Data Collection

Period-specific information: September 2021 quarter

Period-specific information: September 2021 quarter en-NZ



Reference Period

The information in this release is compiled from data collected in the quarterly Local Authority Survey run in the September 2021 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

We partition the local authority spending on public transport between purchases (purchase of goods and services) and subsidies (grants, subsidies and donations paid). Our usual method of apportioning is based on the proportion of expenditure shown for these series in the most recent annual local authority census.

This method has worked prior to COVID-19, however this method of using annual proportions will not capture the sharp changes in quarterly activity experienced during COVID-19 quarters. During the high-level lockdowns, sales revenue from public transport reduced far more than expenditure on public transport. This should be reflected in increased subsidies and lower purchases of public transport services.

We have altered the method for calculating the split between purchases and subsidies from June 2020 quarter onwards to reflect quarterly changes in sales of goods and services in conjunction with the annual local authority census data. The new approach will better reflect the level of public transport subsidy in each quarter.

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Revision Date Responsibility Rationale
1 8/12/2021 12:03:07 PM