The Labour party have promised to regulate the property management industry and streghthen Healthy Homes compliance should they win this month’s election.
The Green party, who are currently part of the coaltion government, have been pushing for this change but only now have Labour indicated they are wiling to regulate.
Regulation will likely mean standards are set around property management education, rules and fees.
REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell said they are delighted that Labour would work with the industry to develop practical standards to ensure property managers comply with a code of conduct.
“New Zealand is currently one of the few countries in the OECD that does not regulate its property managers,” Norwell said.
“This lack of regulation has had a negative impact on tenants and landlords who have reported bad experiences due to property managers acting unprofessionally and not being held accountable for their actions.
“It also jeopardises the reputation of good property managers who are doing a great job in the industry.”
Labour have also annouced they plan to expand the Healthy Homes initiative for housing basics like heaters, curtains, bedding and floor covering.
They will also increase compliance and enforcement efforts by Tenancy Services and set up a national register to actively track and treat rheumatic fever patients
Labour Leader and Prime Miniser Jacinda Ardern says the prevalence of rheumatic fever is a national shame.
“Rheumatic fever is a disease we should not have in New Zealand,” Jacinda Ardern said.
“While good progress has been made to tackle the conditions that lead to ‘strep throat’ and consequential rheumatic fever, we need to keep up the momentum. We will drive greater resources into efforts to eliminate this illness and protect our most vulnerable communities.
“It is unacceptable that poor quality housing is causing lifelong heart damage, as well as swelling and pain in joints and skin, and increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illness. The problem is much worse for Māori and Pasifika children.”
Labour plan to invest $55 million over four years to tackle the root causes of rheumatic fever.
Labour will also increase support for the purchase of curtains, floor coverings, heaters, beds, bedding, mould kits and minor housing repairs, at a total cost of $39 million over four years.
A further $16 million over four years will allow inspectors from MBIE to proactively target high risk areas and communities.
“We want this disease to vanish from New Zealand,” Ardern said.