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REINZ Welcomes Review of Real Estate Agents Act


News Release
10 September, 2003

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Welcomes Review of Real Estate Agents Act

The Real Estate Industry in New Zealand has nothing to fear from the review of the Real Estate Agents Act, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand National President Graeme Woodley told the Institute’s Annual Meeting in Wellington today.

“The review of the Real Estate Agents Act and the changes being proposed to the auctioneering rules have combined to focus public and media attention on our industry, and not always in a complimentary fashion.

“However the scrutiny which our industry has received this year cannot be anything other than a good thing.”

Despite concerns over possible changes to the Act, one of the primary roles of the Institute is to represent the public interest, whether it is intended or not, Mr. Woodley said.

“The more debate about how we do business the better the public come to understand the complexities of our industry.

“And there is one fundamental point which is always overlooked and that is that one of the primary roles of the Institute, whether by design or accident, is to represent the public interest.

“While the Institute exists to represent its members, by definition, in representing their views, creating an operational, membership, supervisory and education structure, the reality is that much of the activity of the Institute involves looking after public concerns.

“These take two forms, firstly, representing the broader interests of homeowners especially in the economic and political environments, and secondly, ensuring that those who deal in property are confident that if they have a problem, they can turn to the Institute for a solution.

“Over the last year we have fielded 187 complaints from members of the public against our members, of which just over half merited some form of disciplinary action. When viewed against the 112,000 residential real estate transactions in the last year; significant rural, commercial and industrial sales; business broking activity; and countless property management transactions (not to mention the 13,000 people working in the industry), this amounts to a very small percentage.

“I would challenge most other professional organisations to match that.”

Mr Woodley said the Institute also fielded many enquiries from the public, which are satisfied through advice.

“The reason for that is quite simple, from the time a complaint is received; the Institute’s attitude is one of assisting the complainant as much as possible to ensure they feel they have put their case clearly and that they are satisfied they will receive a fair hearing.

“I believe the government is aware of the success of our organisation as a largely self-regulating body.”

Mr Woodley said that when reviewing the Real Estate Agents Act, the government and opposition parties will need to ask themselves:
- Is it low cost?
- Is it sufficiently independent and transparent?
- Is it fast and efficient? And;
- Are the public happy with the way it works?

“In all cases I believe they will, on investigating the situation, be able to answer, ‘Yes’”.


-ENDS-


Real estate information is also available via the Institute’s official property directory – RealENZ – on the Internet. RealENZ is a search facility providing comprehensive information on residential, lifestyle, rural, commercial, investment and rental properties. RealENZ’s Internet address is: www.realenz.co.nz


Issued on behalf of The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand by Sorensen Group.

ENDS

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