Published: 07 Mar 2017
Timaru District Council has been given a good financial bill of health by one of the world’s largest rating agencies.
The council has, for the first time, been given a rating of ‘AA-‘ with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings. The credit rating is an assessment of an entity’s ability to pay its financial obligations.
The report from Fitch says that the rating reflects the strong institutional framework for local and regional councils in New Zealand, TDC’s sound management and fiscal performance, the stable local economic environment and moderate debt levels offset by large reserves and solid financial flexibility.
“TDC has conservative and transparent management and governance is supported by clear policy guidelines and a rigorous planning and consultation process, which includes 10-year long-term plans that are updated every three years,” it says.
“Strategic goals are well articulated and council’s performance relative to its budget has been good. TDC generated surpluses in excess of budget in each of the four years to FYE16.”
Mayor Damon Odey says the rating underlines the culture of robust financial management and strong position of the council.
“We’re really pleased that the rating agency has looked at our finances and found us at a similar pegging to other councils and bodies such as the major high street banks. This will give residents on confirmation that their council is on a very sound footing.
“I’d like to recognise the hard work of the elected members, council management and all staff that goes into receiving such a rating. They have proven that a collaborative approach to working provides the best outcomes for our district.
“With the rating also comes clear guidelines about what the council can do to ensure it maintains its good rating, which can be used as to inform investment and lending decisions for the future.”
The ratings report has been publicly released by Fitch Ratings today. It can also be downloaded from the Timaru District Council website below: