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The lasting legacy of New Zealand's Public Finance Act - VUW

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

An upcoming conference at Victoria University of Wellington will explore the history and impact of New Zealand’s Public Finance Act on its 30th anniversary.

The New Zealand's Public Finance Act at 30 conference will see a range of international and New Zealand speakers reflect on the Act’s objectives and impact, what lessons New Zealand’s experience might provide for other countries, and what lessons other countries might have for New Zealand.

Speakers at the conference will include the current Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson, former Ministers of Finance Sir Roger Douglas, Hon Ruth Richardson, and Hon David Caygill, as well as a variety of other practitioners and academics from around New Zealand and the world.

"The Public Finance Act established pioneering reforms of financial management at the whole of government level and redefined how individual government departments function and are held accountable," says Professor Ian Ball, one of the architects of the Act and now Professor of Public Financial Management at Victoria Business School.

"While the Act has evolved in a number of ways over 30 years, our financial basics have remained unchanged. Even as the current Government looks to amend the Act and reform the budget system, to capture the wider notion of ’wellbeing‘ in decision making, there is no discussion of moving away from the high-quality information base provided by a system based on accrual numbers."

The conference is being hosted by the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at the University, with support from the New Zealand Treasury, the Controller and Auditor-General of New Zealand, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and CPA Australia.

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