The highest possible credit rating for a local authority has been attained by the New Plymouth District Council for the second year in a row.
American credit rating agency Standard & Poor's affirmed the AA long-term and A-1+ short-term issuer credit ratings on the council, and added the outlook on the long-term rating was stable.
Local authorities are not allowed to have equal or higher credit ratings than central government so NPDC's ratings are the highest possible for a council.
Mayor Harry Duynhoven was pleased with the ratings.
"We're the highest rating we can be, even if I could walk on water we couldn't be any higher."
The report said the ratings reflected a positive view of the council's financial management, high budgetary flexibility and limited contingent liabilities.
Mr Duynhoven said a lot of councils would be pleased with that praise. "Right through, it says they're very happy with what we're doing, it's a very positive outcome."
NPDC chief executive Barbara McKerrow said the ratings represented the council's ability to repay debt short-term and long-term.
"If we have a good credit rating, we can borrow at a good rate."
New Plymouth's debt burden was high relative to international peers, but compared well to other local authorities, the report said.
Mayoral candidate Andrew Judd said it was no surprise the council's debt was high. "Any shift of interest rates is going to put more budgetary pressure on us."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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