A petition has been launched urging the Government to reform the law governing New Zealand's $50 billion apartment sector.
Judith Collins, National's housing and urban development spokesperson and Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye said a group of stakeholders had launched a petition.
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That urgently sought reform of the Unit Titles Act and a push for the Unit Titles (Strengthening Body Corporate Governance and Other Matters) Amendment Bill which they proposed unsuccessfully to the coalition Government a year ago.
"Today the Fix the Law for Apartments and Units (FLAU) group has launched a petition, calling for the House of Representatives to urgently progress legislation to reform the Unit Titles Act," Kaye said.
"Two years and one Housing Minister later, and there has still been no action from the Government in reforming the apartment sector worth more than $50 billion," Judith Collins says.
Last year, then-Housing Minister Phil Twyford thanked the pair for their draft bill but said much more work was needed and he would not be taking the proposal forward at this point, although reform was planned "in due course" when priorities and resources allowed.
Collins said today the draft law would help strengthen the management of apartments and townhouses and address issues about a lack of transparency and inadequate long-term planning.
"We must reduce homeowner disputes in multi-unit dwellings and help facilitate their resolution. For most people their home is the largest asset they have so when things go wrong there can be devastating and life-long impacts," Collins said.
The bill aims to improve the information disclosure regime to prospective buyers of units and strengthen the governance arrangements in relation to the body corporate.
It would increase the professionalism and standards of body corporate managers and ensure planning and funding of long-term maintenance projects is adequate and proportionate to the size of the complex concerned, Collins says.
Kaye said the reform had huge support.
But a spokesman for Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Faafoi yesterday rejected the call.
"Re the proposed private member's bill that Judith Collins and Nikki Kaye were sponsoring - there are no plans to pick that up as a government bill," he said.
The Real Estate Institute said it strongly supported change because there was an urgent need for greater transparency and greater access to key information for buyers.
REINZ had been a key member of the working group for a number of years and backed the petition, it said.
"It is imperative that purchasers can have confidence that their body corporate committee has a code of conduct to abide by and that conflicts of interest are disclosed by committee members and body corporate managers – especially given the significant level of consumer funds held by some of these body corporate managers," it said.
• The petition is here.