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Floods Still Affect Local Authority Finances

Local Authority Statistics: December 2004 quarter —

18 March 2005 2004

Floods Still Affect Local Authority Finances

Floods in the North Island in February and July of 2004 are still impacting on local authority finances, Statistics New Zealand said today. A number of councils remitted rates to owners of flood-damaged properties, which contributed to a small decrease in rates revenue in the December 2004 quarter. However, this decrease was more than offset by an increase in grants and subsidies received, up $19.4 million when seasonally adjusted. The additional grants and subsidies came from central government, to compensate for rates remissions, and from Land

Transport New Zealand (formerly Transfund) for road repairs. The December 2004 quarter figure for grants and subsidies was up 34.7 percent on the December 2003 quarter. Payments for goods and services, grants and donations, and all other expenditure increased 4.1 percent to $632.4 million in the December 2004 quarter.

This is the largest December quarter increase since 1999, and also reflects an element of flood-related expenditure. For some councils, the bad weather in the September 2004 quarter delayed maintenance works until the December quarter.

Total income was $1,230.8 million for the December 2004 quarter, up 3.9 percent compared with the September 2004 quarter. Total expenditure was up 1.8 percent, to $1,165.1 million, resulting in a combined surplus of $65.7 million for New Zealand's 86 local authorities.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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