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Securities Act change welcomed by councils

MEDIA RELEASE
Securities Act change welcomed by councils
For immediate release 11 April 2008


Local Government New Zealand’s President Basil Morrison, has welcomed the passing of the Securities (Local Authority Exemption) Amendment Act 2008 last week by Parliament.

“The new Act will make it easier for councils to raise funds from the public for major projects. We hope that it will also take some pressure off rates by allowing councils to better match borrowing strategies with the life of their assets.

“The removal of the local authorities’ exemption in 1998 resulted in the withdrawal of local authorities from the public debt securities market. This created a barrier that effectively prevented councils from making use of the full range of funding options when looking at how to fund capital works programmes.

“We are pleased that the Act puts back in the exemption for local authorities which recognizes that they operate under a different framework to the private sector.

“Given the size of the capital works programme outlined in councils’ ten year financial plans the ability to once again issue debt securities will save councils millions of dollars in interest costs”, Mr Morrison said.

The Securities (Local Authority Exemption) Amendment Act 2008 amends the Securities Act 1978 to provide local authorities with an exemption from the full disclosure requirements of that Act when issuing debt securities to the public. This reduced disclosure requirement will exempt local authorities from the requirement to produce a prospectus signed by all councillors when issuing debt securities to the public.

ENDS

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