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You are about to be robbed. Put a stop to it.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

After failing to pass The Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill through the standard legislative process, Hon Chris Hipkins, Leader of the House, made the extraordinary announcement last week that he would move to pass this bill into law under urgency on Tuesday 4th August just before the 52nd Parliament dissolves. 

This is a widely unpopular bill. 82% of New Zealanders opposes its signature proposal to remove the landlord's ability to give a 90-day not fault termination notice. 74% of the bill's submitters do not want to see it become law. Still, this government persists. Even if that means passing the bill through the backdoor. 

House rule requires MPs to give a reason for urgency before moving to pass a bill under the special urgency rules. This does not serve the public at all as almost immediately after giving such reason, the motion will be put to a vote and urgency rules triggered in the same session. There is no opportunity for public scrutiny. We think for bills as controversial as this, elected officials should give their reason for urgency on the record before ensconcing themselves in the House chamber. 

Since Mr Hipkins' announcement last Thursday, we have made numerous requests on multiple platforms for him to state his reason to invoke the urgency process. We have received no replies nor any acknowledgement from his various offices and social media platforms. 

A democracy is only functional when the people are prepared to and mobilised enough to hold its elected officials to account. 

We are calling on all landlords, property managers and anyone who opposes this Bill to take the following actions RIGHT NOW: 

1. Write to and/or call/leave a voice mail for the following MPS: 

A. Chris Hipkins, Leader of the House: Demand to know his reason for passing 218 under urgency at Tuesday's House session and ask that he replies to you by 12 pm Monday 3 August.

His contacts: c.hipkins@ministers.govt.nz chris.hipkins@parliament.govt.nz 04 528 5715 and 04 817 6584


B. New Zealand First Leadership: Urge them to stand up for those hardworking middle New Zealanders they claim to represent by voting against 218. Ask them to serve your interest in order to deserve your vote come September.

Their contacts: Winston.Peters@parliament.govt.nz w.peters@ministers.govt.nz 04 817 8701

Fletcher.Tabuteau@parliament.govt.nz 04 817 9999

Shane.Jones@parliament.govt.nz 04 817 8719

C. Labour Leadership: Tell them 218 will expose you to an intolerable level of risk and that you expect the governing party of New Zealand to listen to the hearts and minds of ALL of New Zealand instead of just their base.

Their contacts: Jacinda.Ardern@parliament.govt.nz 09 845 1919 or 04 817 8700

Megan.Woods@parliament.govt.nz 03 338 6347 or 04 817 8705

Kris.Faafoi@parliament.govt.nz 04 237 9842 or 04 817 8720

D. Green Leadership: Tell them 218 will result in high rents and further rental stock shortage leaving those they are passionate to protect even more locked out of the private rental market.

Their contacts: James.Shaw@parliament.govt.nz 04 817 9999


2. Contact the media: 


Media outlets are always looking for worthy content. Reach out to them to highlight the following: 

  • Chris Hipkins appears to have gone to ground. He has failed to reply to numerous phone calls and emails from landlords nationwide demanding to know his reason to pass this bill under urgency tomorrow. Mr Hipkins seems to have forgotten that his is the governing party of New Zealand. Our base is his base. 
  • The Social Services and Community Select Committee public submission process turned out to be perfunctory - despite 74% of the bill's submitters objecting to the bill, majority members of the SSCSC doubled down on their political positions and ignored good faith feedback from those people who are actually involved in renting. 
  • Proponents of the bill (Labour, NZ First and Green) have so far failed to consider and respond to good-faith concerns raised on landlord groups. 
You can pitch stories here, here and here

You can also tweet @susanedmunds@anneherald@nzstuff and @rnz_news.

Finally, we leave you with this thought: This government is about to rob you of your private property rights and it is doing so using the backdoor. If you don't stand up for yourself and demand that they do right by you, who will? 



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