Independent Auditor’s Report

To the readers of New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s financial statements and performance information for the year ended 30 June 2019

The Auditor General is the auditor of New Zealand Walking Access Commission (the Commission). The Auditor General has appointed me, Rehan Badar, using the staff and resources of Audit New Zealand, to carry out the audit of the financial statements and the performance information, including the performance information for an appropriation, of the Commission on his behalf.

Opinion

We have audited:

  • the financial statements of the Commission on pages 30 to 46, that comprise the statement of financial position as at 30 June 2019, the statement of comprehensive revenue and expense, statement of changes in equity and statement of cash flows for the year ended on that date and the notes to the financial statements including a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information; and
  • the performance information of the Commission on pages 23, 24 and 28 to 29.

In our opinion:

  • the financial statements of the Commission on pages 30 to 46:
    • present fairly, in all material respects:
      • its financial position as at 30 June 2019; and
      • its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended; and
    • comply with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand in accordance with Public Benefit Entity Reporting Standards Reduced Disclosure Regime; and
  • the performance information on pages 23, 24 and 28 to 29:
    • presents fairly, in all material respects, the Commission’s performance for the year ended 30 June 2019, including:
      • for each class of reportable outputs:
        • its standards of delivery performance achieved as compared with forecasts included in the statement of performance expectations for the financial year; and
        • its actual revenue and output expenses as compared with the forecasts included in the statement of performance expectations for the financial year;
        • what has been achieved with the appropriation; and
        • the actual expenses or capital expenditure incurred compared with the appropriated or forecast expenses or capital expenditure.
    • complies with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand.

Our audit was completed on 31 October 2019. This is the date at which our opinion is expressed.

The basis for our opinion is explained below. In addition, we outline the responsibilities of the Board and our responsibilities relating to the financial statements and the performance information, we comment on other information, and we explain our independence.

Basis for our opinion

We carried out our audit in accordance with the Auditor General’s Auditing Standards, which incorporate the Professional and Ethical Standards and the International Standards on Auditing (New Zealand) issued by the New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Responsibilities of the auditor section of our report.

We have fulfilled our responsibilities in accordance with the Auditor General’s Auditing Standards.

We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.

Responsibilities of the Board for the financial statements and the performance information

The Board is responsible on behalf of the Commission for preparing financial statements and performance information that are fairly presented and comply with generally accepted accounting practice in New Zealand. The Board is responsible for such internal control as it determine is necessary to enable it to prepare financial statements and performance information that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements and the performance information, the Board is responsible on behalf of the Commission for assessing the Commission’s ability to continue as a going concern. The Board is also responsible for disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting, unless there is an intention to merge or to terminate the activities of the Commission, or there is no realistic alternative but to do so.

The Board’s responsibilities arise from the Crown Entities Act 2004 and the Public Finance Act 1989.

Responsibilities of the auditor for the audit of the financial statements and the performance information

Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements and the performance information, as a whole, are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion.

Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit carried out in accordance with the Auditor General’s Auditing Standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements are differences or omissions of amounts or disclosures, and can arise from fraud or error. Misstatements are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the decisions of readers, taken on the basis of these financial statements and the performance information.

For the budget information reported in the financial statements and the performance information, our procedures were limited to checking that the information agreed to the Commission’s statement of performance expectations.

We did not evaluate the security and controls over the electronic publication of the financial statements and the performance information.

As part of an audit in accordance with the Auditor General’s Auditing Standards, we exercise professional judgement and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. Also:

  • We identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements and the performance information, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
  • We obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the Commission’s internal control.
  • We evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by the Board.
  • We evaluate the appropriateness of the reported performance information within the Commission’s framework for reporting its performance.
  • We conclude on the appropriateness of the use of the going concern basis of accounting by the Board and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Commission’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the financial statements and the performance information or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Commission to cease to continue as a going concern.
  • We evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements and the performance information, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements and the performance information represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.

We communicate with the Board regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.

Our responsibilities arise from the Public Audit Act 2001.

Other information

The Board is responsible for the other information. The other information comprises the information included on pages 2 to 21, but does not include the financial statements and the performance information, and our auditor’s report thereon.

Our opinion on the financial statements and the performance information does not cover the other information and we do not express any form of audit opinion or assurance conclusion thereon.

In connection with our audit of the financial statements and the performance information, our responsibility is to read the other information. In doing so, we consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements and the performance information or our knowledge obtained in the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If, based on our work, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard

Independence

We are independent of the Commission in accordance with the independence requirements of the Auditor General’s Auditing Standards, which incorporate the independence requirements of Professional and Ethical Standard 1 (Revised): Code of Ethics for Assurance Practitioners issued by the New Zealand Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

During the year, the Commission’s previous appointed auditor resigned from Audit New Zealand and was subsequently appointed as the Chair of the Commission’s newly formed Audit and Risk Committee. Audit New Zealand has taken actions including safeguards to address threats to our independence. Other than this matter and in our capacity as auditor, we have no relationship with, or interests, in the Commission.

Rehan Badar
Audit New Zealand
On behalf of the Auditor-General
Wellington, New Zealand