Minister welcomes Unit Titles Act submissions

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Building Issues Minister Clayton Cosgrove says he is impressed by the high standard of public submissions received in the Government’s latest consultation round as part of its review of the Unit Titles Act 1972. 

Mr Cosgrove says the submissions are in-depth and encompass a wide range of issues, from proposed changes for small and stand-alone developments and a code of conduct for professional body corporate managers, to ways for keeping disclosure requirements effective but simple. 

“These submissions will be instrumental in helping to develop the finer detail of the proposals and, ultimately, deliver workable, relevant legislation,” he says. The 148 submissions were in response to the Options for Change discussion document released in May 2006. 

They have been analysed and summarised in a report that is now available on the Department of Building and Housing web site at www.dbh.govt.nz. Mr Cosgrove says the review is a crucial one and will impact on the lives of an increasing number of New Zealanders in the years ahead. 

“The fact that there will be half a million people living in apartments, townhouses and high-rise buildings in Auckland alone in 50 years shows the importance of the review. “Many families used to live in three-bedroom homes on quarter-acre sections, but that is no longer the case. 

The current Act is 34 years old and no longer meets the needs of these New Zealanders.” Options for Change put forward a range of proposals, including redefining the responsibilities of bodies corporate and unit owners, common property and unit entitlement. 

Submissions were received from a wide cross-section of people, including unit title owners, bodies corporate, body corporate managers, local and regional authorities, developers, surveyors, lawyers and other government departments. 

Professional institutions such as the New Zealand Law Society, the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, the New Zealand Institute of Building Surveyors, the Insurance Council of New Zealand, the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, the New Zealand Property Investors Federation and the Property Council of New Zealand all made submissions as well. 

Mr Cosgrove says the submissions will assist the Department of Building and Housing in developing proposals for legislative change. The public will then be able to make submissions on the resulting draft Bill.