Public spending evenly spread

A snapshot of government funding by regions shows public spending is evenly spread across the country.

Finance Minister Bill English and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today released the Regional Government Expenditure Report jointly commissioned by Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and undertaken by NZIER.

The report to 30 June 2012 provides estimates of central government spending (operational and capital) in each of New Zealand’s 16 regions. The estimates are based on a direct expenditure approach and a measure based on services. The expenditure approach assigns spending to a region according to where money is spent and the service approach assigns expenditure according to the region for which a government service is provided.

Key findings include:

  • Using the expenditure method, in the year to June 2012 the Government spent $78,020 million, 92 per cent of which was operating expenditure
  • Wellington had the highest per capita operating expenditure ($22,297) and capital expenditure per capita ($2,184) because it is the capital and headquarters of many of the government’s core functions such as policy advice that supports services across New Zealand
  • Canterbury’s per capita share of expenditure is above average due, in large part, to increased spending following the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes
  • Using the services method, Otago had the highest capital expenditure per person ($1,993; page 7 of the report) and Gisborne the highest operating expenditure per person ($19,578; page 6 of the report).

Table 1 Core Crown Spending by region

Table 1 Core Crown Spending by region

“The development of all of New Zealand’s regions is hugely important to the Government and the national economy. This report shows the Government is investing in all our regions helping to support families, business growth, jobs and higher incomes,” Mr English says.

“The report will be a useful tool to monitor changes over time alongside the Regional Economic Activity Report and Statistics New Zealand’s Regional GDP update, which have both been released in the last four months.”

Mr Joyce says the report covers all Government expenditure, everything from building roads and hospitals, to social welfare payments, education and research and development.

“The results in the expenditure report show that regional expenditure broadly reflects the size of the population in each region,” Mr Joyce says.

“Small variations in Government spending across regions reflect their different demographics and characteristics. Regions with higher numbers of older people tend to have higher superannuation and health expenditure; areas with lower unemployment tend to have less social welfare spending.

“The Government remains committed to strengthening investment in all our regions helping them achieve their potential and boosting jobs and quality of life for all New Zealand families.”

The full report is here.

The ODT is running a Stand Up Otago campaign, with the support of southern mayors, largely predicated on the belief the south isn’t getting its fair share.

This reports shows that isn’t the case and spending is evenly spread across the country and pretty closely related to the population.

13 Responses to Public spending evenly spread

  1. Gravedodger says:

    Dunedin was once a powerhouse of commerce, as was its sibling to the near North, Oamaru.

    Based on gold to a large extent and reinforced by location, attitude, and work ethic.
    Of all the iconic brands Cadburys is getting lonely and today only as a bit plant in a global empire.
    Speights also exists largely as just a brand name with much of the associated brewing carried out nearer to the drinkers.

    Successive Dunedin Mayors need to have a long hard look at themselves and their policies as regards making business welcome instead of their welfare inspired plaintive wails, as commercial reality makes inroads into old industry.
    Shadbolt has given Invercargil and Southland a significant lift with a cando attitude, compare that to a succession of whining local and central government leaders in the Edinburgh of the south.
    Just watching a once proud University sink into mediocrity is so sad while ejits like Benson Pope and Pete Hodgson succeeded by the Red Padre Clark and Airhead Curran who saw a future in 19th century railway workshops instead of embracing 21st century technology at OU, says it all really.

    How about an Angus Tait, Gil Simpson, Micheal Hill, Stephen Tindall, dont such people grow up in the lovely old city, possibly yes but Dunedin seems to have made a success of preventing them blooming and bearing fruit.


  2. homepaddock says:

    Otago University is still one of the country’s best and it is growing.

    There are a lot of other good things happening in Dunedin – including new work at Cadburys to take advantage of the free trade agreement with China.

    City leaders need to stop saying woe-is-us and act on their strengths.

    I agree the council needs significant improvement. Christchurch would love the 5-star hotel Dunedin doesn’t seem to want.


  3. Mr E says:

    Otago is so expensive because of all the Government funding directed towards blogs;)


  4. JRM. says. What can be expected with a Mayor and some Green leaning socialist councillors like Mctavish etc pushing no progress agendas, No oil drills no high rise Hotels ,no car parks to make way for cycles on Dunedins hilly streets aided by two Labour MPs a shame for Dunedin,


  5. robertguyton says:

    Jinty’s an excellent Councillor.
    No oil drills indeed!
    This Government is excluding the public from having their say on exploratory drilling off-shore and the public knows full-well that the Gulf of Mexico disaster resulted from exactly that – exploratory drilling, not production drilling. National treats Kiwis as if we are stupid. That’s why this is their final term.


  6. murray grimwood says:

    The DCC, the ODT, the Govt, and the Uni, all are guilty of various failures.

    The University suffers from specialisation, but no correlation/meshing mechanism. I can trace that dissonance to one dividing-wall in one Department…

    The DCC has an ‘Economic Development Policy’ and a Sustainability advisor. You can’t have both, and economic development – unless it can become 100% divorced from the physical planet – is the one which is unsustainable. (there’s a more direct link, but this will do:

    So they are getting there, but have a way to go.

    The current Govt is either stupid or cynical. Its supporters I classify as one or the other too. We are seeing an accelerated transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle, to the rich – and it’s happeing in a zero-sum game. The measure of ‘growth’ used – GDP – is a horsepoo one, yet even by that measure the planet has stalled. We ae looking at a never-bigger, never-older global infrastructure, a population overshot by a factor of 4, we’re down to fracking and deep-water (reducing EROEI) fossil fuels, and BAU in real terms is unsustainable.

    As it always had to be, at some point..

    What we have to remember, is that the ‘old guard’ always fight to retain, and always fail. They start with all the power, usually have have a monopoly on the media, and always lose. Not because the new guard are more powerful or even more intelligent; but because they are merely more future-appropriate.

    Jinty MacTavish is the future, Steven Joyce is the past. Its about that simple. On that scale, there is no separation between Curran and Dean.


  7. Viv K says:

    ‘the 5 star hotel Dunedin doesn’t seem to want’. What Dunedin didn’t want was a 28 storey building towering over the waterfront. How would Oamaru respond to the offer of a multistorey modernist glass slab plonked in the middle of the Victorian precinct Ele?


  8. Viv K says:

    It will be interesting to see the election results this weekend. The candidates have made their positions clear on issues such as oil drilling, we will see who gets voted in. Perhaps the people who vote in Dunedin want socialist, green councillors and mayor. Perhaps Dunedin voters want a focus on renewable energy and safer walking and cycling, we will see.


  9. jabba says:

    maybe Dunedin voters want to continue to live in a once great city now in decline and with oil prices high walking and cycling will be forced upon them.


  10. homepaddock says:

    If someone was offering to build a 5-star hotel in Oamaru I’d expect the council to work with them to get a design and location that would get consent. That wouldn’t be in the precinct but it might be against the hill nearby.


  11. robertguyton says:

    Vote Jinty!


  12. Viv K says:

    The Dunedin council has offered to work with the developers. Mr Cull said ‘No avenues are shut in terms of attracting this investment to Dunedin’. Of course you’d rather spin it as ‘the hotel Dunedin doesn’t seem to want’ and imply, incorrectly, that the council is anti progress.


  13. homepaddock says:

    That work should have been going on form the start not after consent’s been declined.


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