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The Government will shortly introduce legislation aimed at putting the Public Trust on an equal footing with private sector institutions.

The new legislation will remove the Crown guarantee of the Public Trust, in line with government policy for several decades that Crown-owned commercial businesses should not have a competitive advantage through being Crown-owned, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

“Public Trust recently received an AA credit rating from independent credit rating agency Fitch. This rating is a sign of very low credit risk, and a high level of ability to meet financial commitments. The rating places the Public Trust just one notch below the Government's own rating.”

Associate Justice Minister Mark Mitchell says the rating gives the Public Trust’s customers certainty that it is a strong, stable, sustainable business.

“Gaining the AA rating is a considerable achievement. It shows customers that they can have confidence in the organisation, and that they will not be disadvantaged by the removal of the guarantee.

“No other business in New Zealand that provides the same services as the Public Trust is underpinned by a Crown guarantee,” he says.

The Crown guarantee will remain in place until the legislation is passed by Parliament. This is likely to be in the second half of 2018.

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