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Palmerston North City Council’s AA credit rating reaffirmed

Friday April 21 2017

Palmerston North City Council has retained its AA credit rating from Standard and Poor's.

Photo shows exterior of council building from the Square.

The international credit rating agency says the rating reflects the Council's "strong financial management and very strong budgetary performance".

Its outlook for the Council remains stable.

PNCC Chief Financial Officer Grant Elliott says an AA rating is the highest rating the credit agency assigns to local authorities in New Zealand.

"The Council has worked hard in recent years to keep its level of debt to manageable levels so it has scope to borrow in future for necessary capital works."

Mr Elliott says the Council's outstanding debt of $97 million is lower than previously budgeted, primarily because the capital expenditure programme is currently below budget.

Standard and Poor's has commented on the Council's capital spending.

"The agency does note a slight improvement in this area compared to the previous year’s results and does recognise the work we are doing to increase forward planning for capital works but we acknowledge further improvements are needed in this area."

Mr Elliott says the advantage of having a good credit rating is that it enables Council to borrow money on more favourable terms, which in turn can save ratepayers' money.