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


Council retains its Fitch credit rating despite challenges

6 April 2018

Council retains its Fitch credit rating despite challenges

Rotorua Lakes Council has retained its AA- credit rating from international agency Fitch for the third year running.

In rating the council Fitch International took into account previous financial performance and the draft 2018-28 Long-term Plan which is currently out for public consultation. Council’s finances were first tested by Fitch in 2016 when Council received a AA- rating.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Collé says given the past year has been a difficult one for the organisation financially, it is very pleasing Council has retained its AA- rating with a stable outlook.

Fitch has noted a high level of debt relative to peers but notes Council is looking to address a backlog of infrastructure work and– and that the debt level is supported by predictable rates revenue and access to funding from the New Zealand Local Government Funding Agency Limited which has an AA rating and provides a generally cheaper source of funding for councils.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says the rating should give the community confidence in the financial stability of the Council and the sustainability of the proposed long-term plan.

“This adds to our confidence in continuing to invest in our growing district. It also aids our ability to attract investment into Rotorua because it provides assurance for potential investors and central government that we will prudently manage their investment.”

“We have committed to ensuring we have a prudent and sustainable financial framework that provides longer term assurance for the organisation and for our community, a turn-around from what was a pretty bleak picture a few years ago.

“Council has worked very hard to rectify that as part of ensuring we have an efficient and effective organisation that is adaptable, resilient and able to deliver.

“Fitch is a totally independent agency which provides an additional lens on our finances to ensure we remain on track. They cast a very critical eye on all aspects of Council so it’s very pleasing to have retained such a good rating given the challenges we’ve faced with building closures affecting revenue and adverse weather inflicting additional costs on the council.

“This also affirms the financial prudence of our draft Long-term plan which Fitch scrutinised as part of their assessment,” the mayor says.

Fitch considers Rotorua Lakes Council to have a strong institutional framework, resilient financial performance with achievable financial forecasts and a commitment to sound capital expenditure management with clear policy guidelines and rigorous planning and consultation. The firm said the rating reflected the council’s strong management.

In announcing the rating Fitch says the council has addressed previously weak performance and the agency believes financial forecasts, as outlined in council's annual and long-term plans, are achievable.

Council’s finances were first tested by Fitch International in 2016 as another check to ensure effective financial management.

Mr Collé announced the Fitch rating during yesterday’s Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting.

Councillor Tania Tapsell, who chaired the meeting, was pleased to hear the news. “It is amazing we have been able to hold our AA- rating and that they do believe we have a stable outlook.

“It reaffirms the financial prudence we have as an organisation despite the challenges we’ve had,” she said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

At one level, this has been the week that the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln – which once led a civil war that ended the slave economy of the South – has now defined itself openly as being the party of white nationalism.

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>


RNZ: Trades Hall Bombing Case Re-Opened, Evidence Released

The cold case has been reopened and the police have recently revealed more details about the bomb's components - including that it was wrapped in a 1977 edition of The Evening Post. More>>

Safety: Govt Targets Fewer Deaths On The Road

“Most roads deaths and serious injuries are preventable and too many New Zealanders have lost their lives or been seriously injured in crashes that could have been prevented by road safety upgrades,” said Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>


Pay Rise Delay: Teachers Unions Plan Legal Action Against Novopay

Both of the teachers unions - NZEI and the PPTA - have confirmed they will be taking legal action against Novopay. More>>


Emission Statement: 'Consensus Reached' On Agriculture

Today the Government launched a consultation document, informed by the work of the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC), on how to bring agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, a key part of the Government’s plan to tackle climate change and reduce New Zealand’s emissions. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On What’s Wrong With Wellington

For many Wellingtonians, it hasn’t been the normal hardships – the workings of central government and the lousy weather – that have recently pushed their tolerance into the red zone. It has been the inability of local government to maintain even the basics. More>>


$1m Compensation Paid: First Gun Ban Event In Christchurch

The Police Minister says the first ever firearms collection event in Christchurch over the weekend was a huge success. But Stuart Nash had concerns about whether the participation reflected the number of weapons in the region. More>>


The Kids: Youth Parliament 2019 Event Kicks Off

120 Youth MPs and 20 Youth Press Gallery members have gathered in Wellington to attend the two-day Youth Parliament event ... More>>


Friends Like These: Foreign Minister To Visit USA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington D.C. today for talks with senior members of the US Administration, and to attend the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Banks’ Latest Fee Hike Excuse

When the Reserve Bank sought feedback on its plans to require the country’s major banks to raise their capital reserves then you might have expected the banks to whine and complain. And so they have. More>>





InfoPages News Channels