Sunday, March 3, 2024

Council retains AA+/A-1+ rating

Credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s has confirmed Wellington City Council’s credit rating will remain at AA+/A-1+ – the highest credit rating of any local authority in New Zealand.

The credit outlook remains negative and they have advised that decisions made in adopting the 2024-34 Long-term Plan will be closely monitored, the Council said in a statement.

Mayor, Tory Whanau and Councillor, Rebecca Matthews have welcomed the latest rating, but agree with Standard & Poor’s opinion that tough spending decisions will have to be made over the next few months if the city is to avoid a future ratings downgrade. 

Mayor Whanau says the Council must find the balance of delivering for the city while also responding to external pressures being experienced by councils all over the country.

“Standard & Poor’s understand the pressures facing Wellington City – and other councils – so I endorse their summary of the financial and infrastructural issues we’re facing,” she said. 

Chair of the Council’s Kōrau Tōtōpū Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee, Cr Matthews said Standard & Poor’s had a detailed understanding of the pressures facing Aotearoa’s local government sector including Central Government decisions about the future of water reform.

“They are clear that the Council may receive a downgrade if water reforms adversely affect the council’s credit profile,” she said.

City Council Chief Executive, Barbara McKerrow noted that, “Standard and Poor’s has provided us with a clear warning that we need to work hard on our LTP but their decision to retain our credit rating at its current level is a clear signal of their confidence in the Council’s financial management.” 

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