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218-1 Delayed: A stay, not a pardon

Thursday, June 25, 2020

 

An update on 218-1 The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill: the deadline for the Social Services and Community Select Committee to report back to Parliament has been pushed out from late June to 13th July.

We look at what this means for landlords and where to from here in terms of our collective lobbying efforts.

 

Background

On the first week of the lockdown, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development issued a statement of assurance that all non-essential parliamentary business including select committee affairs would be suspended. 

Despite this, and much to many landlords’ chagrin, the Social Services and Community Select Committee went ahead with the scheduled hearings for 218-1 by Zoom. Many became concerned that this controversial piece of legislation would be inconspicuously pushed through in the shadow of a nationwide preoccupation with COVID-19.

But just as the Select Committee quietly went about with the hearings during the lockdown, Parliament pushed out its deadline for the SC report without much fanfare. As things stand, the report is now due on the 13th of July. While this certainly grant landlords some much needed breathing space, it is certainly no cause for celebration.

 

What’s going to happen from the 13th of July?

The usual legislation process follows: An updated bill incorporating any recommendations from the SC will be presented to House for a second hearing. No substantial changes will be made from this point. The bill will be read a third time before receiving Royal Assent. As things stand, commencement date will be 6 months from RA.

In terms of how quickly things will unfold from 13th of July, we expect the Bill to get to the RA stage before the election but the commence date (s2) be pushed out further than 6 months paving the way for the law to come into effect sometime in 2021.

 

Is there anything else to be done to stop 218-1 from becoming law?

Plenty have been done and there is plenty more to do.

Landlords get one final go at lobbying MPs to vote against. And this must happen before the bill gets to its second reading. Once bills get through their second readings they almost always get through the third.

While APIA will continue to support the work the NZPIF does behind the scenes to lobby against the bill, there is a tremendous need for the entire landlord community to come together and do what is necessary to ensure that 218-1 does not become law. We really need everyone to pitch in on this one!

RELATED: Say No to 218-1

From the information we can glean, we expect the voting to be done along party lines. We think the best way to move the needle at this point is to lobby all the political parties as well as your local MPs. Between now and the 13th of July, we are asking all landlords, property managers and anyone who is against 218-1 to urge your MP and leaderships from all parties to vote against the bill. You can do so by writing and/or calling.

Follow the E.P.I.C. format in our How to write to your MP guide to put together a letter/email.

Contact details of your local MP can be found here. Contact details of party leaderships are listed below. Aim to send at least one email every housing spokesperson (or senior MPs) copying in the party leader(s).

Labour  Leader Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern Jacinda.Ardern@parliament.govt.nz
  Minister of Housing Dr Megan Woods   Megan.Woods@parliament.govt.nz
  Associate Minister of Housing   Hon Kris Faafoi  Kris.Faafoi@parliament.govt.nz
National  Leader  (updated 14 July 2020) Judith Collins Judith.Collins@parliament.govt.nz
  Housing and urban development spokesperson  Jacqui Dean Waitaki.mp@parliament.govt.nz
  Associate spokesperson for housing and development   Simon O'Connor  Simon.oconnor@parliament.govt.nz
NZ First  Leader  Rt Hon Winston Peters   Winston.Peters@parliament.govt.nz
  Deputy Leader   Fletcher Tabuteau  Fletcher.Tabuteau@parliament.govt.nz
  MP  Hon Shane Jones  Shane.Jones@parliament.govt.nz
  Spokesperson for social housing   Darroch Ball  Darroch.Ball@parliament.govt.nz
ACT Leader David Seymour David.Seymour@parliament.govt.nz
Green Co-Leader  Hon James Shaw James.Shaw@parliament.govt.nz
  Co-Leader Marama Davidson Marama.Davidson@parliament.govt.nz
Independent   Jami-Lee Ross  Jami-Lee.Ross@parliament.govt.nz

Remember to reach out to these MPs before the 13th of July. It is an election year, politicians are paying attention to the wishes and will of their electorates. Let's leverage that power and put it to good use! 

How else would you like us to support landlords through this process? Email your suggestions through to admin@apia.org.nz

 

 

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