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16 March 2023

The start of a series on annual environmental expenditure

In last year’s report, Environmental reporting, research and investment: Do we know if we’re making a difference? the Commissioner committed to producing updated estimates of central government environmental spending.

This commitment was made in response to the absence of comprehensive information on the magnitude of public spending on the environment, and how the funds that are spent are allocated to address specific environmental issues.

The Estimate of environmental expenditure 2022/23: Methods and results aims to address this information deficiency, and represents the first in a series of regular updates of expenditure incurred by central government.

Accessible information on environmental expenditure is critical to enable parliamentarians to arrive at an informed view on the Government’s environmental spending decisions. They need to know:

  • the relative prioritisation of environmental challenges and outcomes as revealed through the allocation of fiscal resources
  • the general adequacy of our response to environmental issues in terms of whether the Government is spending too much or too little to achieve those outcomes
  • the effectiveness of that expenditure in terms of its impact on environmental outcomes.

The lack of information on environmental expenditure significantly hinders the ability of parliamentarians to exercise an appropriate level of scrutiny over these decisions.

This 2022/23 issue follows on from the 2019/20 estimate of environmental expenditure. It includes an overview of the method used to compile the estimate, key results and accompanying limitations.

Read the Estimate of environmental expenditure 2022/23: Methods and results

Parliament House, Wellington, Gordon Haws, Flickr

Gordon Haws, Flickr