District's nest egg rides global recovery wave to a record high to offset rates


The Covid economic recovery has powered New Plymouth District Council’s (NPDC) nest egg to a record high that will help lighten the load for ratepayers for years to come.

“The global economic recovery, especially the huge stimulus in the United States, has helped our Perpetual Investment Fund (PIF) to go gangbusters. It shot up almost 20% over the 2020/2021 financial year to finish at a record $346 million at the end of June. The PIF is a gift from past generations that offsets rates today and will continue to do so in the future  – reducing the district rate bill by $9 million in the last financial year – and it helps us to invest to build a Sustainable Lifestyle Capital,” says New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom.

The PIF supports NPDC’s strong financial performance and reflects sound financial management which contributed to international ratings agency S&P Global boosting long-term rating from AA to AA+, the highest possible rating for local government in New Zealand, earlier this year.

The PIF will bolster NPDC’s investments and our $3billion work programme over the next decade, including $248 million to Fix the Plumbing and bring our drinking water, sewerage and storm water networks up to scratch, as well as $40 million to Pay it Forward for our kids with a multi-purpose hub and about $36 million to Green our Place including extending the Coastal Walkway from Bell Block to Waitara.

Fast Facts:

  • The PIF has paid NPDC more than $238 million since 2004, including $9.1 million in the last financial year.
  • NPDC created the PIF in 2004 with about $260 million from the sale of its shareholding in Powerco.
  • The New Plymouth PIF Guardians Limited was set up in 2017 and is a council-controlled organisation.
  • In 2017, management of the PIF was outsourced to Mercer.
  • Release payments from PIF are used to offset rates and keep rises down.
  • NPDC manages assets, including the PIF, worth $3.5 billion, runs 16 businesses and has an annual operating budget of about $177 million.