Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

New Zealand’s councils in sound financial health

MEDIA RELEASE
11 June 2014
For immediate release

New Zealand’s councils in sound financial health

A newly released independent report from Grant Thornton shows councils are in a sound overall financial position.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) commissioned analysts Grant Thornton to review key financial factors for councils across the country to produce an accurate overall picture of local government financial health.

The report, Local Government: A Financial Snapshot, shows that the vast majority of councils scored well in metrics relating to their balance sheets, such as debt levels relative to their asset base, debt levels relative to their population, ability to repay debt and ability to cover interest (finance cost) obligations.

The report’s “Ability to Service Debt” measure looks at the soundness of a council’s ability to service both its debt principal and interest costs, using an equivalence of operating cash. It shows that, in relation to their ability to service debt costs, all metropolitan and regional councils are sound; and the large majority of rural and provincial councils are all sound or very sound.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says the report provides conclusive evidence that the overwhelming majority of councils are in good financial health and are using best-practice financial management.

“The local government ratio of debt to assets is at a prudent 9 per cent. This is the equivalent of a $36,000 mortgage on a $400,000 home,” Mr Yule says.

“Accordingly, the local government sector continues to have the lowest debt of any sector in New Zealand.”

As at 30 June 2012 local government collectively owned $121 billion of infrastructure, investments and other assets against $11 billion debt. In comparison central government owns $241 billion of assets $181 billion debt, while the business sector has assets of about $1,233 billion with liabilities in excess of $800 billion. (See attached infographic from the February 2013 Government report Building Capital Markets.)

Mr Yule stated that it is vital to understand the appropriate context when analysing the financial situation of any local authority. The analysis needs to account for for the different pressures faced by individual councils, for example, whether they are planning for an increasing or decreasing population base.

“Debt per se is not bad. On the contrary it is an appropriate funding tool for intergenerational assets such as roading and water infrastructure,” Mr Yule says.

Any council debt needs to be considered alongside the council’s asset base and it is necessary to look at what specific intergenerational projects the debt is being used to fund, the services councils provide and population change. Local Government: A Financial Snapshot applies appropriate metrics for sector analysis.


“This report sets the record straight about the current council financial position,” Mr Yule says.

“Overall, New Zealand’s councils are in overwhelmingly sound financial health.”

*Ends*

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Fallout From The Barclay Tape

This is hardly a case of cleaning out your desk and being turfed out onto the pavement.

As others have pointed out, the disgraced Clutha-Southland MP will remain on the public payroll for three months until the election, and for three months afterwards. More>>

 

Ombudsman: Canterbury Schools Reorganisation Mishandled

An investigation into the Canterbury schools reorganisation after the February 2011 earthquakes has found significant gaps and flaws in the Ministry’s engagement and communications with schools and communities. More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Contempt Report "Protects Right To Fair Trial"

The proposed Act limits what news media representatives and bloggers can report on court proceedings, but it also makes clearer than the current law where the line is between contempt and freedom of expression. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Our Refugee Intake (And Uber’s Woes)

On figures released this week, there are currently 65.6 million people worldwide who have been displaced from their homes by war, famine or other external causes… More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Report: GCSB Support For Groser WTO Bid Not Illegal

“The inquiry has found that the GCSB did not act unlawfully or improperly in providing assistance to the New Zealand government campaign”, Ms Gwyn said. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Pike And Houses

There were questions on Pike River mine re-entry after new video from inside the drift was released over the weekend. English maintained a human effort would not be feasible irrespective of any future coalition demands from NZ First. He said the government would continue to work with families on non-manned re-entry. More>>

ALSO:

Flogging A Dead Horse: NZ First Seeks New s59 Referendum

10 years on from the so called “anti-smacking” law - NZ First calls for a binding referendum. NZ First MP Tracey Martin told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that the law change has had a “chilling effect” on NZ parents including herself. More>>

ALSO:

Always Interesting: Internet Party Has New Leader

The Internet Party has a new leader: Suzie Dawson... She currently resides in Moscow, Russia, where she has applied for temporary asylum due to severe persecution she reports being subjected to by those whose corruption she worked to expose.More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog
More RSS News Alerts