Greater Wellington put on positive watch by Standard & Poor’s
Credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has revised the AA outlook on the long term credit rating of Greater Wellington Regional Council from stable to positive.
The move to positive puts Greater Wellington in an elite group of seven councils from eighteen AA rated councils.
Greater Wellington Chair Chris Laidlaw believes this is a combination of the Council’s good financial practice and the New Zealand Government being placed on positive outlook, driven primarily by projected budgeted surpluses from 2020 onwards.
“If the Crown achieves the surplus projections it is likely their rating, the rating of Greater Wellington, and the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) - the major funder of councils - will be upgraded,” says Cr Laidlaw.
The upgrade would enable the LGFA to access a wider pool of investors and potentially lower borrowing margins which will benefit all New Zealand councils.
“Greater Wellington’s rating is not just a reflection of its level of debt but also a consideration of other factors, such as: financial management; budgetary performance and liquidity,” adds Cr Laidlaw.
The high credit rating is also consistent with the results of the Council MARK assessment program completed by the Local Government New Zealand Council in 2018. The program assessed councils’ performance and scored Greater Wellington Regional Council with an AA rating, placing it in the top tier of New Zealand councils.