It is wonderful news that Sharon Cullwick, our NZPIF President, has been appointed to take over from me as NZPIF Executive Officer. For an industry as large and as important as ours, the Executive Officer role deserved to be more than a part time position and the NZPIF Executive is to be congratulated for making this happen.
Sharon has many years of experience in the industry, as well as being involved in Property Investment Associations around the country. She has been President for over a year now and it has been a pleasure to work with her over that time. I congratulate her and wish her well for the future.
Sharon’s appointment means that this is my last time writing for NZ Property Investor magazine. Although this has been planned for a long time, it seems to have come around faster than I expected and I am going to miss the role immensely. It has been a real privilege.
When starting a little newsletter called the Auckland Landlord in 1996, I didn’t realise what I was getting myself into. I was extremely grateful to the Auckland Property Investors’ Federation for providing my publication to their members right from the first issue. I’m not sure I could have got it off the ground without this.
I should have realised I was in for trouble at the APIA AGM the following year. RTA expert and APIA Secretary at the time, Scotney Williams, asked for nominations to the committee. He then said “Andrew King will do it won’t he?” With no prior consultation he asked “all those in favour say I” and I was duly appointed.
What a ride it has been since then. Almost immediately there was a call for a rental property WOF, showing just how long we have been arguing against such a scheme.
Advocacy and media work have always been the prime focus of the NZPIF. The appointment of Thomas Chin as NZPIF lobbyist around 2002 was a pivotable point in NZPIF history. When I was appointed to the NZPIF in 2006, I really enjoyed working with Thomas and NZPIF President Martin Evans. We had many great trips to Wellington and achieved much.
One of my proudest achievements was working with Martin to develop a philosophy of the NZPIF thinking about tenants as well as investors. We developed good working relationships with many tenant organisations, especially Helen Gatonyi from Canterbury Tenants Protection. They shared the same philosophy as us, that we could achieve more by working together. It is a shame that some newer tenant advocates don’t share this belief.
A good example of this philosophy was advocating for tenants with children hospitalised with illness’s caused from living in cold damp houses to be provided with electricity vouchers to help them heat their homes. Another was supporting insulation in rentals. I appreciated this philosophy being continued under President Terry le Grove and Sharon.
This balanced approach has been recognised when we have advocated on bigger issues such as Capital Gains Tax. We were the prime organisation opposing the CGT and I’m proud that we have successfully pointed out the flaws in such a scheme for many years. I’m also pleased that we have helped resolve situations like tenants not being responsible for damage they cause, illegal dwellings and meth contamination.
While I’m proud that we have made a difference, there is no denying that the last few years have been hard work. I am feeling a little worn out so it will be good to have more time for myself and good for the NZPIF to have a fresh injection of enthusiasm through Sharon.