Local authorities recorded an overall operating surplus in the last three months of last year, according to Statistics New Zealand.
The statistics released on Friday show that, after adjusting for seasonal effects, income exceeded spending by $56.3 million.
The Local Government Amendment Bill, currently before the Local Government and Environment Select Committee, was introduced partly to control council spending.
Statistics New Zealand says the rise in operating income was mainly due to increases in regulatory income and petrol tax (up $21.2 million) and current grants, subsidies, and donations (up $11.2 million). The rise was partly offset by a fall in investment income (down $18.0 million).
The fall in operating expenditure was mainly due to a decrease in purchases and other operating expenditure (down $62.2 million). Increases in employee costs (up $1.2 million) and depreciation (up $0.4 million) partly offset the fall.