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Audit report

To the readers of the Ministry for the Environment’s financial statements and statement of service performance for the year ended 30 June 2010

The Auditor-General is the auditor of the Ministry for the Environment (the Ministry). The Auditor‑General has appointed me, Robert Cox, using the staff and resources of Audit New Zealand, to carry out the audit on her behalf. The audit covers the financial statements, the schedules of non-departmental activities and statement of service performance included in the annual report of the Department, for the year ended 30 June 2010.

Unqualified opinion

In our opinion:

  • The financial statements of the Ministry on pages 51 to 76:
    • comply with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand; and
    • fairly reflect:
      • the Ministry’s financial position as at 30 June 2010;
      • the results of its operations and cash flows for the year ended on that date;
      • its expenses and capital expenditure incurred against each appropriation administered by the Ministry and each class of outputs included in each output expense appropriation for the year ended 30 June 2010; and
      • its unappropriated expenses and capital expenditure for the year ended 30 June 2010.
  • The schedules of non-departmental activities on pages 77 to 99 fairly reflect the assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, contingencies, commitments and trust monies managed by the Ministry on behalf of the Crown for the year ended 30 June 2010.
    The statement of service performance of the Ministry on pages19 to 49:
  • complies with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand; and
    • fairly reflects for each class of outputs:
      • its standards of delivery performance achieved, as compared with the forecast standards included in the statement of forecast service performance adopted at the start of the financial year; and
      • its actual revenue earned and output expenses incurred, as compared with the forecast revenues and output expenses included in the statement of forecast service performance adopted at the start of the financial year.

The audit was completed on 30 September 2010, and is the date at which our opinion is expressed.

The basis of our opinion is explained below. In addition, we outline the responsibilities of the Chief Executive and the Auditor, and explain our independence.

Basis of opinion

We carried out the audit in accordance with the Auditor-General’s Auditing Standards, which incorporate the New Zealand Auditing Standards.

We planned and performed the audit to obtain all the information and explanations we considered necessary in order to obtain reasonable assurance that the financial statements and statement of service performance did not have material misstatements, whether caused by fraud or error.

Material misstatements are differences or omissions of amounts and disclosures that would affect a reader’s overall understanding of the financial statements and statement of service performance. If we had found material misstatements that were not corrected, we would have referred to them in our opinion.

The audit involved performing procedures to test the information presented in the financial statements and statement of service performance. We assessed the results of those procedures in forming our opinion.

Audit procedures generally include:

  • determining whether significant financial and management controls are working and can be relied on to produce complete and accurate data;
  • verifying samples of transactions and account balances;
  • performing analyses to identify anomalies in the reported data;
  • reviewing significant estimates and judgements made by the Chief Executive;
  • confirming year-end balances;
  • determining whether accounting policies are appropriate and consistently applied; and
  • determining whether all financial statement and statement of service performance disclosures are adequate.

We did not examine every transaction, nor do we guarantee complete accuracy of the financial statements and statement of service performance.

We evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements and statement of service performance. We obtained all the information and explanations we required to support our opinion above.

Responsibilities of the Chief Executive and the Auditor

The Chief Executive is responsible for preparing the financial statements and statement of service performance in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand. The financial statements must fairly reflect the financial position of the Ministry as at 30 June 2010 and the results of its operations and cash flows for the year ended on that date. 

The financial statements must also fairly reflect the expenses and capital expenditure incurred against each appropriation administered by the Ministry and each class of outputs included in each output expense appropriation for the year ended 30 June 2010. The financial statements must also fairly reflect the Ministry’s unappropriated expenses and capital expenditure for the year ended on that date.

In addition, the Chief Executive is responsible for preparing schedules of non-departmental activities, in accordance with the Treasury Instructions 2009 that must fairly reflect the assets, liabilities, revenues, expenses, contingencies, commitments and trust monies managed by the Ministry on behalf of the Crown for the year ended 30 June 2010.

The statement of service performance must fairly reflect, for each class of outputs, the Ministry’s standards of delivery performance achieved and revenue earned and expenses incurred, as compared with the forecast standards, revenue and expenses adopted at the start of the financial year. 

The Chief Executive’s responsibilities arise from sections 45A and 45B of the Public Finance Act 1989.

We are responsible for expressing an independent opinion on the financial statements and statement of service performance and reporting that opinion to you. This responsibility arises from section 15 of the Public Audit Act 2001 and section 45D(2) of the Public Finance Act 1989.

Independence

When carrying out the audit we followed the independence requirements of the Auditor-General, which incorporate the independence requirements of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
Other than the audit, we have no relationship with or interests in the Ministry.


[signed by]
Robert Cox
Audit New Zealand
On behalf of the Auditor-General
Wellington, New Zealand

Matters Relating to the Electronic Presentation of the Audited Financial Statements and Statement of Service Performance
This audit report relates to the financial statements and statement of service performance of the Ministry for the Environment for the year ended 30 June 2010 included on the Ministry for the Environment’s website. The Chief Executive is responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the Ministry for the Environment’s website. We have not been engaged to report on the integrity of the Ministry for the Environment’s website. We accept no responsibility for any changes that may have occurred to the financial statements and statement of service performance since they were initially presented on the website.

The audit report refers only to the financial statements and statement of service performance named above. It does not provide an opinion on any other information which may have been hyperlinked to or from the financial statements and statement of service performance. If readers of this report are concerned with the inherent risks arising from electronic data communication they should refer to the published hard copy of the audited financial statements and statement of service performance and related audit report dated 30 September 2010 to confirm the information included in the audited financial statements and statement of service performance presented on this website.

Legislation in New Zealand governing the preparation and dissemination of financial information may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.