2005/2006 General Assembly Budget

This budget flows directly from feedback that Council has received from General Assembly, from the people who attended Focus on the Future and from various other conversations. This is a balanced budget – income and expenditure are equal.

General Assembly 2004 was clear in its call for a budget in which expenditure didn’t exceed available income, and this is what Council and the Administration and Finance Policy Group has delivered.

Compared with the 2004/05 forecast, expenditure has reduced by $1.05 million across a range of areas including staff costs, grants and governance. This was needed to balance the budget. On the income side, there will be an inflation-based increase of 2.8 percent to Assembly Assessment. The need for fiscal prudence underpinned Council’s approach to the budget, and these decisions weren’t made lightly. Changes to income and spending reflect the financial reality we’re facing and are natural consequences of the Church’s call for a balanced budget. This budget starts building a sustainable platform for the future.

Applicable information regarding the Assembly Assessment element of the budget has been posted to presbyteries, union district councils and parishes.

Questions and comments about the budget can be directed to Administration and Finance Policy Group Co-convener John Trainor.

On behalf of Council of Assembly and Administration & Finance Policy Group (29 June)

Kerry Stotter, Council of Assembly Convener 
Helen Bichan, Council of Assembly Deputy Convener
John Trainor, Admin & Finance Co-Convener

Major differences in the 2005/06 budget year compared with 2004/05 forecast

  • This is a balanced budget – income and expenditure are equal
  • Operating expenditure has reduced by $1.05 million
  • Disestablishment of the regional mission resource team positions in 2004/05
  • Nil General Assembly meeting-related income or expenditure is planned
  • Overall spending on grants has been reduced, including a decrease in the grant to Te Aka Puaho, and the Interchurch Hospital Chaplaincy’s grant has ceased
  • Global mission is to be funded solely from trust income
  • Inflation-related 2.8 percent increase to Assembly Assessment.

Other points to note:

  • Any financial impact associated with the possible sale of Laughton House has not been considered as part of this budget.
  • Council of World Mission income and expenditure accounting treatment will be changed: in 2005/06 recognition of income and expenditure will be matched as the expenditure occurs.
  • The 2005/06 budget foreshadows some of the decisions resulting from the Council’s Focus on the Future conversations with the wider church. More information about Focus on the Future will be with those who attended meetings or made submissions and parishes and presbyteries around 6 July 2005 .

Comparison of 2005/06 budget with forecast of the 2004/05 financial year outcome

Set out below is a comparison of the 2005/06 budget with the most recent forecast of the projected results for the year ending 30 June 2005 . For 2004/05, there was an approved budget deficit of $660,000 before depreciation on buildings and Council for World Mission-related transactions.

The figures for 2004/05 are provisional, and are based on the projected result for the year ending 30 June 2005 (as prepared at the end of May 2005). These 2004/05 figures are included here to allow people to compare, and as they are provisional are subject to change when the accounts for 2005/06 are finalised.

$’000 Forecast 2004/05 Budget 2005/06 Change*
Assembly Assessment 4,156 4,292  
Less underpayment AA -456 -532  
Net Assembly Assessment 3,700 3,760  
Trusts, admin, rent & sundry 2,125 1,686 -439
Cooperative Ventures levy 326 320  
Sub total 6,151 5,766 -385
CWM 123 200  
Total Income 6,274 5,966 -308
Staff 2,182 1,793 -389
Ben. Fund & Seniority Allow. 1,414 1,378  
Travel 308 268  
Property 470 392  
Computer 200 181  
Communications 305 368  
Grants 837 400 -437
Other 1,103 986 -117
Sub total 6,819 5,766 -1,053
Other Expenditure      
CWM 545 200  
Total Expenditure 7,364 5,966 -1,398
Net Deficit / (Surplus) 1,090 0  

To enable better understanding of how and where funds will be spent in 2005/06, the budget figures in the shaded column above (for year ending 30 June 2006 ) are presented in a different format on page four.

Explanatory information regarding key changes between 2004/05 and 2005/06 budget is noted below:


Assembly Assessment

  • The need to deliver a balanced budget was a key driver in Council’s decision to increase Assembly Assessment by the rate of inflation. The 2.8 percent increase will generate an additional $120,000.
  • Two other factors influenced the level of Assembly Assessment: (i) a decline in membership of 4 percent to 30,164 and (ii) a 4 percent increase in income subject to assessment.
  • Provision for underpayment of Assembly Assessment is $532,000, which is $75,000 higher than budgeted for 2004/05. While the underpayment has been reducing, this provision is based on the information that is currently available regarding payment rates.
  • The table below details shows a comparison between 2004/05 and 2005/06.
  $’000 Parish Statistics 2004/05 2004/5 $’000 Parish Statistics 2005/06 2005/6
Assembly Assessment $4,172 $4,292        
Membership Rate 50% $2,086 31,493 $66.25 2146 30,164 $71.14
Income Rate 50% $2,086 $28.77m 7.25% 2146 $29.99m 7.16%

Trusts, admin, rent and sundry income

  • The income reduction in this area relates primarily to several one-off items which are included in 2004/05 accounts but not in the 2005/06 budget: zero General Assembly meeting-related income, appeal income (as at mid-June approximately $95,000) and beneficiary fund administration income.



  • The $389,000 reduction in staff costs in the 2005/06 budget is largely due to the disestablishment of the regional mission resource team positions. The ecumenical relations secretary position was also disestablished during 2004/05.
  • In line with actions signaled in 2004/05, planned reductions in the number of staff at School of Ministry (two positions) are reflected in the 2005/06 budget.
  • The Global Mission office is now funded solely from donations and trust income.


Te Aka Puaho
  • The grant to Te Aka Puaho has been significantly reduced in 2005/06. This grant recognises our bi-cultural partnership, and has in recent times been at 11 percent of expenditure (2004/05: $329,000). For 2005/06, the amount is $100,000.
  • Te Aka Puaho uses the funds from General Assembly’s gift of partnership to fund its Ministers of Word and Sacrament; the Moderator and clerk; to support amorangi; and to finance mission and gatherings.
  • In making the decision to reduce funding for 2005/06, Council noted that a covenant exists between Te Aka Puaho and General Assembly, and that the reduction in funding for 2005/06 did not set a precedent for funding in future years. Council and Te Aka Puaho are discussing together the covenant relationship, including consideration of models of funding.
Inter-Church Hospital Chaplaincy
  • Consistent with the intentions that were signaled at General Assembly 2004, Presbyterian Church (national) funding to the Inter-Church Hospital Chaplaincy has been discontinued.


Council of Assembly and Policy Groups
  • Expenditure for the Council and its policy groups has been reduced to foreshadow decisions relating to Focus on the Future. Detailed information about Focus on the Future outcomes will be issued around 6 July.

General Assembly - Budget 2005/06

Expenditure and Income

  • The General Assembly 2005/06 budget (as shown on page two) is presented over the page in a format that clearly identifies the areas in which funds will be spent. The explanatory details noted below should be read in conjunction with General Assembly Budget 2005/06 Income and Expenditure information on page four of this document.


  • The income is from advertising, service for insurance, Presbyterian Investment Fund and rent from Laughton House.
  • Central Administration includes depreciation on assets and information technology costs.
  • Human Resources includes employment-related legal costs, compliance training and advice costs, and support staff. Previously, comparable costs were recorded in other cost centres.

Assembly Executive Secretary

  • Included in this area are expenses such as administrative support and costs associated with legal and judicial processes.

Global Mission

  • The Global Mission Office has historically received funding from General Assembly, trust income and donations. Effective from 2005/06, the Global Mission Office is funded solely from Trust income and donations.

Equipping the leadership

  • Income is from the Synod of Otago and Southland.

General Assembly - Budget 2005/06

    Expenditure Income Net
    $000 $000 $000
Governance CoA 24   24
  Moderator 67   67
  Te Aka Puaho 100   100
  Book of Order rewrite 20   20
  Policy Groups 30   30
  Assembly Work Groups 22   22
    263   263
Administration Archives 114   114
  Assembly Executive Secretary 259   259
  Finance 582 -320 262
  Central Administration 511 -230 281
  Communications 304 -100 204
  Human Resources 206   206
    1976 -650 1,326
ReforM National Mission Enabler & team 364 -63 301
  Grants 76   76
  PI Synod 67   67
    507 -63 444
EtheL School of Ministry & assessment 928 -319 609
  Lay Ministry 92 -92 0
  SoM houses 117 -132 -15
    1137 -543 594
Global Mission   200 -200 0
Connecting with Society   39   39
Operational sub total   4,122 -1,456 2,666
  Beneficiary Fund 1,064   1,064
  Seniority Allowance 350   350
  CWM 200   200
  Cooperative Ventures Seniority Allowance 50 -50 0
  Presbyterian Foundation 180 -180 0
  Assembly Assessment   -4,292 -4,292
  Underpayment Assembly Assessment   532 532
  Cooperative Ventures   -320 -320
Other sub total   1,844 -4,510 -2,666
Total   5,966 -5,966 0

Note: There have been changes in how, historically, some items have been accounted for.