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Wellington City Council AA+/A-1+ credit rating affirmed by Standard & Poor’s

Credit-rating agency Standard & Poor’s have today confirmed that Wellington City Council’s credit rating will remain at AA+/A-1+, which is 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.

Mayor Tory Whanau and Councillor Rebecca Matthews have welcomed the latest rating – the same as the rating from 2022 – but agree with Standard & Poor’s that tough spending decisions 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.”

Cr Matthews, Chair of the Council’s Kōrau Tōtōpū Long-term Plan, Finance, and Performance Committee, says Standard & Poor’s have 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.”

City Council Chief Executive Barbara McKerrow notes that “Standard and Poor’s have 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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