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Cullen on S&P report

27 November 2003 Media Statement

Cullen on S&P report

Finance Minister Michael Cullen today welcomed Standard and Poor’s latest report on New Zealand confirming our AA+ credit rating, saying it highlighted the health of the government’s fiscal position and the resilience of the economy.

“Looking ahead, S&P anticipate “respectable” growth rates of around 2.5 to 3 per cent a year over the medium term. It is also pleasing to see them recognising the current government’s commitment to maintaining a prudent fiscal stance based on our debt objectives,” Dr Cullen said.

Standard and Poor’s noted that prudent policies to attract foreign investment are a factor that could improve the government’s credit worthiness.

“This is an area the government is actively looking at. It is a key aspect of both the Growth and Innovation Framework and the recently announced review of the Overseas Investment Act.

“While S&P comment on the government’s role in supporting failing corporations, our approach toward both Air New Zealand and Tranz Rail has been pragmatic and directed toward protecting critical areas of infrastructure,” Dr Cullen said.

ENDS


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