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What does the NZ Government do with your $100 billion? Indeed, what does any national or local government do with the trillions of dollars in taxes they collect? Students will consider these and related questions, examining the roles and practices of accounting and finance among political, official and professional persons involved in governmental organisations in such domains as education, health and welfare, conservation, security, and institutional, material, economic and social infrastructure.
Public finance and accounting has consequences for us all in our daily lives, and so there are many lines of inquiry that we can use to learn about practices and theories associated with the course. Perhaps most obvious are the many governmental activities going on in Christchurch right now, heightened as they are by the Recovery. But in addition there's much we can focus on from New Zealand and around the Pacific Hemisphere, as well as from the various parts of the world from where the ancestors of course participants lived and wherever else there's something fascinating occurring that’s valuable to our learning. We look at governments, public policies, and particular public services and the various types of public and private organisations involved in them. We also consider public finance and accounting from the perspectives of the political, official and professional people they involve, and the publics for whom governments and their activities have social, cultural, political and economic consequences.The student-centred form of our learning allows participants ample opportunities to assemble ideas about the topics and issues covered and the related theories. Assessment of student learning is bound up in these learning activities, and involves oral discussions, live and virtual presentations, and writing explanations, discussions and reflections.
Having engaged in learning you’ll be able to exemplify and discuss with some critical awareness, particularly in NZ and other Pacific jurisdictions, the following:Outcome 1: exemplify and discuss, with some critical awareness, constitutional bases for, and roles of legislatures and executive branches of government in, control of the public purse, including how the legislative and regulatory environment for financial reporting in New Zealand, other Anglosphere countries and other countries is reflected in this control.Outcome 2: exemplify and discuss, with some critical awareness, resource attraction and allocation processes, and related accounting and financial ideas. This is in the context of the microeconomic, macroeconomic, and socio-political actions of those involved in and/or affected by government, public bodies and social enterprises and who work within frameworks of public, political, managerial and professional accountability.Outcome 3: exemplify and discuss, with some critical awareness, selected concepts, ideas and techniques associated with public financial management, management control and policy/strategy implementation and audit; and theoretical frameworks underpinning them, particularly as related to organising and recording transactions, holding assets, incurring liabilities and maintaining social, financial, political, constitutional and other capitals, and to interpreting oral and written reports of governments and governmental organisations (e.g., ministries, state-owned enterprises, local council enterprises, supranational organisations)Outcome 4: exemplify and discuss, with some critical awareness, skills inherent in group working and group project outcomes, and questioning and evaluating the work of individuals and groups, as would carry across to the governmental or public body workplace.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Engaged with the community
Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 45 points at 200-level orabove.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $822.00
International fee $3,688.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
Department of Accounting and Information Systems on the department and colleges page.