Otago Property Investors Association Inc

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Recent updates

30-01-2009

Political & Regulatory Report for January 2009

This means dealing with two major legislative issues and various reviews which will affect all aspects rental property industry in some shape or form.

 

The legislative work program will initially include consideration of the:

  • Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill (No 2) and the
  • Unit Titles Bill

On the regulatory front, from information provided in briefings to Ministers, the Department of Building and Housing indicate that they are working on new policy:

  • To encourage landlords to provide residential tenants with greater legal security of tenure and
  • Working with the Ministry of Social Development and the Housing New Zealand Corporation in broader use of benefit reassignment (to reduce the risk of tenants being evicted due to rent arrears)

 

From the “speech from the throne” (given 9 December) which provides a broad outline of the National-led Government's priorities, including their list of 100-day priorities, significantly no other or new initiatives in the housing/property area were directly alluded to.

 

Elsewhere, there are also a variety of reviews under way by various agencies, including the:

  • the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) home energy rating scheme (HER) scheme which proposes that it be a mandatory requirement that a home energy rating be conducted and disclosed when properties are sold. If introduced it is likely to cost investors $500-$750 per property for the certificate, and
  • the Ministry of Justice review and issuance of a discussion document concerning property management

 

Relationships

Clearly, one of the biggest challenges for the Federation will be to establish and maintain relationships with key Parliamentarians.

 

As previously reported key priorities will be to meet with the:

  • Minister of Housing – Hon Phil Heatley and
  • Minister of Building and Housing – Hon Maurice Williamson

and their advisors.

 

Other relevant Parliamentarians include opposition housing spokespersons George Hawkins (Labour) and Sue Bradford (Greens) and MPs sitting on the Social Services and the Commerce Select Committees which traditionally have sway over housing and residential tenancy issues, among others.

 

Commerce Committee

John Boscawen, Charles Chauvel, Clare Curran, Hon Lianne Dalziel (Chairperson), Te Ururoa Flavell, Jo Goodhew, Melissa Lee, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga (Deputy Chairperson), and Katrina Shanks. (National/ACT majority).

 

Social Services Committee

Chester Borrows, Sue Bradford, Jo Goodhew (Chairperson), Hon Annette King, Tim Macindoe, Todd McClay, Dr Rajen Prasad, Katrina Shanks (Deputy Chairperson), and Su'a William Sio. (National Party majority).

 

Going forward, formal opportunities will need to be sought for the Federation to meet with Ministers and Chairs of the select committees for introductory purposes and to reinforce the Federation’s positions. At a grass roots level, various PIAs should also seek opportunities to engage with their local MPs.

 

It is recommended that meetings could be scheduled say every couple of months. Ideally, meetings would be held in Wellington on a Tuesday (3.30pm onwards), Wednesday (pm) or Thursday (am). Generally speaking, Mondays and Fridays are difficult to arrange meetings as many MPs are travelling to or from their electorates.

 

POLITICAL STRATEGY

The following is an outline of a proactive political engagement strategy for the next 12 months.

Political Objective

·         To introduce the Federation to new Ministers and to build/renew relationships

·         To regularly inform and build Ministerial support for Federation perspectives

·         To establish new relationships with key select committee personnel

Political Risks

Opposition to residential landlords and property investors

 

This can be managed by:

  • Promoting the professionalism and authority of the Federation
  • Encouraging PIA members to make representations to their local constituency MPs

·         Joint work with officials eg DBH and the Ministry of Justice

 

Key political messages

  • NZPIF is the industry champion and lead organisation
  • NZPIF represents professionalised and better informed landlords good for tenants and the Government
  • NZPIF endorses self-regulation (at little or no cost to Government)

 

Actions & Timelines

  • Seek courtesy meeting with Minister Heatley                 by end of Q1 09
  • Seek introductory meeting with Minister Williamson         by end of Q1 09
  • Continue consultation with officials                              ongoing
  • Seek introductory meeting with George Hawkins (Lab)     Q2 09 onwards
  • Seek meeting with Select Committee personnel              Q2 09 onwards
  • Maintain dialogue with other Opposition spokespersons    on-going
  • Input into all public consultation phases                        Q2 09 onwards
  • Arrange for Ministerial participation at Conference           Aug 09

 

 

CAPITAL GAINS TAX – Rejected Again

This month following the publication of the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey various business interest groups have proposed a capital gains tax on rental property as a way to switch investment funds from New Zealanders towards the “productive” business sector.

 

For the Federation, the latest round of debate is hypothetical as the Minister for Housing – Phil Heatley and Minister of Revenue – Peter Dunne have both strongly rejected such a tax.

 

This latest rejection follows last month’s Treasury report and recommendation for a CGT At the time, the new Minister of Finance – Bill English categorically rejected any new tax be introduced for investment property.

 

 

END

 

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