New Zealand's Public Finance Act at 30: lessons, achievements and future directions

Friday, 26 July to Sunday, 28 July 2019

Victoria Business School, Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand

July 2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of New Zealand’s highly regarded Public Finance Act 1989.

The Act represented a landmark in that it both established pioneering reforms of financial management at the whole of government level and redefined how individual government departments function and are held accountable.  However, significant as that legislation was, it has not remained cast in stone; rather it has continued to evolve to meet the changing context of public financial management.

PFA30 will be hosted by the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Victoria University of Wellington and supported by the New Zealand Treasury, the Controller and Auditor-General of New Zealand, and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia.

The welcome and opening session will take place in the New Zealand Parliament's Grand Hall.

Registration for the conference is available here.

(Please visit the Fees and Registration webpage for more details).

About the PFA30 conference

A range of international and New Zealand speakers, including leading academics, public servants and past Ministers of Finance, will be asked to reflect on:

  • the initial objectives of the Act and the main features of the reformed system;
  • the extent to which the objectives were achieved;
  • the nature of subsequent changes to the Act and their impact;
  • the implications of current proposals to make further amendments;
  • what lessons New Zealand’s experience might provide for other countries; and
  • what lessons other countries might provide for New Zealand.

The publication of the proceedings of the conference will serve to document the rationale for the Public Finance Act 1989 and subsequent amendments and to record the experience of those who used the Act to shape New Zealand’s model of public governance.


Speakers include:

  • Hon Grant Robertson, Minister of Finance
  • Former Ministers of Finance Sir Roger Douglas, Hon Ruth Richardson, and Hon David Caygill
  • Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund
  • Jim Brumby, Director, Governance Global Practice, World Bank
  • Ian Carruthers, Chair, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board
  • Paul Kazarian, Japonica Partners
  • Professor Andreas Bergmann, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Professor John Wanna, Australian National University
  • Adrian Crompton, Auditor-General for Wales
  • John Ryan, Controller and Auditor-General of New Zealand
  • Andrew Kibblewhite, Secretary for Justice and Chief Executive, Ministry of Justice
  • Graham Scott, NZ Productivity Commission and former Secretary to the Treasury
  • Lyn Provost, former Controller and Auditor-General
  • Ian Ball, Professor of Public Financial Management, Victoria University of Wellington

Conference programme

A copy of the conference programme is available here.

PFA30 conference dinner

The conference dinner will be held on Saturday, 27 July at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. The fee for the dinner and pre-dinner drinks is included in the registration fee.

For all enquiries, please contact: