News, Events and Culture

Significant debt reduction achieved

Monday August 17 2015

The Council finished the year with a controllable surplus of $3.5m.

Chief Executive Officer Paddy Clifford says several factors contributed to this result.

"We spent less money on interest costs because we had less debt. Our maintenance and some professional services costs were also lower."

"Our higher spending in the fourth quarter was offset by higher revenues, partly unbudgeted," he says.

An additional $7,938,000 was available for debt reduction on top of the budgeted $4,362,000. With lower capital expenditure than budgeted, net debt has reduced by $10 million compared to the budgeted increase of $17 million.

"This is very pleasing result. It is important to note though that debt levels will increase as delayed projects, particularly capital carried forward and the reduction in working capital, are incurred in the new financial year", Mr Clifford says.

Chief Financial Officer Grant Elliott says it is further progress building on the good performance in recent years.

"Council's lower level of debt means Council is on a better financial footing. The lower interest costs also have enabled rates increases to be held to lower levels. It is further evidence of the focus of Council management and officers on reducing spending while still delivering the services required by our community."

Financial Accountant Keith Allan told Councillors at today's Finance and Performance Committee meeting that $23m has been spent out of an overall capital programme budget of $44.7m for the year.

Keith Allan says this pattern of expenditure is similar to previous years, reflecting the need to plan before work can commence. "It has been prudent to delay some work to ensure efficiency. There is approximately $17m of work to be completed in the new financial year which will increase debt then", he says.

Copies of the Financial Report can be found in the Finance and Performance Committee Agenda at


For more information:

Paddy Clifford

Chief Executive

Palmerston North City Council

C/o Dominica Pikimaui

356 8199