The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper describes the reforms introduced in the New Zealand public sector since the mid-1980s. The reforms included corporatization and privatization of most state-owned enterprises, the shift from a cash-basis to an accrual-basis accounting system and the compilation of a balance sheet for the central government and its entities, performance-based arrangements for the delivery of core government outputs; and institutional changes in expenditure control mechanisms. The paper also summarizes the impact of the reforms on government revenue and spending patterns, and discusses lessons learned from New Zealand’s experience.