You heard it here first. The proposed amendments to the UTA are not going ahead. At least not anytime soon.
They are toast.
How do I know? Because I received a letter from Hon Kris Faafoi, the Associate Minister of Housing saying so. He said, "Don't worry John, we aren't going to pick up the proposed bill because we've got too much other more important stuff to deal with."
Well, he didn't say it exactly like that. His language was more ministerial. But it is what he meant.
What is telling is that I didn't write to Kris Faafoi. I actually wrote to Megan Woods. She got the portfolio after it was taken off Phil Twyfood. Prior to him it was Nick Smith. That's four Ministers in four years. Trying to have a conversation with the Minister for Unit Titles is a bit like whack-a-mole.
The truth is Kris Faafoi didn't even need to spell it out. It's fairly obvious from news headlines there are bigger housing problems, so that's where the energy is being directed. If you didn't know before, you know it now; the UTA is way down the priority list.
But then, in my opinion, the proposed bill was really a half-arsed attempt and I'm relieved it wasn't passed. Because our legislation needs to be better than that. If that bill had passed we would have had to wait for another generation before it was looked at again. We should consider this a let-off.
So what next? Let's look at the positives.
First, it's apparent this Government is not daunted by transformation when it thinks it's needed. So this might be our best shot in a couple of decades to get some decent Legislation.
Second, it's unlikely Unit Titles will be given to a senior Minister and that might be a good thing. Because if it goes to some new ambitious associate Minister with little else on their plate a, they might get something going, even if only to make an impression.
What we as an industry have to be careful about is that it's not us that's the handbrake. I read all of the submissions last time around and there was a distinct lack of voices from people and organisations in the front line. That needs to change. If we leave it to outside organisations to do the heavy lifting then it will be their objectives that are more likely to be met.
It seems to me that the first step is for the BC management sector to have some real and inclusive conversations and agree on some basic principles.
We need to rise to that challenge.
Prepared by John Bradley 20 October 2020
I will be posting a series of articles on this topic that will hopefully get people thinking and talking. I welcome your feedback at any time.
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The Plan Heaven team.
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