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Wairoa District Council among top in rural New Zealand

Wairoa District Council is punching well above its weight in the financial prudence stakes according to two independent reports released recently.

The financial strength of Council was highlighted in the two separate reports – one from the Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) and the other commissioned by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

In its report on the results of the 2012/13 audit, the OAG identified Wairoa as being one of only seven councils in the country to have had no debt in any of the past five financial years, along with having a consistently high level of reserves, putting it in a strong position to manage uncertainty and cope with any short-term shocks.

Similarly, the LGNZ-commissioned report ‘Local Government: A Financial Snapshot’ carried out by Grant Thornton (May 2014) found Wairoa District Council to be amongst the top eight Territorial Local Authorities with the highest recorded index of financial soundness, out of 26 rural TLAs throughout New Zealand. This was across all areas of analysis, including ability to service debt, debt per head of population and debt to assets ratio.

Chief Executive Fergus Power said these reports served to reinforce the strong financial position of council, which was particularly important heading into a period of growth.

“We clearly have a history of no debt, offset by weighty reserves. This puts us in an ideal position to forge ahead with investment into our community, as reflected in our draft annual plan,” he said.

“The fact these reports come from reputable organisations with robust methodology should serve to reassure ratepayers that their council is working in their best interests, with transparency.”

The reports have come in a significant week for Wairoa district, which plays host to the Local Government Commission hearings at the War Memorial Hall on Thursday from 9.30am, and the closing of submissions to the Draft Annual Plan, also on Thursday.

5 July 2016

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