The Herald reports:
National and Labour are planning a post-election shake up of the $50 billion apartment sector, dogged by disputes, power struggles, lax governance, lack of pre-purchase disclosure, poor maintenance and management plans and financial issues.
Whoever wins on Saturday, the rules governing where around 100,000 Aucklanders live will change significantly.
Nick Smith, Building and Construction Minister, and Phil Twyford, Labour housing spokesman, this week vowed to amend the Unit Titles Act, following Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye’s big push on the issue in the summer of 2016.
This is a good example of someone being a good local MP. It can be very challening to champion an issue as a local MP when you are also a Minister as it cuts across the portfolios of your colleagues. You need to be able to advocate for a solution that benefits your constituents, but do so in a way which doesn’t undermine the Minister.
Smith said the reform was an area where detail mattered a great deal. Key policy changes would overhaul pre-purchase disclosure so people knew what they were buying, clarify rules of body corporate managers, provide greater rigor around the building maintenance plans with a differential for larger complexes and improve the dispute resolution system, Smith said.
The Tenancy Tribunal would have its jurisdiction extended into the unit titles’ sector and the Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation’s powers to investigate would also be extended, he said.
Kaye said this week: “I am pleased that we have committed to progress legislation by the end of the year. I think it really important for people to have confidence in issues like disclosure and capital maintenance plans for apartments and units.
“It’s another important step in ensuring we have a diverse range of affordable housing options for Aucklanders. As MP for Auckland Central I have worked hard to ensure we have change on these issues.”
Not everything is about party politics. You often get MPs who are incredibly hard working and effective advocates for their electorates. Annette King is a great example in Rongotai as Nikki Kaye is in Auckland Central. Despite being Minister of Education, she is relentlessly active in the electorate.