Advocacy in a Nutshell | April 2018

Welcome to the April edition of Advocacy in a Nutshell; the latest update from our advocacy team, featuring all of the projects, policy and issues that matter to you.

This month we're talking about:


Long Term Plan season

You'll currently find our advocacy team furiously reading through thousands of pages of policy to find the surprises hidden by local governments around the country. From increases in rating differentials in the Bay of Plenty to rising development contributions in Waikato, it's like an Easter egg hunt, but with fewer clues and no chocolate.

LTP and regional plan submissions for 2018 are as follows:

 Branch Plan in review Submission date Contact
 Auckland Auckland Council View the submission Jane
  Auckland Plan View the submission Jane
 Waikato Hamilton City Council 30 April Katherine 
  Waikato District Council 16 April Katherine
  Waipa District Council 20 April Katherine
 Bay of Plenty  Tauranga City Council 16 April Katherine
  Rotorua District Council 13 April Katherine
 Wellington Wellington City Council 11 May Katherine
 South Island Christchurch City Council 13 April Jane
  Selwyn District Council 4 May Jane
  Nelson City Council 23 April Jane
  Queenstown Lakes District Council  13 April Jane
  Dunedin City Council 23 April Jane

If you have particular concerns or feedback that you believe would add value to these submissions, please contact the submitter directly.

Increasing our credibility, reputation and influence

  • We recently held positive meetings with several new Government Ministers, including; Phil Twyford, Jenny Salesa, David Parker, Megan Woods and Tracey Martin with the Ministers open to working with Property Council on several important issues, such as planning reform, in the coming months.
  • We continue to work with key journalists from all major news outlets to discuss how Property Council can assist journalists to report on our sector.
  • We have recently partnered with RICs to participate in the quarterly Global Commercial Property Monitor and with PINZ to formalise a Residential Measurement Standard for New Zealand, due for release this month.

The future of tax in New Zealand

  • The future of tax in New Zealand and how commercial property will be affected will be the topic of Property Council's upcoming submission to the Government's Tax Working Group. While we understand that commercial property is not in the 'headlights', there is concern that the sector could still suffer collateral damage. However, we could turn this into an opportunity to get fairer tax treatment for commercial property on par with other business assets. Submissions close on 30 April.
  • Property Council has set up its own working group of Corporate Leaders to consider and produce our submission. Our working group has met once and scoped what we intend to cover. KPMG has also been contracted to do the lion’s share of the submission drafting with assistance from our Advocacy team.
  • The national Working Group's website can be found here, and includes some thought-provoking videos and a quick comment facility. Should members require any further information do not hesitate to contact Jane Budge, Senior Advocacy Advisor.

Planning system reform

  • As a founding member of Resource Reform NZ (RRNZ), we are currently pushing for reform of the planning system and recruiting partners to join us in this drive for change. We have had a positive response from Ministers thus far, however, we expect to see a short-term focus on RMA "twiddling" as the Government dips its toes in the planning reform waters.

Infrastructure funding

  • Government is actively talking about new infrastructure funding models, many of which Property Council has been advocating for, such as value capture and targeted rates. We look forward to participating in the mid-year review of local government funding systems.

Innovation in the construction sector

  • Our work on the Building Advisory Panel (BAP) and Construction Industry Council (CIC) has held us in good stead to discuss the need for innovation in the construction sector. We met with officials to discuss the issues around the cost of construction and will continue to educate the new Government on the views of our members.

Fire levy calculations

  • Fire levies remain an ongoing issue; we met with Tracey Martin (Minister of Internal Affairs), who was open-minded to new ways of funding, and the Insurance Council, who could potentially join us in supporting changes to the way these levies are calculated.

Author | Matt Paterson

As Property Council New Zealand's Head of Advocacy, Matt leads our team of advocacy advisors, researchers and public affairs experts. Based in Wellington but frequently found in all corners of the country, Matt has his finger on the pulse of central government, providing valuable insights for our membership and acting as the conduit between our members and the country's movers, shakers and policy makers.

Get in touch here.