National President's Christmas Message 2023

17 December 2023

Dear Members,


I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our members a very happy Christmas and New Year. I hope you all have a very safe and pleasant Christmas break and that the sun shines on us, unlike last year's Christmas and New Year!

It is an opportune time to bring members up to date with a couple of current issues that will be affecting many of you. The executive has been very busy of late and there are a host of issues that are current and ongoing. Can I ask that all chairpersons and their committee members pass this letter on to all owners in their development, some issues will affect unit owners personally and others will be of general interest.

BCCG's Constitution

In 2024 we will be revising our constitution to bring it into line with the Incorporated Societies Act 2020.

Significantly, the executive has resolved to refocus and restate the purpose of the organisation. Accordingly, at its November National Executive meeting, it revised the mission statement and purpose to be included in the constitution along the following lines: -

Mission Statement:

The purpose of the New Zealand Body Corporate Chairs Group is to be the key national spokesperson, advisor, and central source of information, for all entities associated with Unit Title developments in New Zealand.

(This includes government departments, councils, property developers, property managers, apartment owners, tenants, and other interested parties.)


The BCCG's Purpose is:

  1. To provide education, training, and resources for bodies corporate.
  2. To provide a communication and networking channel for bodies corporate.
  3. To advocate for our members at local and national levels.
  4. To be the key voice for multi-unit developments.

The National Executive felt these were more in keeping with the future direction of the BCCG. In due course, Ben Thomson of Pidgeon Judd Law will be redrafting our constitution which will be presented to the membership for ratification in 2024. It is intended that it includes the new purpose of the BCCG.

Auckland Council Food Scraps Collection Scheme

Those of you in the greater Auckland area, will be aware that Auckland has instituted a food scrap collection scheme for all residential dwellings, including apartments. Certain parts of inner-city Auckland are excluded currently. The Auckland branch had a presentation from Sarah Nicholls of the Auckland Council, Programme Manager for the scheme on the 2nd of November 2023.

Since then, it has become apparent that all unit owners are paying a targeted rate for food scrap collection irrespective of whether their building has a food scrap collection service provided by Auckland Council. In fact, some buildings have a private contractor collecting food scraps and therefore those owners are effectively paying for the food scraps collection twice.

As a result, the BCCG has had communication and a meeting with members of the Waitemata Local Board of Auckland Council to discuss its concerns about this matter. Auckland members would have seen the article in the New Zealand Herald written by Anne Gibson. There are some real concerns about the implementation of this food scraps scheme for apartments.

For those members outside Auckland, your local body may adopt a similar scheme so be aware that there are some issues with these schemes. We will be providing members with advice early next year.

In the new year, we will forward to all Auckland members and all Auckland body corporate manager members a memorandum plus a link for you to have Auckland Council assess whether your building is suitable for the food scrap collection. Ratepayers can only opt-out if they have had a Council assessment.

Further, all unit owners in the Auckland Council area should be aware that they are paying through their rates various other targeted rates where they may not be getting a council service. For example, Auckland Council has a targeted rate for inorganic collection for residential dwellings which apartment owners may not receive.

Building Warrants of Fitness (BWOF)

This issue will affect all members throughout the country that have a compliance schedule for their building. This will affect many of the medium to large sized buildings irrespective of whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.

MBIE has re-documented the Form requirements for the issue of a BWOF under the Building Act 2004 and its regulations. This means that in some instances the new MBIE "arrangements" (note, they are not formalised in law by regulation) mean that for various reasons some buildings cannot get their BWOF. This is a significant concern and those who are not aware of the problem should review the Auckland Branch meeting video for the 2nd of November 2023 where there were presentations on this issue by Joanna Pidgeon from Pidgeon Judd Law, Alan Clark of MBIE and Motu Lauese of the Building Compliance Group. It is available under Member Resources.

Suffice to say that there have been various meetings with members of the IQP industry concerning the MBIE new process for the issue of BWOFs. As a result, there have been further discussions about how the process could be modified, which hopefully, will result in submissions to MBIE.

The lack of the BWOF for a building could have serious implications on resale value, the ability to raise a mortgage or the ability to insure the building. All owners should take note of this, we will provide more updates on the issue early in 2024.

Electric Vehicle Charging

In more and more developments, committees are being approached about retrofitting the building for electric vehicle charging (EVC). This has become more and more prevalent given the increased uptake of the purchase of electric vehicles.

The BCCG has had discussions with the Ministry of Transport, Drive Electric and other members of the electric vehicle industry over providing a template to assist committees in assessing the viability of installing EVCs in their buildings.

This is not an easy issue. Also, it can come at some cost to the owners of the building. The Strata Community Association (SCA), Australia has published certain papers on the uptake of EVs and EVC in Australia and New Zealand. Those are available to read under the 'Charging EVs Resources by Topic tab in Member Resources. More documents and references will be added as they come to hand.

We hope that in 2024 we will be able to give committees guidance on retrofitting of apartment buildings with EVC.

BCCG South Island Branch

Earlier in the year a group from our executive represented BCCG at meetings held in both Christchurch and Queenstown with a view to establishing a South Island branch. We received a great response at the meetings and are continuing to work interested parties to make this a reality. Our aim is to hold our first meeting in Christchurch early in the new year.

Finally, thank you all for your support as members throughout 2023, especially members of the National, Auckland and Wellington Executives. It has been an immensely difficult year for all of us. I am looking forward to a more settled and positive year in 2024.

Best Wishes.

Yours faithfully,

National President | BCCG Inc.

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