Delays in finalising Treaty settlements saw the Government accounts post a smaller than expected deficit in the second half of 2012.
According to The Treasury, New Zealand's operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was $158 million lower than expected when the Government released its half year forecasts on December 18, at $3.2 billion.
The difference was primarily due to lower Crown expenditure, although tax paid by companies was also below forecast.
The Treasury figures showed core Crown expenses $273m below forecasts ''largely owing to Treaty settlement expenses being $186m below forecast due to complex negotiation issues not being finalised as planned during December'' the agency said in a statement.
The Crown's core tax revenue was $27.3 billion was $31m lower than expected.
Source deductions and other individuals tax were both higher than expected in December, by $111m and $122m respectively, while corporate tax was under forecast by $151 million.
A surge in investment gains from ACC and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, on the back of rising markets, gave an operating surplus of $1.7b, compared to forecasts of a deficit of $541m.