The level of misinformation being presented as fact regarding council finances in recent letters is appalling. Your correspondent Paddi Hodgkiss (Letters, November 11) is either seriously ill-informed or simply prepared to make inaccurate comment for political gain. The assertion that the Fitch AA- credit rating is the lowest rating given is simply untrue.

The AA- credit rating that council holds is the same as most of the large trading banks in New Zealand (e.g. ANZ, BNZ, Westpac) and in the range Fitch defines as "very high quality and low risk". The scale runs from AAA to C, and is ultimately signed off in Belgium, so it's independent and puts a real rigour into council's management to retain the rating.

Furthermore the rating is of real value, saving RLC $300,000 in its first year and now over $400,000 annually in the cost of debt refinancing. I would urge your readers to check for themselves the real facts about council's financial performance and come to their own conclusions.



TPP and democracy

I read that our Prime Minister sees nothing wrong with the TPP agreement and thinks that it is absolutely fine for New Zealand to be part of this.

This is in spite of the fact that many of her Government last year joined in the protests against us being part of this agreement.

The biggest problem for New Zealand was the threat of our democracy being eroded away by the power of multi-national companies. One of the compelling arguments against the TPP was the fact that our country could be sued for disadvantaging multi-national businesses in New Zealand.

I hope we are not going to see a repeat of the types of decisions such as when the Labour Government came to power in 1985 and then so unexpectedly sold our forests and railways. That decision then began our slippery slope into the poverty and disadvantage we have today for so many.

Basically, I cannot see how one year a party can be saying how bad TPP will be for the country, and the next year when in power is saying that there is nothing wrong with TPP.

Are our next generations going to be faced with a New Zealand that has lost its sovereignty and whose peoples are subject to powerful multi-national interests?