Mark Ratcliffe will join the Housing New Zealand Corporation Board, Housing New Zealand Minister Amy Adams has announced.
“As New Zealand’s biggest landlord, Housing New Zealand has an important role in providing safe, warm social housing that’s the right size and in the right place for those in need.
“The Board plays a vital part in the strategic direction of Housing New Zealand, and I welcome Mr Ratcliffe’s commercial and senior executive expertise which will be a real asset to the Housing New Zealand Board,” says Ms Adams.
Mr Ratcliffe stepped down as the Chief Executive and Managing Director of Chorus earlier this year, after ten years in leadership roles with Chorus. Prior to that he held a number of senior operational and service delivery executive roles with Telecom.
“His time in the telecommunication industry puts Mr Ratcliffe in good stead for understanding highly-distributed assets. He brings extensive senior management experience in large-scale operational and service delivery businesses, and will add significant business management acumen to the Board.”
He currently sits on the Board of First Gas, and previously held governance roles with the New Zealand Initiative and the Telecommunications Carriers Forum.
Mr Ratcliffe’s term begins on 7 August until 30 June 2020.
Ms Adams thanked outgoing Board member Jeff Meltzer for his contribution.
Biography on Mark Ratcliffe
Mark Ratcliffe has worked for more than 25 years in the telecommunications industry. Mark was the CEO and Managing Director of Chorus Limited, a top twenty listed company in New Zealand, since its demerger from Telecom New Zealand (now Spark Limited) in 2011 until February 2017
He was Chief Executive of Chorus since 2008 when it was part of Telecom. Earlier roles at Telecom including Chief Operating Officer, Technology & Wholesale and Chief Information Officer.
Prior to telecommunication, Mark worked in senior accounting, IT, project management and consulting roles in England and New Zealand. Mark holds a Bachelor of Accounting, Huddersfield University, England. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
An evaluation of the Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot has confirmed that families are safer and better protected as a result of the pilot, say Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.
The final evaluation report released today by Superu found that the level of seriousness and the frequency of family violence incidents reduced significantly in the six months after people came into contact with the pilot.
“This report confirms that the ISR pilot is helping to transform lives by significantly changing the way family violence is responded to,” says Ms Adams.
“Since the pilot began in Christchurch in July 2016 and the Waikato in October 2016, more than 30,000 people have been supported through the development of nearly 10,000 family safety plans.
“These plans help ensure that victims are safer and better protected, and perpetrators are better supported to stop hurting their loved ones.”
The final evaluation report proves that a collaborative multi-agency approach is what is needed to tackle New Zealand’s high rate of family violence.
“The report shows the ISR pilot is delivering on many of its core aims and is well-placed to achieve better outcomes for more families,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Key achievements highlighted in the report include improved information sharing, risk assessment and safety planning, as well as more families taking up offers of support.
“The report also identifies some issues for further development. Budget 2017 invests $22.4 million to extend the ISR pilots for two years which will enable us to address these issues before we look to roll out the ISR nationally.”
The final evaluation report is available here.
Parliament has unanimously passed reforms to strengthen the existing Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.
“Money laundering and the financing of terrorism is a global issue with serious consequences. It is blight on society that undermines the hard work of legitimate businesses by allowing criminals to fund their lifestyles and fuel re-investment into criminal activities,” says Ms Adams.
The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill extends the current AML/CFT regime to lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, sports and racing betting and businesses that deal in certain high value goods.
“Extending the regime to these sectors will strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and prosecute many types of criminal activity. It is estimated these reforms will disrupt up to $1.7 billion of fraud and drug crime, prevent up to $5 billion in broader criminal activity, and reduce social harm by $800 million over ten years,” says Ms Adams
“This Bill will help prevent New Zealand being used by international criminals to launder money, and help protect our hard fought reputation as being one of the least corrupt countries in the world and a good place to do business.”
New Zealand’s AML/CFT regime is scheduled to be evaluated by the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF) in 2020. This Bill will assist our preparation for the evaluation by FATF in 2020.
Ms Adams says the Bill strikes the right balance between combating crime, minimising the cost of compliance and meeting international obligations.
Businesses will have a period of time to prepare for the changes. The Government will provide guidance and information to help them understand, prepare for and comply with the law.
The Government has built 82 new social houses in the last year as Hamilton grows – with another 71 on their way, Social Housing Minister and Housing New Zealand Minister Amy Adams has announced.
“153 new social houses in two years means those vulnerable families in Hamilton in need have a warm, dry place to stay,” says Ms Adams.
Construction will start on the 71 new social houses this year, including 26 one- and two-bedroom homes at Jebson Place, with a number of other potential new builds and acquisitions under negotiation.
“Rapid growth in Hamilton means we need to increase the number of smaller social housing properties in Hamilton,” says Ms Adams.
“Nearly three quarters of social housing demand in Hamilton is now from single people, couples and small families. However, only about 50 per cent of Housing New Zealand’s Hamilton portfolio is suitable for this group.
“I’m pleased to also confirm that Housing New Zealand’s $12 million infill programme that was announced in May is now complete. It has made a significant and rapid impact, with 43 one- and two-bedroom houses built within a matter of months. It made sense to build the new infill homes on underutilised sections. Without needing to subdivide any sections, the new homes are very cost-effective and provide value-for-money for taxpayers.”
Ms Adams acknowledged the constructive relationship between Hamilton City Council and Housing New Zealand, which meant the project was able to be streamlined and the full consenting process fast-tracked.
“It was great to see Hamilton City Council working constructively with central government to help provide essential social housing projects for the city. Councils have a big role to play in solving demand for social housing in their communities, particularly through streamlining consenting processes to help us get houses built. We can build houses more quickly when councils cooperate. Hamilton City Council have done their ratepayers proud by being part of the solution.”
In addition to the 43 new infill homes, Housing New Zealand added another 39 new and fit-for-purpose homes to its Hamilton portfolio in 2016/17, replacing older homes at the end of their useful lifespan and increasing the portfolio’s alignment with demand. There was a net increase of 40 social housing homes in Hamilton during the year.
These replacement homes are in addition to Housing New Zealand’s $26 million investment on maintenance, upgrades and modernisation to its Hamilton portfolio over the last two years.
“It’s really important that in addition to building new homes, Housing New Zealand stays focused on maintaining its existing homes and bringing them up to a modern standard wherever possible,” Ms Adams says.
Short-term housing will be provided to perpetrators of family violence in the Waikato to help ensure victims are kept safe and can stay in their own homes, say Justice and Social Housing Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.
“The Government is putting $1.1 million into emergency housing for perpetrators at the Integrated Safety Response pilot sites in Waikato and Christchurch, because evidence shows it’s better to remove perpetrators than to uproot victims and children from the family home,” Ms Adams says.
The Hamilton Abuse Intervention Project has this week been awarded the contract to provide the service in the Waikato. In Christchurch, the service has been running through Stopping Violence Services for six months, and has already provided emergency housing for 22 perpetrators.
The emergency housing is for perpetrators who have been served a Police Safety Order stopping them from returning to the family home for up to five days, but who don’t have anywhere to go.
“Perpetrators must voluntarily agree to the referral. It gives them the opportunity to cool down, accept help, and address their abusive behaviour, while ensuring that victims and children can stay safe in their own homes,” Ms Adams says.
Mrs Tolley says perpetrators who use the service will also be referred to the Integrated Safety Response pilots, in which core agencies and NGOs work together to create family safety plans tailored to the specific needs of each victim, perpetrator and family.
“The emergency housing initiatives demonstrate how the ISR pilots are maturing and evolving as we gather more information and understanding of what will make a real difference for families.”
Police Safety Orders were introduced in New Zealand in 2010, and allow Police to remove a suspected perpetrator of family violence from the family home and require them to stay away for up to five days.
This emergency housing funding is part of the cross-agency work programme overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence, which is committed to reducing family violence and keeping victims safe.
Auckland’s newest transitional housing complex is under construction in Manurewa to help up to 216 vulnerable families and people a year in need of warm, dry secure housing, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has announced.
“The Government is working at pace to build new accommodation to help families in need of temporary accommodation while they are supported to get back on their feet,” says Ms Adams.
“This new $10 million complex on Browns Road will help up to 216 families every year, with 54 studio units. It will be a similar modern design to emergency housing homes recently opened in Puhinui Road and Great South Road.
“This comes at the same time the 44 house Luke Street transitional facility in Otahuhu has been completed and is fully operational.
“These developments are a welcome boost toward meeting the demand for transitional housing in our biggest city. We have 535 transitional housing places across Auckland and we are on track to have 915 places in the city by the end of 2017.”
The homes will be managed by an on-site emergency housing provider. The provider will look after the tenancies and provide range of support tailored to meet the needs of the people living there.
In Manurewa six two-storeyed blocks each comprising 9 studio units with ensuites and kitchenettes will accommodate individuals, couples, and small families. In each block there will also be a communal living area, and kitchen and laundry facilities that all residents can share.
It’s expected that families would stay in the homes for an average of 12 or more weeks, while the provider helps them to secure longer term accommodation. They’ll continue to receive support for a further three months once they move into more permanent housing, such as social housing.
A provider has not yet been confirmed for the site, but will soon be appointed.
These new transitional housing places are expected to be finished later this year.
More than 2200 people affected by family violence have been able to stay safe in their homes thanks to the success of the National Home Safety Service launched two years ago, Justice Minister Amy Adams says.
“The NHSS makes victims’ homes safer from attack with practical measures such as installing tougher locks, security lights and monitored alarms. In the last two years it has made a measurable difference to the lives and security of hundreds of victims of serious family violence,” says Ms Adams.
“No one should have to live in fear of violence in their own homes. That’s why we introduced the NHSS which has enabled more victims and their children to stay in their homes with a significantly reduced risk of serious physical harm.”
The service is delivered by the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges as part of a 3-year $3.6 million government contract.
“In its first two years, the service has made 648 homes safer. This has benefitted 648 adult victims and 1240 children, as well as 314 other adults including family and whānau, friends and flatmates living in those homes,” says Ms Adams.
Other practical measures offered by the service include repairing broken windows, cutting back vegetation and putting victims in touch with other agencies that can help.
The NHSS is one part of the Government’s plan to reduce family violence and keep victims safe, overseen by the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence.
Homes made safer, by region
Northern (north of Auckland)
Midlands (Waikato south including Taranaki and Hawkes Bay)
Central (south of Midlands including Wellington)
Southern (South Island)
A Bill to bolster New Zealand’s existing anti-money laundering laws has passed its second reading in Parliament tonight with unanimous support, says Justice Minister Amy Adams.
“The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill will help protect New Zealand businesses and make it harder for criminals to profit from and fund illegal activities,” says Ms Adams.
“Extending the AML/CFT Act to lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, real estate agents, sports and racing betting, and businesses that deal in certain high value goods will improve our ability to prevent and detect money laundering and reduce the impact on victims.
“These businesses are at particular risk of being targeted by criminals who use money laundering to fund their lifestyle and fuel re-investment in criminal ventures.
“The Bill will protect New Zealand’s reputation as being a good place to do business, and aims to strike the right balance between combating crime, minimising the cost of compliance and meeting international obligations.”
The Bill will now go to the Committee of the Whole House. Once it passes, businesses will have a period of time to prepare for the changes.
A Bill to make trust law easier to access and understand has been introduced to Parliament today by Justice Minister Amy Adams.
The Trusts Bill will update and replace the Trustee Act 1956, making it the first significant change in New Zealand’s trust law in over 60 years.
“Trusts are an essential part of our legal system, with around 300,000 to 500,000 trusts operating in New Zealand today. For an area of law that is so well used, the Trustee Act 1956 is out of date and in need of a refresh,” says Ms Adams.
“The Trusts Bill will provide better guidance for trustees and beneficiaries, and make it easier to resolve disputes.”
Some of the changes include:a description of the key features of a trust to help people understand their rights and obligations mandatory and default trustee duties (based on established legal principles) to help trustees understand their obligations requirements for managing trust information and disclosing it to beneficiaries (where appropriate), so they are aware of their position flexible trustee powers, allowing trustees to manage and invest trust property in the most appropriate way provisions to support cost-effective establishment and administration of trusts (such as clear rules on the variation and termination of trusts) options for removing and appointing trustees without having to go to court to do so.
The proposed reforms are largely based on recommendations for modernising and clarifying trust law made by the Law Commission in 2013. Rather than introducing significant changes, the Law Commission recommended making the current law more accessible to the many people who use trusts.
The Government consulted on an exposure draft of the Bill in late 2016, and a number of improvements have been made as a result of the submissions.
“The consultation process provided an opportunity for affected sectors and individuals to help ensure that the Bill is fit for purpose and to identify unidentified consequences. It also helped us to better understand how the changes will impact affected sectors,” says Ms Adams.
A copy of the Bill can be found here.
Up to 800 Christchurch families and households a year are set to benefit from the Government’s new approach to transitional housing, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams today announced.
This month, 10 new transitional houses have been secured across Christchurch, bringing the total to 197.
“Transitional housing is much more than just a roof over people’s heads. It’s about providing warm, dry and safe accommodation to people in need of housing – and ensuring that they get all the support they need to get back on their feet,” Ms Adams says.
“It’s an innovative and new approach that considers the whole picture of what people need so they’re able to lead better, more productive lives.
“These 197 transitional housing places are giving people a place to stay for three months or longer if required – depending on their needs. While they’re there they receive social support and tailored services, and help to find more permanent housing. Once they move into more permanent housing such as social housing, they continue to receive support for a further three months to help them sustain their new circumstances.”
Ms Adams says that with winter here, it becomes even more important to ensure that families have this support.
“The 197 are part of the Government’s target of 259 transitional housing places for Christchurch by the end of the year, which will help more than 1000 families in Christchurch every year.
“Our transitional housing is being delivered by skilled and experienced community groups across New Zealand that are working to help people in need and give them the skills they need to become more independent.”
Transitional housing providers in Christchurch include Christchurch Methodist Mission, Emerge Aotearoa, The Salvation Army, Women’s Refuge and ComCare Trust.
About our plan for social housing:
This year, the Government will spend $2.3 billion supporting 310,000 households with their accommodation. Additionally, those seeking immediate shelter can access a Special Needs Grant for accommodation. We have invested $354 million to help 8600 families every year with a warm, safe place to stay. We are also growing the number of social houses available, from 66,000 today to 72,000 by 2020.
What is the difference between social and transitional housing?
Both social and transitional housing may be run by community housing providers.
Transitional housing differs from social housing in that tenants generally only stay for 12 weeks in the property while they are helped to find long-term housing. While there they also receive additional support tailored to their needs. This could include things like budgeting advice, cooking lessons or parenting support. People receive a further 12 weeks of support once they’ve moved into their new property to help them settle in.