Advocacy in a Nutshell | October 2018

Welcome to the October 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 giving you a snapshot of:

We need you!

We currently have several issues up for parliamentary discussion that require input from our membership, including:

  • Building Amendment Bill submission  - the Building Amendment Bill proposes changes to the Building Act 2004 to introduce two new sets of powers to improve the system for managing buildings after an emergency and to provide for investigating building failures. Property Council supports the intention of the Bill and is generally happy with the provisions proposed for investigating building failures and managing damaged buildings in the immediate aftermath of an emergency. We have concerns about the extent of the powers proposed for use further after the event because they will reduce and potential override building owners rights to manage the future of their own buildings. You can read the Building Amendment Bill here and review Property Council's draft submission here. Should you have any thoughts or feedback, please contact Matt Paterson ( by Thursday 18 October.
  • Tax submission - with the interim report released, the Tax Working Group are calling for submissions by Thursday 1 November in order to formulate their final report. Please feel free to review our overview of the interim report and provide your feedback to Matt Paterson ( who is also able to supply you with a copy of our draft submission upon request.

Recent actions

  • The interim Tax Working Group (TWG) report was released on 20 September, with members receiving an overview of the report and Property Council's views gaining media attention. This was supported by TWG member, Geof Nightingale's presentation to National Council in late September, when he confirmed that Property Council will be part of future consultation.
  • Thank you to those members who provided real-life examples of how the proposed fire levy exposure would effect their business - this was supplied to FENZ and the DIA for consideration.
  • We participated in the Ministry for the Environment's "Critical Friends" group for urban intensification.
  • We met with Queenstown Lakes District Council's Mayor and discussed the region's growth issues and where Property Council can assist.
  • We met with Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Councillor Jamie Gough and discussed mutual issues, such as infrastructure funding and revitalisation of Christchurch's CBD.
  • We met with Auckland Council officers to discuss progress on the draft DC Policy and arranged a workshop on the issue for 5 November (see here).
  • The draft Waikato District Plan submission has been completed - for more info click here.
  • Our internal working group on infrastructure funding have met for the second time, with new members from Foodstuffs, Haines Planning and Fletchers.
  • We've worked with MBIE to provide a list of interested developers to participate in the consultation on medium density housing and to provide our member's feedback on improving the efficiency of consenting pathways. 

Waikato District Council Proposed District Plan submission

Property Council recently submitted on Waikato District Council’s Proposed District Plan. Our submission highlights the poor timing of this District Plan review and urges a more co-ordinated approach. This would see Waikato District Council place its review on hold until the Ministry for the Environment’s Draft National Planning Standards are adopted, Future Proof Phase 2 recommendations are released and the Hamilton to Auckland Corridor Network Plan scoping is complete. Placing the review on hold will also give council the opportunity to complete its blueprint work around structure plans and incorporate a natural hazards chapter.

It is important that all councils undergoing District Plan Reviews take a co-ordinated approach with other key policy documents or regional infrastructure decisions in order to unlock its full potential.  

To read our submission click here.

Auckland DC's workshop

Property Council reviewed Auckland Council’s (Council) initial draft Development Contributions (DC's) Policy in May and were supportive of the proposal for more consistency and an average development contributions charge over the three years of the policy. However, we were also concerned about how rushed the initial draft policy was developed and suggested it be slowed down. We were particularly concerned about the lack of analysis undertaken and particularly the lack of capital projects associated with the brownfields programme.

Council agreed with submitters to delay the process to allow more work to be undertaken and greater engagement. Following this the revised draft DC Policy is about to be released for public consultation.

The draft DC Policy and documents will be made public on 15 October, with public consulttion from 18 October and the deadline for submissions likely to be 15 November. Council officers have agreed to come and discuss these papers with Property Council on 15 October.  Our internal DC working group (including Steve Evans, Martin Cooper, Daniel Clay and Karen Joubert) will attend this session.

Council has also agreed to a closed workshop with Property Council members on Monday 5 November, from 1 - 4:30pm and we invite any Auckland members who would like to attend to contact Natascha Dodson ( to reserve your place.

Author | Matt Paterson

As Property Council'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.

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