Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Annual reports

What are annual reports?


Public companies are legally obligated to disclose financial information to shareholders and legislative bodies in the form of an annual report.

These valuable resources provide:

  • information on the previous year's activities and performance
  • plans for the coming years
  • financial data, graphs, pictures and charts
  • information for the non-business audience in an easy-to-read format.

Annual reports are useful to :

  • students and researchers
  • current and potential investors who want to assess profitability, survivability, growth, stability, dividends (if any), and the problems, risks and other factors affecting investment.

Our annual report collection

The library's annual report collection is located at the north end (Victoria & Harris Street corner) of the 1st floor of Central library and consists of annual and interim reports for :

  • Publicly listed New Zealand companies
  • Government agencies other than Departments or Ministries
  • Associations and organisations of all types (including community, Crown Research Institutes and Tertiary institutes)
  • Australian and international financial reports (a small collection).

The collection also includes statements of corporate intent, prospectuses, profiles and other company information. The collection does not include every annual report available.

Archival New Zealand Company Information

We have recently inherited a separate collection of newspaper clippings, prospectuses, annual reports and other documents, which are located near the Annual Reports. This collection dates from the 1970s and includes information on selected large and small New Zealand companies, many of which no longer exist or are not publicly listed. Some of the items will be integrated with the existing collection at a later date. We are grateful to the Evening Post for this donation.

How to find an annual report

Our annual report collections are not searchable via the computer catalogue. However, here is a list of the archival NZ company information we have, and there are many online resources.

The main collection is filed by logical "themes" e.g. health authorities, energy providers, port authorities, district health boards, crown research institutes, industry/producer boards, tertiary institutes and charitable organisations. Company reports are filed alphabetically.

Where possible, two copies of the latest annual report are held, one being reference, the other available for short-term loan (ask at the north end, First Floor enquiries desk). Back-runs of reports are kept where possible.

Online, CD-Rom & Microfiche Annual Reports

Many companies now post their annual reports on their website and no longer publish a physical copy. Our popular topics page on Annual Reports recommends websites for locating NZ and international online annual reports.

The IRG CDROM (formerly Datex) has in-depth financial data for about 140 New Zealand publicly listed companies, as well as company announcements, forecasts and details of the top 40 shareholders. Of these 140 companies, 23 have full annual reports available. Datex can be accessed at the Science & Humanities enquiries desk at the North end of the first floor of the Central Library

Some New Zealand company annual reports (1982-1993) and Australian reports (1986-1993, Australian Graduate School of Management annual report file) are available on microfiche. These are kept on top of the vertical files housing the New Zealand public companies at the North end of the first floor of the central library.

Government Department Annual Reports

Parliamentary papers and reports printed by Order of the House are printed in the Appendices to the Journals (the 'A to Js'). These include reports of government departments, Commissions, Royal Commissions and select committees. The A-Js are classified by letters (A to I) and numbers ("shoulder numbers") which tend to remain the same from session to session. For example, the Budget is always B6 and the Ministry of Education annual report is always E1.

To find the appropriate "shoulder number" for a paper/report, consult the index at the back of any bound set of Appendices. Select committee reports are published as "I" appendices. (Note: submissions to and documents of select committees are not usually printed and are only available for consultation at Parliament.) The latest A-Js are kept in pamphlet boxes on the south end of the 2nd floor with other Government publications (1947 onwards are available on the public shelves). See the Subject guide to Government information for further assistance.

The annual reports for Government Departments/Ministries who choose to issue a separate glossy report in addition to the one tabled in Parliament in the A-Js can also be found on the 2nd floor alongside the A-Js.

A small historic annual reports collection of Wellington regional companies and organisations can also be found at the south end of the 2nd floor.

All other government organisations, eg NZ Post, and Crown Research Institutes, can be found in the above mentioned main annual report collection, which is housed at the North end of the 1st floor - although it probably is wise to check both collections.

As outside links cannot be accessed directly via the library catalogues, for further information, and links to national and international websites which provide access to annual reports online, please refer to the Wellington City Libraries annual reports subject web page.

Local Authority/District/City/Regional Council Annual reports /Annual plans - can be found in the vertical files by the 2nd floor enquiries desk .

Popular Topics I Library Catalogues