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Next Steps for Public Spending in New Zealand: The Pursuit of Effectiveness


  • David Rae


This paper reviews public expenditure in New Zealand and the scope for further progress. Since the mid-1980s, New Zealand has been a world leader in public management reforms. Government agencies have been transformed by delegating managerial responsibility to them and replacing input controls with an output-based budgeting and management approach. The adoption of a medium-term top-down fiscal management framework contributed to a large reduction in public debt. But while the system is good at producing outputs cheaply and often in innovative, responsive, and customer-driven ways, it is not as good at choosing what to produce in the first place (i.e. technical versus allocative efficiency). This reflects insufficient evaluation of programmes, not enough focus on managing for outcomes, and a budget that is excessively fragmented. The quality of spending could also be improved by a greater willingness to extend the use of market-based mechanisms, including usercharges, competition ... Prochaines étapes pour les dépenses publiques en Nouvelle-Zélande : A la recherche de l'efficacité Le présent article examine les dépenses publiques en Nouvelle-Zélande et la possibilité de les améliorer. Depuis le milieu des années 80, la Nouvelle-Zélande a été un chef de file mondial en matière de réformes de la gestion publique. Les organismes publics ont été transformés en leur attribuant des responsabilités de gestion et en remplaçant les contrôles des ressources par une approche de planification et de gestion des résultats. L’adoption d’un cadre de gestion budgétaire à moyen-terme de conception descendante a contribué à réduire fortement l’endettement public. Mais si le système est satisfaisant pour produire moins cher et souvent de façon innovante, réactive et tourné vers le client, il n’est pas aussi performant pour choisir ce qu’il faut produire d’abord (ex. efficience technique ou allocative). Cela reflète une insuffisance au niveau de l’évaluation des programmes qui n’est pas assez ciblée sur la gestion des résultats et un budget qui est trop fragmenté. La qualité des ...

Suggested Citation

  • David Rae, 2002. "Next Steps for Public Spending in New Zealand: The Pursuit of Effectiveness," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 337, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:337-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Ian Lienert, 2010. "Should Advanced Countries Adopt a Fiscal Responsibility Law?," IMF Working Papers 10/254, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Felicity C Barker & Robert A Buckle & Robert W St Clair, 2008. "Roles of Fiscal Policy in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 08/02, New Zealand Treasury.

    More about this item


    dépenses publiques; fiscal transparency; gestion publique; government expenditure; programmes de garantie de ressources; public management; transparence budgétaire; welfare programmes;

    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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