A new entity to help body corporate bosses will hold its inaugural meeting next week.
Lyn Gillingham, chairwoman of the Auckland branch of the Body Corporate Chairs' Group, expects a big turnout at 6pm at the Wine Chambers in Shortland St on Thursday, April 16 because she said there was a desperate need for help for those running big apartment blocks.
The organisation is aiming to educate and help body corporate chiefs, particularly on issues like leaky building repairs and legal issues.
John Gray, Home Owners & Buyers Association president, welcomed the organisation but had some reservations.
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"We are aware of the group. A number of the body corporate chairperson's from our member bodies corporate are attending the meeting. We support the education of chairpersons to perform their duties and that is what we do on a project-by-project basis. One of the major problems we have to help owners in apartment or terraced housing communities overcome when embarking on significant maintenance or remedial work projects is the poor level of governance that usually surrounds them. There is very little leadership for the professional body corporate managers as a result of them endeavouring to protect their own interests and we support the self-governance role of the chairperson's and committee's and if this group enables them to go it alone then we think it is a great idea," he said.
"However, we do caution any chairs getting involved in this group that they risk developing ideas and solutions in a vacuum and given that the problems that beset bodies corporate are more often than not quite unique and specific to each individual complex. We have seen similar informal groups form, particularly around bodies corporate that were dealing with significant issues with their buildings and the sharing of information transpired to be quite dangerous as it was adopted by some chairperson's to the detriment of the owners in their complex as the advice and information that they received was simply not applicable to their own complex," Gray said.
His organisation held a unique position, being able to gather information and then give advice and support people in big apartment blocks around difficult issues, he said.
Lawyer Adina Thorn, leading a $100 million-plus class for leaky building victims, was more enthusiastic.
"Any initiative focused on body corporate education is great. Body corporates have been through such tough times, there's got to be real benefits in shared learning," Thorn said.
Gillingham said the new group aimed to educate, train and share resources among body corporate chairpersons.