Waimakariri District Council Credit Rating Improves

Today credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's, has announced the rating for Waimakariri District Council has shifted from AA long term and A-1+ short term with a negative outlook to a AA/A-1+ with a stable outlook.

The AA rating equates the Council with New Zealand’s national credit rating – the ‘sovereign rating’. Standard and Poor’s does not rate any individual Council higher than the sovereign rating.

The change in short term outlook from negative to stable reflects the expectation that Council’s capital programme will be finalised within two years and as such fiscal and debt metrics will improve.

Last year Standard and Poor's noted the negative outlook was due to the significant number of capital works underway such as those taking place in the Kaiapoi Regeneration area, upgrading sewer and waste water infrastructure across the district, mitigating flood risk and the building of Stadium Waimakariri – the new multi-use sports stadium.

This improvement in outlook is taking place a year earlier than expected and is due to projects nearing completion and a lowering of the Council’s debt margin.

The consistency of Council’s financial performance, and how it is rated, assists significantly when it comes to future borrowing. Waimakariri District Council has a number of internally-imposed safeguards to ensure prudent management of debt.

The Council’s internal policies place limits that are more stringent than what the Local Government Funding Agency (the agency which funds Council activity nationwide) allows and ensures our Council has sufficient headroom within its borrowing limits to endure another adverse event such as a significant earthquake.