Property editor of the NZ Herald

Nikki Kaye's $40b apartment sector reform trail

National MP Nikki Kaye holds a meeting at the Ley's Institute in relation to the reform of rules for city apartments. Photo / Dean Purcell
National MP Nikki Kaye holds a meeting at the Ley's Institute in relation to the reform of rules for city apartments. Photo / Dean Purcell

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye this year worked to clean up the $40 billlion apartment sector - but shied away from claiming credit.

The 36-year-old today revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and will take leave from work for treatment.

Kaye has made a signficant impact since she entered parliament in 2008.

Her campaign against injustice in the apartment sector initially had little Cabinet support.

It began after numerous Aucklanders raised issues with her about problems purchasing and living in apartments. So Kaye examined how the $40 billion sector could be changed for the better.

She talked to Housing Minister Nick Smith and Land Information Minister Louise Upston but said she was initially told they did not see any major evidence of issues.

But she continued to challenge the status quo.

Last summer, she established a website which received extensive information, met with lobby groups, industry representatives, lawyers, professional organisations and apartment dwellers.

Even Kaye seemed surprised by reaction to what she had uncovered.

"When I started looking into these issues last year, I never imagined the huge interest that would be sparked by the campaign. I represent a huge number of people who live in apartments, so I am passionate about these issues.

"People have told their stories via email or the website I set up. I was delighted several months ago to help facilitate some meetings that led to a working group of legal and property experts being formed," Kaye said earlier this year.

The result: a weighty report with extensive work by the Homes Owners and Buyers Association and others, revealing serious issues with the sector. That report went to Smith, who said that by around August, more should be known.

He revealed more at the time: "I have asked officials to review these reform proposals and report back to me in August on potential options. I have also asked for a report on recent changes to unit title legislation in Australia to help inform any policy changes. I am open-minded about reform. There is always a balance to be struck between the benefits of additional compliance requirements and the costs these impose."

Kaye was praised by many in the sector for her work on this topic. Yet it was telling that when the weighty report was finalised, Kaye's name was nowhere near it.

For her, it seemed, the potential for reform was the end goal, not political point scoring.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 02 Oct 2016 12:03:31 Processing Time: 575ms