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Council credit rating maintained

Press Release – Christchurch City Council

International credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s has reaffirmed Christchurch City Council’s AA financial rating.Thursday 22 December 2011

Council credit rating maintained

International credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s has reaffirmed
Christchurch City Council’s AA financial rating.

The rating keeps Christchurch City Council among the highest-rated local
authorities in New Zealand. The other AA-rated local authorities are
Auckland Council, Wellington City Council, Greater Wellington Regional
Council, New Plymouth District Council and Hutt City Council.

Standard and Poor’s says that the Council remains on negative outlook
because of the lack of insurance available to cover Council assets, a
negative global outlook and the agency’s view that there is uncertainty
in Christchurch’s local economy, around the speed with which the rebuild
can progress and the exact extent of Central Government contribution to
the rebuild.

The agency also praised the Council’s financial management as a “very
positive rating factor”. It says: “…the Council has demonstrated
significant responsiveness to events. This includes implementing
recovery efforts and back-up plans, and a five-year earthquake rates
levy to support the Council’s weaker budgetary position.”.

General Manager Corporate Services Paul Anderson says this is a good
result for the city. The outcome is a direct result of the Council’s
strong financial management and Government’s strong support to date.

“The Council’s involvement in the newly established Local Government
Funding Agency was also viewed positively by the ratings agency, which
it expected would improve the city’s liquidity.

“This is a good outcome given the events of the past year. The Council
continues to keep tight control on finances as the city works toward

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says, “A positive affirmation of Council
management’s approach to handling the extraordinary financial pressures
and uncertainties around us at this testing time is reassuring for
ratepayers. My congratulations to the CEO and his finance team.

“It is also pleasing to note that the Council’s leadership role in
setting up the Local Government Funding Authority is already starting to
produce a positive effect.”

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