Observations from our central government audits: 2020/21

December 2021: This report sets out the operating environment for central government, the results of our audit of the Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the year ended 30 June 2021, our work carrying out the Controller function, and our observations about performance reporting across central government.

Tertiary education institutions: Main findings from our 2020 audits

December 2021: We wrote to chairpersons and chief executives of Te Pūkenga and wānanga, and chancellors and vice-chancellors of universities, about the main findings of our 2020 audits of tertiary education institutions. We also set out our general observations of the impact of Covid-19 on the tertiary education sector and provide specific commentary about Te Pūkenga and its Crown entity subsidiaries.

Budget announcement on infrastructure spending Budget announcement on infrastructure spending

21 December 2021: We have replied to Andrew Bayly MP about his concerns about a lack of supporting information for Budget 2021 announcements regarding $57.3 billion for forecast spending on infrastructure over the five years 2020/21 to 2024/25.

No financial interests in Hood Aerodrome decision

24 February 2022: We were asked to look into potential issues with a mayor and councillor voting on a plan for Hood Aerodrome. After considering the information we needed, we do not consider they had a financial interest in the decision.

Commentary on He Tirohanga Mokopuna 2021

15 March 2022: We reviewed the Treasury's He Tirohanga Mokopuna 2021 to look at how well it had identified long-term insights about challenges and opportunities and integrated them into a view of the Government’s long-term financial position.

Controller update: July to December 2021

17 March 2022: Almost all government spending for the first six months of 2021/22 has been properly authorised and was within the law. There were three instances in which the Government incurred expenditure without having the correct authority in place.

Inquiry into the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme

31 March 2022: Concerns were raised in the media and our Office about how the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) was managed. Because of these concerns, and the amount of public money involved, we carried out an inquiry into the STAPP eligibility criteria for funding and the process for assessing funding applications.

Tertiary education institutions: What we saw in 2021

14 April 2022: This report expands on the main findings from our 2020 audits of tertiary education institutions and provides our observations on the tertiary education sector in 2021. It focuses on two key areas – the ongoing vocational education reform programme and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tertiary education sector.

Responses to our recommendations about monitoring water used for irrigation

19 May 2022: We asked the Ministry for the Environment, the Northland Regional Council, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, the Otago Regional Council, the Marlborough District Council, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and the Environment Canterbury Regional Council for an update on their response to recommendations we made in 2018 about the monitoring of water used for irrigation.

Masterton Civic Facility Project

26 May 2022: We wrote to the Chief Executive of Masterton District Council after concerns were raised with us about aspects of the Council's Civic Centre Project.

Council communications during the 2022 pre-election period

14 June 2022: Councils need to take care to make sure that council communications are not used, or appear to be used, for political purposes. Here are some of the main things councils should watch out for when making decisions about communication during this pre-election period.

Response to letter about Rapid Antigen Tests

16 June 2022: We have replied to Chris Bishop MP about his request to investigate the Government’s purchasing and administration of Rapid Antigen Tests as part of the Covid-19 health response.

Governance of the City Rail Link project

28 June 2022: We looked at the governance arrangements for the City Rail Link project to see whether they were effective and likely to support its successful completion.

Annual plan 2022/23

June 2022: Our annual plan outlines our discretionary programme of work for 2022/23 – 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.