The Department of Internal Affairs

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Local Government in New Zealand - Local Councils


Local Authority Financial Statistics, Long-Term Plans and LTP Survey

The Local Authority Financial Statistics (LAFS), containing the results of the Local Authority Census (LAC) and a review of councils' audited annual reports, is released annually by Statistics New Zealand. It presents information about the annual financial performance of local authorities. The LAC is mandatory under the Statistics Act 1975, and all local authorities are required to participate.

Due to the high level of quality assurance applied to this data collection by Statistics New Zealand, it generally takes another full financial year before the prior year's financial data is released to the public. Upon receipt, the Department of Internal Affairs uses the new data release to update the financial tables found within each council profile page and the statistical overview of the local government sector found on this website.

The Long-Term Plan (LTP), formerly known as the Long-term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), is a document required to be published by councils every three years under the Local Government Act 2002 that sets out a local authority’s priorities over the next ten years (at a minimum).

In 2009, a Long-term Plan (LTP) Survey was created by the Department of Internal Affairs and distributed by Statistics New Zealand as part of their LAC distribution to every local authority. The intention of the survey was to collect a greater level of detail concerning forecast income and expenditure than had been provided in councils' 2009-19 LTPs.

The LTP survey was a one-off survey and was not mandatory, there are no plans to repeat this survey at this time. Thirty-eight (45%) of the 85 councils sent the LTP Survey responded. The raw data collected from those councils is available for download from the download data resource.

For further information about these datasets please contact