Joanne Barreto is a member of the Unit Title Working Group initially formed in 2016 by then Minister Nikky Kaye. Its membership also includes Auckland District Law Society, Body Corporate Chairs Group & the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. The Working Group lobbied government to review the Unit Titles Act 2010 which resulted in MBIE issuing a consultation paper and taking submissions in 2017. The Working Group then drafted the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill supported by Judith Collins and Nikky Kaye with the hope it would trigger the new coalition government to take further submissions at Select Committee level and treat reform as a priority. Unfortunately the call for reform came to a halt with the new government & Housing Minister focusing elsewhere and claiming a lack of resources.
The Working Group have regrouped and recently launched a petition seeking urgent reform under the name FLAU – Fix Laws on Apartments and Units – an acronym for Fix Laws on Apartments and Units . On its behalf, Charles Levin has filed a petition urging the government to reform the law.
Property 101 Group believe this is an important opportunity to bring reform back to the table, and it encourages associates, owners & clients to sign the petition, along with their friends, family and colleagues.
The petition can be found here
Past ADLS President, SCA(NZ) Member & Close Colleague, Joanna Pidgeon recently noted that “The lack of progress in reform to deal with the flaws and pitfalls has led to a trend for property developers to build terraced housing as fee simple developments with party wall easements, and with incorporated societies overseeing joint communal issues. The Incorporate Societies Act 1908 is more than 100 years old. Although a Bill is to be introduced to Parliament this year, this legislation is designed more for the operation of sports clubs and charities than property ownership. Owners will not be able to refer matters to the Tenancy Tribunal for decisions. If these incorporated societies do not deal adequately with insurance, there will be problems in situations such as natural disasters, as happened in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. This will create further problems for property owners in the future. Lawyers and property developers will try to find a way of getting around problems and market perception (the last time we did that was with cross leases!) Our preference is for the legislation to be amended to address the gaps which have been widely identified throughout the property and legal communities.”
While those of us in the strata industry and SCA(NZ) as the peak National Industry Body stay abreast of a burgeoning industry amidst inadequate regulation with often tested & challenging gaps, overtime, the perception of flawed legislation has been confirmed by events in the sector. Including but not limited to the disclosure regime, long-term maintenance plans, strengthening governance, codes of conduct, professionalism for body corporate managers and better accessibility for dispute resolution. While these silos are by no means all inclusive, they have been identified as priorities for reform. Any and all support in this Better Body Corporates initiative is appreciated.