Local Authority Census

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The Local Authority Census is an annual survey sent to all city councils, district councils, and non-market council-controlled organisations. The survey topics include income, expenditure, and assets. The Local Authority Financial Statistics (LAFS) is the core publication resulting from this survey. LAFS publishes information on income and expenditure, operating income and expenditure by activity, and financial position. These outputs are produced at the total level and by individual council.


The purpose of this survey is to collect annual statistics from local authorities. Aggregated statistics from this survey will:

• provide information for the publication of annual local authority financial statistics

• help in the preparation of New Zealand’s national accounts, prices indexes and related statistics

• help businesses, government, and other organisations plan and make decisions.

Citation Information


Local Authority Census

Alternate Title



National Accounts


Statistics New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 1/06/1993 to present

Topical Coverage

  • Local authorities’ income:
  • Local authorities expenditure:
  • Local authorities operating income and expenditure by activity
  • Local authorities’ financial position
  • Rates
  • Regulatory income and petrol tax
  • Current grants, subsidies, and donations income
  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • Sales and other operating income
  • Income from valuation changes
  • Other non-operating income
  • Capital grants, subsidies, and donations income
  • Development and financial contributions
  • Vested assets
  • Employee costs
  • Depreciation and amortisation
  • Current grants, subsidies, and donations expenditure
  • Interest expenditure
  • Purchases and other operating expenditure
  • Expenditure on valuation changes, provisions, and write offs
  • Other non-operating expenditure
  • Capital grants, subsidies, and donations expenditure
  • Balances
  • Operating surplus/deficit
  • Net non-operating transactions
  • Surplus/deficit including non-operating transactions
  • Net capital transactions
  • Surplus/deficit including non-operating and capital transactions

Information Release

Related Materials

Survey Instrument


4 Annual

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