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Standard & Poor’s report remains positive

Hon Dr Michael Cullen Minister of Finance

8 September 2004

Standard & Poor’s report remains positive

Standard & Poor’s has reconfirmed New Zealand’s AA+ credit rating.

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says “the agency has identified the government’s prudent fiscal management and ongoing fiscal discipline as a major strength behind the continued high ranking.

While the report highlights ongoing current account deficits as a potential weakness, the Government has a number of policies to promote saving, one of which is the New Zealand Super Fund.

This will continue to be a focus in the future.

Standard & Poor’s advises that “it is important for both government and opposition parties to resist temptations to diminish the strength of government finances in the lead up to next year’s election.”

Dr Cullen restated that this Government “puts a high value on consistency and prudence and governing for the long term.

ENDS

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