Landlords are given a bit of a break but govt presses on with changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme

Landlords have been given a break – well, a bit of a break – according to the latest bunch of Beehive pronouncements.

Other announcements by the Beehive  Bugle Brigade tell us:

  • People wanting to train for employment– or retrain – will be given a helping hand. But funding “will be targeted towards particular industry skill needs where demand from employers for these skills will continue to be strong, or is expected to grow, during New Zealand’s recovery period from the impacts of Covid-19”.
  • More appointments have been made to a new commission in the justice domain.

And then then there was an announcement that affects everybody, for better or worse.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw alerted us to changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme which (he contends) “will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to.”

Good luck with that.

The better deal for landlords amounts to a few months breathing space before their compliance burden is increased.

It takes the form of an extension of the deadline – from 1 July to 1 December – for them to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards.  The objective is to enable tenants to see the homes they are renting are compliant.

The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are phasing in new rules which landlords will need to meet in relation to heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress, draught stopping and drainage.

The next step of the phase-in was to have landlords provide tenants with a statement of compliance providing information on if and how rental properties comply with the Healthy Homes Standards.

The extended deadline won’t affect any of the dates by which rental properties have to comply with the Healthy Homes Standards. It applies only to the requirement for a detailed statement of current compliance.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has developed a template for landlords to use for their statement of compliance. This template is available on the Tenancy Services website – www.tenancy.govt.nz.

Education Minister Chris Hipkin announced the government’s programme to make it easier for New Zealanders who want to train in industries “where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from Covid-19”.

Foreshadowed in Budget 2020, the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training

The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from Covid-19

Apprentices working in all industries will have costs paid.

High demand areas, including in regional New Zealand, will be targeted

In many cases apprentices, trainees and learners at tertiary providers will save between $2500 and $6500 per year, Hipkin said.

“The $320 million fund is part of a wider package to get New Zealand moving again announced on Budget Day. It will work alongside the Employer Apprenticeship subsidy scheme, of which we’ll be announcing further details shortly.”

New jobs for a few were announced by Justice Minister Andrew Little in the form of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

At first blush, the appointments have been considered with gender and ethnicity considerations taken into account.

Little enthused:

“Each of them will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to their roles.  Together with Mr Carruthers, they will form the inaugural board in this important new entity in our justice system.

“It is important that the board has a mixture of legal expertise, governance experience and subject matter knowledge, and I am confident we have achieved that with these appointments.”

The CCRC will begin receiving applications for review of convictions and sentences from 1 July.

Under the CCRC’s legislation at least one member of the CCRC must have knowledge or understanding of te ao Māori and tikanga Māori; at least one-third of the Commissioners must be legally qualified; and at least two-thirds must have experience in working in the criminal justice system or have other knowledge or expertise relevant to the CCRC’s functions.

The changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme announced by James Shaw include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure emission prices are more predictable, and a provisional emissions budget for the 2021-2025 period.

The announcement set out:

  • The amendments the Government is making to the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Bill, which will better incentivise emissions reductions
  • The changes that are necessary to make the ETS work as it should. These changes will be implemented through regulation once the Bill is law and include the cap on the total emissions allowed in the ETS, and rules for the auctioning of emission units

The Emissions Trading Reform Bill was given its second reading yesterday.  The new rules to be enacted through regulation once the Bill has passed include:

  • A provisional emission budget for the 2021-2025 period of 354 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gasses.
  • The Climate Change Commission will provide advice next year on future emissions budgets. They may also propose a revised emissions budget for the 2021-25 period that would supersede the provisional emissions budget announced today.
  • A new cap on the ETS of 160 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases over 2021-2025.
  • Price controls that will act as a backstop when auctioning is introduced – preventing prices going too low or too high.
  • Rules that govern auctioning to provide certainty on how auctions will be scheduled and run.

The Supplementary Order Paper (proposed amendments to the Emissions Trading Reform Bill) published today will:

  • Extend participants’ access to the Fixed Priced Option (the ETS’s de-facto price ceiling) to cover 2020 emissions, providing certainty about compliance costs.
  • Defer implementation of major forestry policies to January 2023 whilst ensuring foresters who register under the current announced settings are not disadvantaged.
  • Delay the introduction of penalties for small foresters.
  • Extend cover for surrender liabilities to foresters during temporary adverse events using stock change accounting, and introducing exceptions of the new penalties for small forest participants.

Release

2 JUNE 2020

Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended

The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.

Hon Kris Faafoi

Housing

Release

2 JUNE 2020

Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced

Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Hon Andrew Little

Justice

Release

2 JUNE 2020

Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery

The Government has made it easier for New Zealanders who want to train in industries where demand is expected to grow as the country recovers from COVID-19.

Hon Chris Hipkins

Education

Release

2 JUNE 2020

Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets

The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw.

Hon James Shaw

Climate Change

 

 

 

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