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 For an area of law that is so well used, the Trustee Act 1956 is out of date and in need of a refresh,” says Ms Adams.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.
More social housing is on its way across Greater Christchurch as the Government invests more for those in need, Social Housing and Housing New Zealand Minister Amy Adams has announced.
“In addition to the 163 houses we built over the last eight months, the Government is investing another $46.3 million into 145 new social houses in Greater Christchurch. It brings our total to $98.3 million for 308 new social houses for those in need,” Ms Adams says.
“Housing New Zealand has helped transform Greater Christchurch through its $350 million Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Programme, which built and repaired 5700 houses. We’ve also just completed 163 new social houses across the region, which are now being tenanted and helping people in need.
“Construction is underway on the next phase of building another 145 houses which will continue to modernise our social housing stock throughout the region.
“The new homes will be a mixture of smaller, one-bedroom homes for single people and couples without children, and homes for larger families – exactly the kinds of social housing needed to meet the demand for social housing.”
There are 25 developments across Greater Christchurch, including:272-276 Worcester St, Christchurch Central, where 30 one-bedroom apartments are being built High and White St, Rangiora, where 28 one-bedroom homes will be built in the most significant housing development in the North Canterbury township since the earthquakes 352 Barbadoes St, Central Christchurch, where a three-level 18-unit complex will be built close to the heart of the city 23-37 Eveleyn Couzins Pl, Richmond, where 14 new homes will be built 1 Puna St, Riccarton, where four units will be built in the place of one old house.
“Activity will ramp up over quickly, with the first new homes to be ready in the coming months,” Ms Adams says.
“The Worcester St site I visited today is the largest single development undertaken by Housing New Zealand in Christchurch in recent years. When completed next year, 30 new one-bedroom homes will significantly help to meet growing demand for one-bedroom places.
“This is a significant development for the local community. This development and many others planned across greater Christchurch will mean more housing for our vulnerable people.
“This is all part of the Government’s investment into more social housing for vulnerable New Zealanders, and a continuation of the significant investment placed into greater Christchurch.”
Cantabrians will soon have access to some of the most modern and efficient justice and emergency services in the country with Christchurch’s Justice and Emergency Services Precinct nearing completion.
Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams today attended the blessing of the Precinct alongside Ngāi Tahu, tenant agencies and Precinct staff.
“The new Precinct will bring justice and emergency services together under one roof in the heart of the city,” says Ms Adams.
“Today’s blessing marks the next step towards completion, with Ministry of Justice staff being the first to begin their move into the Precinct as fit-outs continue.
“Fit-out of the Justice Building is progressing well and is on track. Fit-out of the public coffee outlet in the Customer Service Centre is also nearly complete.
“In the Emergency Services Building, fit-out of the Emergency Operations Centre is now underway. When complete, the purpose-designed Centre will provide emergency response capability for local and regional incidents.
“As part of today’s blessing, a pounamu touchstone was unveiled. This mauri stone will sit on a plinth in the Justice Building atrium. It was gifted from Ngāti Waewae, a Ngāi Tahu hapū based on the West Coast, to the Ngāi Tūāhuriri hapū, who have mana whenua over Christchurch city.
“It has been named ‘E Toru Ngā Mea', after the waiata which refers to the three principles of Whakapono, Tūmanako and Aroha – faith, hope and love.”
The official opening of the Precinct will take place in August followed by a public open day.
The Government is ramping up its social housing support in response to a rise in people needing help, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
The latest Social Housing Quarterly Report for the June 2017 quarter shows an increase in the number of places but also the number of vulnerable New Zealanders seeking warm and safe social housing.
“Winter is seeing an increase in the number of people needing support. Our primary focus is getting help to those who need it, and while demand has increased, help is there for those who need it,” says Ms Adams.
“The Government helped 1725 families into homes over the past three months. We’re working hard to help ensure people have somewhere to live, whether it’s emergency, transitional or permanent housing.”
In the last three months, an extra 353 social houses and 386 transitional houses have become available to house vulnerable New Zealand families. This brings the total number of social houses to 66,330. More transitional housing is available every week, with nearly another 300 places available since last month.
“Part of the drive behind the higher demand is rising rents affecting those with low incomes. We’re aware of this pressure, which is why the Government is lifting Accommodation Supplements as part of our $2 billion Family Incomes Package. More social housing is also needed, and the 13,500 new social houses in Auckland and hundreds of others we’re building across the country will help.”
More than 3000 families and individuals have been helped with a Special Needs Grant (SNGs) for emergency housing for motel stays, which is nearly 500 more than in the last quarter.
“While motels are not ideal, they are warm and dry, and preferable to families sleeping rough during the coldest months of the year. Our priority is that those in urgent need have a place to stay while we secure them a social house. The increase in SNGs underscores the importance of the Government’s $354 million investment to secure 2150 additional transitional housing places.
“The number of SNGs are contributing to the increase in the social housing register. Families staying in transitional housing also remain on the register while they are provided wrap-around support to help them find a stable, permanent home.”
The latest Social Housing Register for the June quarter is available at http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/social-housing/social-housing-quarterly-report-june-2017.pdf
The latest figures on the Housing Register can be found at www.housing.msd.govt.nz/information-for-housing-providers/register
Figures at a glance (as at 30 June):$565 million total housing support provided in June 2017 quarter Helped 1725 households into homes 5353 people on the housing register – up 10 per cent on last quarter 11,446 emergency housing Special Needs Grants paid to 3108 clients – total spent $12.6 million 66,300 social houses across New Zealand – up 353 properties on last quarter.
Over 16,500 remand court appearances were held via audio visual links (AVL) connecting courts and prisons in the year to May 2017, says Justice and Courts Minister Amy Adams.
This is up from around 13,000 remand court appearances held via AVL the year before, an increase of about 27 per cent.
Ms Adams says each appearance represents a prisoner who has not been escorted to court, placed in a holding cell, and then returned to prison.
“AVL not only frees up more time for other court business, it also improves public safety and reduces the potential opportunities for prisoners to escape or to introduce contraband,” says Ms Adams.
“The use of AVL supports the Government’s goals of increasing efficiency in the justice sector, modernising the court system and improving victims’ experiences of the courts.
“There are now 21 courts hooked up to the AVL network, linked to 15 prisons throughout New Zealand. In addition to these fully-serviced links, most district and higher courts have access to AVL-enabling equipment that can connect them to prisons or other custodial facilities, and allow victims or witnesses to give evidence remotely.”
AVL is enabled by the Courts (Remote Participation) Act passed by Parliament in 2010. The Government has invested over $38 million in the rollout of AVL to prisons and courts across New Zealand.
Chronically homeless people in Napier will be helped off the street and into warm, safe housing where they will receive wraparound services to help them get their lives back on track, Social Housing Minister Amy Adams has announced.
The Government has invested up to $325,000 over the next two years to the Whatever It Takes charity in Napier. This will provide them with the ability to potentially support up to 20 individuals each year.
“We don’t want to see anyone living on the street or in shelters. The drivers behind homelessness are complex and difficult, such as mental health issues, alcoholism or family violence, and there isn’t a quick fix,” Ms Adams says.
“We need to combat homelessness at its core, by addressing the causes behind it.
“In order to help rough sleepers in Napier, we will be first helping them into safe, secure and stable accommodation, and then providing wrap-around services to address their issues.”
The new funding is for two homes that over time will have room for up to five chronically homeless individuals at a time, while they’re helped to secure more permanent accommodation. This will be managed by the Whatever it Takes Trust, which will have an in-house supervisor to support residents with home-living skills and social and mental health services, depending on their needs.
Whatever It Takes has operated in Napier for 15 years and delivers mental health services including community support and residential care services. The Trust is a registered community housing provider providing 12 social houses in Napier.
“This new support will help chronically homeless people in Napier, and will help facilitate access to much-needed addiction and mental health support services. The supported-living component is a new initiative and provides the next step to meeting the needs of homeless people,” Ms Adams says.
Te Puea Memorial Marae and the Government have teamed up to support vulnerable Auckland families through winter.
“We’ve been clear that we all need to work together to address the challenges our communities face. Our partnership with Te Puea will see five cabins open for families next week,” Social Housing Minister Amy Adams says.
“Te Puea Memorial Marae will receive $125,000 from the Government for five modular cabins on site, and will include support services and rental subsidies for the five places. The funding comes from the $354 million investment we’re making to support 8600 families a year with transitional housing.
“This innovative housing programme is providing safe and warm housing, and also targeted support to help people and families find and sustain long-term housing.”
“I’m pleased that all the hard work that’s been going on behind the scenes means that we’re now able to help the team at Te Puea fulfill its ambitions of supporting families needing housing,” Associate Social Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro says.
“Over the next six months Te Puea will provide support to Mangere families to help them get back on their feet and will continue to support them once they’ve moved on to help them manage that transition.
“Right across the country we’re seeing what a huge difference this Government’s investment in transitional housing is making for Kiwis so it’s fantastic that we’ll be able to help even more families with this partnership.”
Christchurch’s Integrated Safety Response (ISR) pilot has helped almost 21,000 victims and perpetrators of family violence since it was set up, say Justice Minister Amy Adams and Social Development Minister Anne Tolley.
“Today marks one year since the ISR pilot was established in Christchurch and already it is showing signs of being a significant game changer in the way that agencies and NGOs respond to family violence,” says Ms Adams.
“By working together and sharing information, the agencies and NGOs that make up the Christchurch ISR team have developed more than 6,400 safety plans targeted to families that the pilot has identified as at risk of violence.
“The pilot is helping us to better understanding the nature of family violence and how we can best respond in order to keep families safe and stop perpetrators from hurting their loved ones.”
Data from the pilot shows there were 8,000 family violence incidents reported in Christchurch in the year to June. Just over half of the incidents relate to verbal abuse, with physical harm making up 21 per cent of incidents.
“New Zealand still has an appallingly high rate of family violence. Seeing the hard numbers reported through the ISR pilot reinforces the Government’s commitment to building a better system for dealing with and reducing family violence,” says Mrs Tolley.
“The Christchurch ISR team is about to move into a new expanded site which is a good indication of the impact their work is having on families and of the demand for their services.”
Following the establishment of the Christchurch ISR pilot in July 2016, a second pilot site was established in Waikato in October 2016. Budget 2017 invested $22.4 million to extend the pilot through to 2019.
Table: Types of incidents reported throughout the Christchurch ISR pilot between July 2016 and June 2017
Number of incidents
Percentage of incidents
Threats Of Harm