The treasury team at Auckland Council, the largest council in Australasia, last night won the prestigious Institute of Finance Professionals New Zealand Inc. (INFINZ) award for Excellence in Treasury.
It’s the latest in a string of awards for Auckland Council financial managers. Last month council’s Chief Finance Officer, Andrew McKenzie, won the 2013 New Zealand CFO Summit Award for as the chief finance officer of the year. Last year Auckland Council’s Treasurer, Mark Butcher, won the KangaNews New Zealand Treasurer of the Year for the second year in a row.
“It is great for the Treasury team, Auckland Council and the wider local government sector to be acknowledged with this prestigious award,” said Mr Butcher. “The judging criteria was focused on a multi-year, innovative and continuous improvement approach to Treasury management demonstrating best practice and value for money for Auckland’s ratepayers.
“To receive an award last night alongside other winners such as Fonterra for its groundbreaking share issue, and the Telecom/Chorus complex de-merger, illustrates the high regard that the finance sector has for Auckland Council.”
Auckland Council’s sound financial management practices have been acknowledged by both the Auditor-General and the major credit rating agencies in their evaluation of council’s performance and credit worthiness respectively.
Council has a continual focus on reducing costs to ratepayers for existing services and has already saved $145 million in its first 2 1/2 years of operation.
INFINZ judges said that Auckland Council had met the challenges of combining eight different debt, systems, personnel, credit risk and rating agency requirements. The organisation had also enhanced existing funding arrangements, developed new arrangements both onshore and offshore, and has been instrumental in the development of the capital markets in New Zealand through the Local Government Funding Agency and listed debt on the NZX.
The local government sector gained a further accolade with the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA) receiving the INFINZ New Zealand Debt Market Issue of the year for its recent five-year bond issue.