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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard

ORAL QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS

Question No. 1—Finance

1. BARBARA EDMONDS (Labour—Mana) to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he seen on the international view of the New Zealand economy?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister of Finance): Yesterday, international credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s upgraded New Zealand’s local currency credit rating to triple A and our foreign currency rating to AA+, both with a stable outlook. Standard & Poor’s praised the Government’s handling of the pandemic, saying New Zealand is recovering quicker than most advanced economies because we have been able to contain the spread of COVID-19 better than many others. The ratings upgrade by Standard & Poor’s is recognition that the Government strategy that the best economic response to the pandemic was a strong public health response was the right one.

Barbara Edmonds: How significant is this upgrade?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: This is the first upgrade that Standard & Poor’s has done anywhere in the world since the pandemic. It is also the first upgrade to New Zealand’s ratings since September 2011 and puts us back in the position we were last in in 2009. While there are still challenges ahead for the economy, this upgrade shows that we’re on the right track and backs our decisions to support our people and businesses through 2020.

Barbara Edmonds: Why are credit ratings important?

Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: These ratings are important for ensuring that the cost of our borrowing remains low. An upgrade also gives people more confidence that New Zealand is a good place to invest. Overall, the upgrade is a sign of confidence in the recovery and rebuild, and that the hard work of New Zealanders and Government decisions have put us in a strong position to recover and rebuild well.

MIL OSI