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Annual Enterprise Survey: 2011 financial year (provisional)
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  31 August 2012
Data quality

Period-specific information

General information

Period-specific information

This section has information about data that has changed since the last release.

Reference period

This is the first release of the Annual Enterprise Survey (AES) results for the 2011 financial year. These results are provisional. They may be revised as further information becomes available over the next two years.

Accuracy of the data

As part of ongoing development to AES, improvements were made in the AES 2011 year, including:

  • a further increase in the use of administrative data to replace sampled units
  • a timeliness gain (the 2010 AES was published in the middle of September; this 2011 AES release is published at the end of August).

Consistency with other periods or datasets

AES 2011 population

The population for the AES 2011 financial year was 443,298 units, consisting of:

  • 298,207 (67.3 percent) sourced from IR 10 information
  • 17,116 (3.9 percent) sourced from the postal survey
  • 4,661 (1.1 percent) sourced from other government data
  • 487 units (0.1 percent) sourced from Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment data
  • 122,827 (27.7 percent) non-sample units.

In AES 2011, the 17,116 postal survey unit responses were weighted to represent the 122,827 non-sample units. The corporate response rate required for the postal collection is set at 85 percent of the industry's goods and services tax (GST) sales. The response rate in 2011 was 89 percent, the same as in 2010.

 Graph, AES population by data source

More industry data published in 2011

In this release of the Annual Enterprise Survey we have published data at a greater level of detail, level 4, of the New Zealand Standard Industrial Output Classification (NZSIOC) wherever possible. The change from level 3 to level 4 has been made to increase the relevance of the data to the statistical needs of users. Some industries continue to be published at level 3 of NZSIOC to preserve confidentiality.

A survey redesign has enabled the publication of financial position data for all published industries for the first time. This data is available from 2009 through to 2011.

Impact of the 2010/11 Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes on 2011 Annual Enterprise Survey data

Large earthquakes occurred in Christchurch in September 2010 and February 2011. These earthquakes and their aftershocks have had a significant influence on the ongoing economic output of businesses located in Christchurch. Some financial effects of these earthquakes can already be seen in the Excel tables (see the 'Downloads' box) for the central government and the general insurance industries. However, as the predominant balance date for this survey is 31 March 2011, just over a month after the February earthquake, the wider economic impacts of these events are not fully seen in this year's data.

Use of Charities Commission data in 2011

To continue to reduce respondent load, in the 2011 financial year AES sourced data for 1,519 charities from the Charities Commission. This is the first time that Charities Commission data has been used in this way. In previous years all these charities received an AES postal questionnaire. 

Treatment of local authorities data in the 2011 Annual Enterprise Survey

In this year's Annual Enterprise Survey release there has been a major change in how local authority industry activity has been treated. In previous years, local authority activity was included within the relevant industry for a particular local authority function. For example, activity undertaken by local authorities in areas such as construction, urban bus transport, libraries, and roading were included within the different industries that the activity relates to. This year, these functions, along with all other local authority activity, are included in the local government industry.

This change has been made because of difficulty in matching local authority expenses with income by function. See Local Authority Financial Statistics: Year ended June 2011 for more information.

Agriculture fixed assets data
The administrative data source (IR 10) is the primary source used for capturing the agricultural, forestry, and fishing division (ANZSIC06 division A). IR 10 data does not provide direct estimates of additions and disposals of fixed assets, so modelling is used to calculate these. The modelling of IR 10 data is currently under review, so additions and disposals of fixed assets have been suppressed from the 'all industries' table and all agricultural industry tables in this release.

General information

This section has information about data that does not change between releases.

Data sources

Data used in this survey is compiled from a number of sources, including:

  • a sample survey of business financial data
  • business financial data from Inland Revenue (IR 10)
  • central government data from the Treasury's Crown Financial Information System (CFIS)
  • superannuation data from the New Zealand Companies Office (Ministry of Economic Development, renamed as Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment in July 2012)
  • local government data from Statistics NZ's local authority statistics
  • not-for-profit data from the Charities Commission.


The target population for AES is all economically significant businesses (see definition in the 'Definitions' section) operating within New Zealand. However, some industries are excluded on pragmatic grounds. In total, AES is estimated to cover approximately 90 percent of New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP).

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) industry exclusions are:

  • residential property operators (L671100)
  • foreign government representation (O755200)
  • religious services (S954000)
  • private households employing staff and undifferentiated goods- and service-producing activities of households for own use (S960100-300).

Survey design 

AES was designed as the principal collection vehicle of data used in the compilation of New Zealand's national accounts. The data collected feeds into the calculation of the economy's GDP, through the current price annual industry accounts, which are compiled within an input-output framework.

AES collects financial data for most of the industries operating in the New Zealand economy. The AES industries are based on ANZSIC06. AES is designed predominantly at the four-digit ANZSIC level, or 113 industries. Data at lower levels can also be produced (subject to confidentiality constraints) but it may have considerably higher sample errors. In addition, limited analysis has been conducted at this level.

The population for this survey is selected from the Statistics NZ Business Frame.

The Business Frame is a database of all known individual private and public sector businesses and organisations engaged in the production of goods and services in New Zealand that meet significance criteria. The Business Frame provides a consistent reference to standard classifications, which facilitates the integration of statistical outputs and allows it to be used as a classification tool. It also provides links to all economic and financial survey data and the tax system, which allows more effective use of tax data to reduce respondent load.

The structure of each business on the Business Frame consists of an enterprise, a kind-of-activity unit (KAU), and a geographic unit. These are collectively referred to as statistical units. Larger or more complex businesses may have a number of statistical units. Each of the statistical units is given an industry classification based on its predominant activity. Different divisions of a company may be spread across several industries, depending on how the company has been structured. The collection unit for AES is the KAU. By definition, a KAU is engaged in predominantly one activity for which a single set of accounting records is available.

AES uses a stratified sample design to select the sample from units on the Business Frame. Each industry contains between one and four strata, defined by size of turnover (sourced from GST information) and rolling mean employment. Each industry has a full coverage stratum made up of large units with significant economic activity within their industry group. The remaining strata contain a sample of medium-sized units, which are weighted to represent non-sampled units. For example, a unit may have a weight of five, meaning it represents itself and four other businesses. Smaller businesses have less chance of being selected, and consequently when selected have larger weights representing more units. Most industries also have a tax strata for smaller units, where IR 10 information is used instead of a postal survey response.

The wide range of activities undertaken by New Zealand businesses makes it necessary to have different types of questionnaires. All questionnaires capture financial performance and position information, but the format and the wording of the questionnaires are tailored to suit different groups of businesses.

AES is designed to measure industry levels for a given year. Incremental improvements in measurement, sample design, classification, and data collection may influence the inter-period movements, particularly over longer time periods. Work has been done to minimise the impact of these changes and present a consistent time series in the published tables.

Survey redesign

In 2009, Statistics NZ reviewed the survey against current and future user needs and subsequently introduced a number of methodological changes for the 2009 financial year. AES was previously redeveloped in 1999.

The 2009 redevelopment also included changes to improve data quality and business process, and to reduce respondent load through increased use of administrative data.

See the 2009 financial year Technical notes for more information.

Design issues

AES provides a wealth of information to help users understand the structure and performance of industries within the New Zealand economy. When using AES data, it is important to be aware that there are a number of design issues that may impact on results.

These issues are:

1. Results in AES can be affected by how companies structure themselves, which can affect how their data is captured and reported in AES. Large corporates often set up separate entities to manage different divisions of their business. These divisions are classified based on their predominant activity. For example, their administration (head office) and their asset-owning activities may be classified to management and related consulting services (in division M), and to financial asset investors (in division K), respectively. This may mean that a manufacturing unit will not have these support activities recorded in the manufacturing industry.

If a business is divided into different divisions, this may mean that AES results will include inter-company flows between divisions. These flows are referred to as gross flows.

2. The time series of AES can be affected by the restructuring of companies. For example, if the various divisions within a company were to be restructured or amalgamated, then the following could happen:

  • the consolidation of these units would remove the gross flows and leave net flows
  • the industrial classification of the resulting unit would be determined by predominant activity and the activity in the other industries would disappear
  • value added would remain the same in both options.

The reverse may also occur, when restructuring results in net flows being represented in a gross form.

3. The 'all industries' table is a summation of divisional tables and therefore includes gross flows.

4. AES results are presented for a nominal March year. However, the data is collected from businesses with balance dates between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011. The table below lists, for each industry, the predominant balance date by total income.

Predominant balance dates by industry
Industry Year ended
A – Agriculture, forestry, and fishing March
B – Mining December
C – Manufacturing March
D – Electricity, gas, water, and waste services June
E – Construction March
F – Wholesale trade March
G & H – Retail trade and accommodation March
I – Transport, postal, and warehousing June
J – Information media and telecommunications June
K – Financial and insurance services September
L – Rental, hiring, and real estate services March
M & N – Professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services March
O – Public administration and safety June
P – Education and training December
Q – Health care and social assistance June
R & S – Arts, recreation, and other services March
Note: This table has been produced using weighted total income data and therefore reflects the population as it is represented in AES. The count of predominant balance dates may produce different results to this table, which is based on total income. This is because the count is dominated by the small businesses sourced from IR 10s, which have small values of total income.

5. In the postal collection, additions and disposals of fixed assets are specifically requested. However, in the administrative data source (IR 10), only the closing book value of fixed assets and depreciation are requested. Hence, where IR 10s are used, values for additions and disposals are modelled.

6. Statistics NZ has a legal obligation to protect companies' privacy and industry-sensitive information. Hence, all tables released have confidentiality rules applied to protect the information supplied by an individual company. Once all confidential financial items have been identified, further items are suppressed to complete the protection of the confidential value.

Use of data

In addition to its use in the national accounts, AES is also a data source for a number of other existing and upcoming Statistics NZ outputs, including:

In recent years there has been increased demand for non-standard output from users. Statistics NZ is providing more input into research surrounding these requests. Examples include:

  • the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's use of financial position data in its Financial Stability Report
  • the Centre for Advanced Engineering has established a set of national key performance indicators for the construction industry, one of which is a profitability indicator for which AES data is used
  • frequent requests from other government departments, such as the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment
  • requests by turnover bands, which can add significant analytical value and are a popular request
  • requests from businesses for financial data to gauge their performance against industry averages
  • value added per employee count, and turnover per employee count.

Availability of results

The supplementary tables available from the 'Downloads' box contain a selection of the tables available from AES. In most cases tables are published to New Zealand Standard Industrial Output Classification (NZSIOC) level 4. In some cases tables at an even less aggregated level may also be available. Contact our Information Centre to request information.


Data collected and information contained in this publication must conform to the provisions of the Statistics Act 1975. This requires that published information maintains the confidentiality of individual respondents.

More information

See more information about the Annual Enterprise Survey.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delay.

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