National Executive Newsletter

Your National Executive provides interim updates on the current year's activities:

Feedback from National Executive meeting 16th March 2019

  • The National Executive quarterly meeting held in Wellington on Saturday 16th March covered current topical and future planning initiatives, and came away with some exciting new developments that will enhance members' access to materials and make news items more directly available.
  • The team has been allocated specific tasks including a number for which external IT support is required. This support is budgeted so should not put pressure on required income levels.
  • The trial of financial members having additional BC members attend presentations has been judged successful and we will tweak the Constitution to make this routine.
  • The Auckland video program will continue with modifications to ensure sharper, crisper videos - and we are also investigating indexing these into topical categories rather than filed according to meeting.
  • Administratively, the meeting received with regret the resignation of Robert Boyd-Bell as co-President who has upcoming family and personal priorities to address. However, this coincided with Lyn Gillingham having been recently successful in completing the contract arrangements for the remediation of her home BC and she no longer needs the extra support provided by Robert in the co-President role. Robert then becomes the Immediate Past President, a role that Neil Cooper had filled in a non-Executive capacity since he resigned as President. Robert intends to continue in an Executive capacity as provided under the Constitution.
  • David Cuthbert of the Wellington Committee attended the NatExec meeting by invitation and provided a substantial input to the topics of the day and also added value to our forward planning discussions demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of both the BC sector and the political processes that impact on it. NatExec voted unanimously to co-opt David to the NatExec for the balance of the year, with a particular focus on external submissions and activities.
  • The net effect of the above is that the Constitutional requirement to balance NatExec number by Branch remains unchanged.

Fees for 2019-20 held at current levels

The NatExec decided on 14th April by postal voting that there would be no changes to membership or fee structures or values from the current year settings.

Website modifications

Over the course of the first two years of the initial operation of the website and the associated membership database we have received many tips, hints, requests and ideas on how we might improve the website - we are pleased to advise we are in the process of making changes:

  • Providing the ability for members to direct their annual renewal invoice to their BC Manager (go to Manage My Membership and enter the Billing Email)
  • Inclusion of the BC number on the address portion of the invoice
  • A restructuring of the Members Resources area so that access to resources will be far easier, based on specific topics rather than being held on a time/meeting basis.
  • The continuation of the Auckland Video program was endorsed by NatExec on 16th March, but it considered the size of each file should be reduced and cover a specific topic or question rather than providing a summarised record of speakers' presentations.

Changes have been made to also lift the exposure of sponsors:

  • The platinum level has been removed from the website (although still retained should such a sponsor arise in future)
  • Rotating sponsor banners have been added to all pages of the website - these enable direct access to the sponsors' website simply by clicking the appropriate banner.
  • Sponsor logos have been added to the bottom of each email that is sent to members.

A number of behind the scenes changes have also been made to make the system more admin-friendly so that our volunteer support folk are more quickly able to respond to member or public enquiries. A huge thanks to Sue Glyde in Wellington Branch for her tireless efforts not only in guiding us through these changes, but also in keeping our website in very good order.

EQC Inquiry

This Inquiry was established on 16 November 2018 and on 22nd November 2019 Auckland Branch members voted unanimously to support a submission being made by BCCG with specific reference to the EQC interpretation of "residential".

On 28 January 2019 the process for gathering information was released by the Inquiry Chair, Dame Silvia Cartwright.

In February 2019, the National Executive had sought from all members advice of any matter that they believed should be considered by BCCG in making a submission to the Inquiry - no additional matters were advised by members.

BCCG shares the feeling of great loss in New Zealand from the 15th March terrorist attack, and noted that Dame Silvia Cartwright advised on 18th March 2019 that the start of submissions to the Inquiry had been deferred, this advice was as follows:
Given last Friday's events in Christchurch, we are delaying the launch of submissions on the Public Inquiry into EQC. At this stage, we do not have a new date for opening submissions, but it will not be before April. We will let you know when a new date is confirmed.

On 9th April, EQCI announced the opening of submissions on 10th April 2019, with a closing date of 19th May 2019.

BCCG National Executive has discussed the process for BCCG submissions and intends to submit as follows:

  1. Auckland Branch, a submission as outlined to members of 22nd November 2018
  2. Wellington Branch, a submission tailored to specific Wellington matters (but only those within Inquiry scope)
  3. National BCCG, a submission based on endorsement of the Branch submissions, and confirming the legal aspects of the submission. To this end, NatExec is seeking a legal opinion regarding the use of the undefined term "self-contained" by EQC in its consideration of 2016 Wellington claims.

It is intended that they will be filed no later than 17th May 2019 (immediately following the 16th May Auckland Branch meeting).

Recent Court Cases and Other Items of potential Interest

Since November 2018 we have advised members of 10 major news items that were of potential interest to members. These may be seen on the BCCG website News page.

Additional items are provided as they arise - members should advise if they have any item they believe may be of wider interest to our members. An example of this is the recent report regarding Wellington City Council's City Strategy Committee views on priority risk buildings.

BCCG Policy Framework

In making submissions to Government over the last few years, BCCG has in effect created a Policy Position on a wide number of specific issues. The NatExec has now created a small sub-Committee to extend this informal list of policy statements into a more formal Unified Policy Development and Procedure which will be used to guide Executive members when responding to enquiries or in drafting submissions. This Policy Committee is ably led by Wellington Branch chair, Maggie Miller.

ICW submission to Government

In March BCCG was approached by Inner City Wellington to participate in a submission to Ministers of Finance and Revenue on Depreciation. This work had started from a base of sourcing funding assistance for Façade Remediation, especially relevant and topical in Wellington, and in principle this was supported by BCCG.

However, the final draft submission drifted into the question of Deductibility of Depreciation and Taxation :

  1. Seismic strengthening depreciation in multi-unit residential buildings does not appear to apply to residential owner-occupiers
  2. The depreciation option for seismic strengthening
  3. An appropriate tax relief mechanism

After consultation with several members more expert in these fields, NatExec decided that it was not able to directly participate in the submission:

  1. The matters raised operate at an owner level, and vary according to each specific owners financial and taxation structure
  2. BCCG has no visibility of its membership below the person nominated by each BC member as their contact person
  3. BCCG had no mandate to speak on behalf of its members.

However it is clear that when a Body Corporate is invoicing its owners for maintenance work, the specific wording of the invoice should be such that for commercial owners the work remains as maintenance and is not considered capital expenditure. BC's should take taxation advice in establishing the wording for its invoicing.

Other organisations

BCCG has established contact with a number of organisations having a commonality of interest and these presently may be found on the BCCG Website under Resources, Links to Useful Sites

Future meetings and AGM

The website's events page lists the BCCG meeting dates for the rest of this FY.

Lyn Gillingham
President, BCCG
25th April 2019

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