What do we foresee, for 2023?

With three submissions already under the Advocacy Teams belt for 2023, it is going to be a busy year leading up to the General Election in October. So, grab a coffee and read about what we foresee in 2023.

The Government of the Day is a majority Government. With current political polls suggesting a much tighter race come October, the Government has the mandate over the next six months to complete their priority projects before the added complication of an Election and (potentially) having to renegotiate coalition deals.

For the Property Sector, what we see as certain to be enacted is the new Resource Reform legislation (the Natural and Built Environment Bill and Spatial Planning Bill). The Government has gone too far down the road to risk Resource Reform being part of a coalition deal and will want to show action in this space prior to the General Election. The National Planning Framework will be released prior to the General Election, with a Board of Inquiry hearing to follow. The last piece of the puzzle is the Climate Change Adaptation Act (CCAA) in which guidance is expected in Q1. The legislation has had a deadline of year-end, although the runway may be too short now to be released prior to the General Election.

Building Act amendments relating to sustainability are expected to be announced in quarter one of 2023. Along with other Government workstreams and policies, this will be a step forward towards the Government’s goal of Zero Carbon by 2050. Property Council has been involved in pre-engagement with MBIE and our member Environment and Sustainability Taskforce, contributing towards the thinking behind the soon-to-be proposed amendments to the Building Act.

The Government is expected to release fire and emergency levy consultation in the second quarter of this year. This will set the dollar amount that commercial property pays towards the Fire and Emergency Service in New Zealand. We know that the commercial sector currently pays 60 per cent of the levy rate despite the majority of callouts being related to non-commercial users. At Property Council we support a broader user pays system and will be representing your views accordingly.

Building on last year’s Build to Rent successes of securing an asset class and interest deductibility, Property Council will focus on achieving the other pieces of the puzzle. Namely, amending the Overseas Investment Act and depreciation settings. Given housing will be a hot campaign topic, we look forward to working with the Government and other key political stakeholders on Build to Rent and would like to see these additional legislative tweaks adopted as ‘party policy’ during this year’s Election Campaign.

That leaves the question mark policies of three waters and local government reform. How far down the road Prime Minister Hipkins is prepared to travel, or if he chooses to take a U-turn or delay his journey until post-election is yet to be seen. What we have seen this year is a newly appointed Minister for Local Government – Kieran McAnulty, Minister of Internal Affairs – Barbara Edmonds and Minister for Auckland – Michael Wood.

As per usual, in the immediate future we have Annual Plans for each local council. 2023 is year three of the council’s Long Term Plan budget. We expect some councils (such as Tauranga City Council and Hamilton City Council) to continue with their Long-term Plan budget making little changes within their Annual Plan review. What will be interesting is how closely councils with new Mayors (Auckland Council, Wellington City Council and Christchurch City Council) will stick to the budget or seek to make Long Term Plan amendments instead.

Over the last couple of years Property Council’s Advocacy Team have been involved in policy conversations, thought leadership and suggested legislative changes to help the property sector flourish. This year, we will see a lot of these discussed legislative changes come to fruition and it is our job to stay connected with the industry- in order to ensure that legislative changes can be effectively implemented. There is no doubt that it is going to be an exciting year ahead, as we continue to strive to achieve our purpose of shaping cities where communities thrive.

Author | Katherine Wilson

As Property Council’s Head of Advocacy, Katherine is tasked with leading our advocacy campaigns at both a regional and national level.

Level-headed and engaging, Katherine has both a law degree from Otago University and an arts degree (majoring in politics) from Auckland University. With solid experience as a policy analyst and advisor in Wellington and Auckland, she has extensive networks and solid analytical skills.

Katherine is hugely dedicated, highly intelligent and committed to ensuring the voice of our members is heard at all levels of governance. She’s also relentlessly positive and enjoys a good chat.

katherine@propertynz.co.nz

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