AA+ Standard & Poor's Rating for Wellington City Council

2 September 2010

Wellington City Council Chief Executive Garry Poole has welcomed today's announcement by Standard and Poor's that the City Council had received an AA+ credit rating with a stable outlook.

In Standard & Poor's opinion, the City Council displays excellent financial management. The stable outlook reflects the current strength of Wellington City's financial position.

Standards & Poor's Press Release (47Kb PDF)

Mr Poole says very few institutions or companies in New Zealand receive AA+ credit ratings and that only the Crown has a higher credit rating.

The City Council has borrowings of about $280 million and an asset base of more than $6 billion.  The Council's Chief Financial Officer, Peter Garty, says the AA+ rating would result in significant savings in the costs of borrowing each year - as lenders will loan at lower interest rates to holders of high credit ratings.

It also provides more certainty of access to funds, as tough economic conditions continue to prevail around the world and lenders continue to exercise great caution. Mr Garty says the S&P rating will provide a strong degree of confidence to markets.

Mr Poole says that, having achieved such a good credit rating, the challenge now is to maintain the high standards set and to continue to manage the financial position and debt of the Council prudently. "This rating sets the bar high and we must strive to maintain this."