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Kaikoura quake hangs over govt books

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/02/2017

A bigger-than-expected tax take has helped the government's operating balance edge into the black in the last six months of 2016 but the Kaikoura earthquake costs aren't yet in the mix.

The operating balance, before gains and losses, for the period was a surplus of $9 million, compared to a forecast deficit of $666m, Treasury said in its government financial statements on Thursday.

Core expenses of $38.1 billion were $303m lower than forecast but that was because the costs from the November 14 Kaikoura earthquake weren't included.

They "have yet to be quantified with enough certainty to include in the actual results", Treasury said.

The books were helped by core tax revenue $313m higher than forecast and GST $173m more than forecast.

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