Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Point of Order: More regulation on the way, folks.....

......this time residential property managers will be bound by new rules

On learning of “a suite” of measures to improve the lives of renters and landlords, readers of the Beehive website should be wondering: so, who gets the fluffy end of this lollipop?

The measures were proudly announced by Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods, who said it represents more progress by the government on reform of the rental sector.

But someone somewhere has got to be a loser from this fresh initiative on the housing front, and the heading on Woods’ press statement gives a strong whiff of who the loser(s)will be:

Thus, RNZ reported:

Residential property managers will soon need to be registered, trained, and licensed under new rules unveiled this morning.

But the first announcement found by Point of Order, in our monitoring of the Beehive website, was from the singular Wood – Michael Wood, Minister of Transport –

Following discussions with vehicle importers, Wood said, the Government has confirmed the Clean Car Standard will be phased in from 1 December 2022.

The Clean Car Standard requires vehicle importers to progressively reduce the CO2 emissions of the light vehicles, both new and used, they bring into New Zealand. This is achieved by setting CO2 targets which get more ambitious year by year.

“This is a scheme aimed at importers, not the general public who will continue to benefit from the Clean Car Discount scheme, which is seeing record numbers of electric vehicles and hybrids being imported and bought by New Zealanders,” Wood said.

The Clean Car Standard is one of several initiatives in the Emissions Reduction Plan to reduce emissions and improve our health, our environment and our wellbeing, he said.

Buried in the statement is the news that legislation to enable the phased implementation will be passed this week.

The Clean Car Standard works by providing credits to importers for low or no emission vehicles and imposing charges depending on the CO2 ratings of the vehicles bought into the country.

High-emission vehicles will still be able to be imported but their emissions must be offset by the import of lower-emission ones. If vehicle importers do not import sufficient volumes of low emission vehicles to offset their high emission vehicles charges will apply.

The legislation for the Clean Car Standard was passed in February 2022. The regulations that set formulas for the weight adjustment of targets, specify the types of vehicles excluded and other details related to CO2 accounts can be found here:

The Clean Car Standard covers most light vehicles being imported into New Zealand, except for mopeds or motorcycles which have been excluded.

More information on the Clean Car Standard can be found here:


  • 1 December 2022 – all vehicle importers must hold a CO2 account, where the CO2 emission ratings of their vehicles will be recorded. Without this information, vehicles will not be able to complete entry to New Zealand and be registered.
  • 1 January 2023 – the CO2 emission ratings of vehicles start to count towards the achievement of the CO2 targets. For vehicle importers complying on a “pay-as-you-go” basis, each vehicle will incur a charge, or a credit, based on its CO2 emissions. Credits can be used to offset charges or be transferred to other importers.
  • 1 June 2023 – charges to be paid and credits can be transferred from this date.

And now, let’s check out what Woods plural – Megan Woods – has been doing.

Yep, her announcement is headed –

The announcement is that Government

  • will regulate residential property managers so they are registered, trained and licensed, and
  • complaints and disciplinary matters will be dealt with through a new regulatory framework.

Cabinet has agreed the Real Estate Authority will be the regulator and that the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal will have an expanded role as Disciplinary Tribunal for residential property management-related complaints.

But hey – didn’t that meth thing get mentioned in the headline?

Indeed. Woods says the government will consult the public before making binding rules on what an acceptable maximum allowable level of methamphetamine residue is, at what levels those homes need to be decontaminated to, and when tenancies can be terminated due to high levels of residue.

“Currently there are two levels used – neither of which are legally binding – which create uncertainty for landlords and tenants,” Megan Woods said.

“We have proposals that are informed by science, on screening, testing, and decontamination, with clear obligations for landlords.”

A maximum acceptable level of surface methamphetamine residue is proposed to be set at 15 micrograms per 100 square centimetres, which is also the level which a property needs to be decontaminated back to, or below.

Once relevant regulations are in place, landlords will not be able to knowingly rent out premises that are contaminated above the prescribed levels (as set out in the regulations), without decontaminating in accordance with the regulations. They will be liable for a financial penalty of up to $4,000 if they do so.

Detail on the proposed Methamphetamine regulations and an opportunity to submit feedback can be found on the Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development website. Feedback is welcome up to 5pm, Friday February 20, 2023.

Another part of the announcement is that the government is giving private landlords, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, and Community Housing Providers more time to comply with the healthy-homes standards.

Legislation was to be introduced in the House yesterday and passed under urgency before the end of the Parliamentary year, “to ensure certainty for landlords”.

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton


John S said...

So, more regulation and compliance for property managers now? Does that mean the costs of this will be passed on to property owners and then surprise surprise on to renters. Duh

Robert Arthur said...

It is absurd that the CO2 based vehicle tax is called a Clean car tax. It was presumably an artful trade influence to confuse with other emissions, generally higher in (much) older vehicles, and thereby encourage scorn for these. It should be called what it is; a CO2 tax, hydrocarbon consumption tax etc. Weight for weight there has been little change in vehicle economy in the last 20 years. Because vehicles are heavier consumption is much the same. We should be encouraged to run older vehicles forever. Then like the old 2 million km Toyota recently reported vast world savings of CO2 are achievable by the non scrapping and repeat replacement, or production of EVs and repeat batteries for.
The Rentals standards seems to originate from artful lobbyists utilising presumably industry funded "research" by young university types who have barely experienced the real world. Myriads of homes which have provided entirely satisfactory accommodation for decade are suddenly declared a health risk. Huge numbers have gone to land fill. Lower priced rentals have greatly reduced and owners are much more cautious about tenants. So the state house waiting list has rocketed. Country towns like Raetehi, Taihape with their back streets of 1920s and earlier houses must have shed or will many low rental tenants. Presumably the old houses will all go. Goodbye colonial heritage. Insulation masks problems of weathertightness and leaks from the rubbish (but legal) plumbing of the last 50 years. Damage is compounded, plus remedy and total cost. Many practical persons utilise under floor area for storage but this is effectively lost. Air conditioner importers have grown hugely wealthy. Homes everywhere now have appearance cluttered by a rusting often never used air conditioner. None of the houses I have lived in had insulation, often no heating was used, no extractor fans. But never any mould. But no indoor clothes drier, which should be banned if not externally vented. And no multiple showers each day with the windows closed.

Unknown said...

Surely there will be a Matauranga test available for property managers.