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2020 Half Yearly Report


NIWA has had a strong start to the financial year, and at the half year stage is well ahead of budgeted revenue and profit. This position is largely due to projects carried over from the last financial year due to COVID-19 delays and additional work for the RV Tangaroa. Costs to date are close to budget.

All the science and support performance indicators outlined in the 2020/2021 Statement of Corporate Intent are on track. Progress has been made on advancing NIWA’s Future Property Programme, the design of a replacement vessel for RV Kaharoa and a commercial-scale recirculating aquaculture system for the culture of high-value finfish, partnerships with Māori and the establishment of a leadership development and succession programme to grow NIWA’s future leaders.

A number of significant science advances were achieved over the past six months, as outlined in this report. These include the extension of the Aotearoa New Zealand tsunami dart buoy network, new environmental forecasting services to predict climate and weather-related hazards, impacts and risks across New Zealand, codeveloped plans with iwi for the restoration of taonga species, and growing the market value of cultured kingfish.

With the Government announcement on 11 August 2020 of elevated national Alert Levels in response to community transmission of COVID-19, NIWA moved quickly and effortlessly to operating remotely in Auckland under Level 3 and reinstated NIWA Level 2 protocols and processes across all other regional sites. Overall, NIWA’s operations moved seamlessly between Alert Levels, and work productivity levels were maintained.

Download the Half Yearly Report for the period ended 31 December 2020 [PDF 1.74MB]

Financial Results

NIWA achieved revenue of $86.0M in the first six months (including COVID-19 Response and Recovery Funding of $8.3M). This result was $9.2M above budget and $17.1M above the same period last year. This position reflects the significant number of projects carried over from FY20 due to delays caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. In addition, NIWA’s largest ocean-going research vessel, RV Tangaroa, has been at sea 18 days more than budgeted.

Total expenditure of $72.8M was approximately equal to budget, notwithstanding the higher revenue, resulting in a profit before tax result of $13.2M, compared with a budgeted profit before interest and tax of $4.1M. Profit after tax for the year to date was $9.6M, compared with a budget of $3.0M.

The closing cash balance and short-term investment balance of $61.4M was $10.8M above budget as cash continues to be carefully managed to ensure that NIWA’s planned strategic investments are not put at risk. The cash balance has increased by $9.2M during the first half of the year due to operating cash flows from profit and working capital management being higher than capital spending.

Capital spending for the period was $10.3M against a budget of $11.6M. The variance was due to differences compared to budget assumptions in the timing of investment spending during the year.

NIWA's 2020 Half Yearly Report cover