The Minister of Building and Housing presented the RTA Amendments Bill and the Unit Titles Bill to Parliament this month. As a first priority, we have been working through all the changes in the RTA to establish our position. Our analysis has assisted us to prioritise the issues about which we will be writing submissions as soon as we know when the consultation process begins. In the meantime, we have been able to meet with Phil Heatley, National Party Housing spokesperson, again and will request further meetings with the housing spokespeople from the other political parties, with whom we met a month ago.
As in previous years, June was the month for the Communications Meeting. Representatives of all Associations fly into Wellington for a day’s meeting at the Airport Convention Centre. As well as featuring speakers on the RTA Amendments Bill, on the Home Energy Rating Scheme (HERS) and Steve Darbyshire from the ANZ, our National Sponsor, it was a great opportunity to hear about Association initiatives. There are some very innovative activities developing, which will bring more benefits to members, and other Associations are keen to see if these innovations can be extended. One of the highlights of the day was the signing of the 2008/09 Heads of Agreement with the Department of Building and Housing. This confirms our participation in the New Landlord Seminars run throughout the country during the next year.
Another highlight of the Communications Meeting was the announcement of a new National Sponsor – Generation Developments. Although this very successful building firm is based in Tauranga, it is operating in the Waikato, Auckland and Taupo regions and intends to extend its area of operation further. It offers members significant saving on single home purchases and, if more than one home is being sold, Generation Developments will negotiate even better prices. Copies of a sponsorship proposal for individual PIAs were handed out at the meeting for the Executive Committees of PIAs to consider. In addition to this announcement, a national discount deal with Hirequip, the ANZ Partners Rewards Scheme and information on maximising the benefits of other discount schemes for members were highlighted.
During June and July, I am enjoying the opportunity to visit a number of Associations to meet with members and update them on many of the important issues facing us in this election year.