Data Collection

Period-specific information: December 2020 quarter

Period-specific information: December 2020 quarter en-NZ
Period-specific information: December 2020 quarter en-NZ

Reference Period

The information in this release is compiled from data collected in the quarterly Local Authority Survey run in the December 2020 quarter.


  1. Local authority statistics, seasonally adjusted income
  2. Local authority statistics, seasonally adjusted income, percentage changes
  3. Local authority statistics, actual income
  4. Local authority statistics, seasonally adjusted expenditure
  5. Local authority statistics, seasonally adjusted expenditure, percentage changes
  6. Local authority statistics, actual expenditure

Seasonal adjustment

New items of income or expenditure that are included by local authorities can impact seasonal adjustment when the seasonal component of the data is unknown. With the introduction of Auckland’s regional fuel tax (RFT) in the September 2018 quarter, we have seen greater volatility in the seasonally adjusted regulatory income and petrol tax series. We expect this volatility to continue for a number of quarters until we have collected sufficient data to understand any changes in the seasonality of this series resulting from the introduction of the RFT.

In September 2019 a review of all series was carried out. Based on the review, several changes to seasonal adjustment were implemented in the September 2019 quarter: the rates series is now seasonally adjusted, while the interest received and interest paid series are no longer seasonally adjusted.

In June 2020, the seasonal adjustment series were reviewed and additive outlier adjustments were applied to account for the impacts of COVID-19 to the following series:

  • Regulatory income and petrol tax
  • Sales and other operating income
  • Total operating income
  • Purchases and other operating expenditure

QLAS survey update

In the September 2020 quarter, we updated the QLAS form to improve data quality. We refined existing QLAS questions to better align with Local Authority Census (LAC) questions, so that the inclusions and exclusions criteria for each QLAS question matched each corresponding LAC question. This means that each June, when we benchmark QLAS data to annual Local authority financial statistics (LAFS) data, the sizes of annual revisions are anticipated to reduce in comparison to previous periods.

Review of methods

In the latter stages of producing the Local Authority Statistics December 2020 quarter, we noted that our model of small councils’ dividends has produced figures in the ‘dividend income’ series that are not aligned with the effects of COVID-19 on the current market.

We will be reviewing our methods and investigating any flow-on effects of adjusting the model.

If you use this specific series and require additional information, please contact




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Revision Date Responsibility Rationale
5 30/11/2021 3:52:41 PM