Submission on the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill

Submission to the Committee Secretariat Social Services and Community Committee

July 2024

Student Christian Movement Aotearoa (SCMA)

Tēnā koutou Social Services and Community Committee,

Student Christian Movement Aotearoa is a progressive Christian group in tertiary institutions across the Motu. We write with grave misgivings about the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in its current form.

As a group of tertiary students, most of us are renters or have rented during our course of study. It makes absolutely no sense to us that changing the rules to allow landlords more power over ending tenancies in general without cause will in any way benefit the renter. Students are already subject to economic precarity and housing insecurity, and this will only exacerbate that situation, in addition to increasing the inequality gap between families of means and those will less. 

We’re not policy experts and do not pretend to be. We are people who have experienced the woes of renting in New Zealand, and let me tell you none of those woes were because landlords had too little power.

I could talk more about how Jesus looked after the last, the lost, and the least, and that this policy only looks after those who have an abundance. I could talk about the Hebrew Scripture principles to ensure all are housed and taken care of. I could talk about how how Jesus condemned greed and amassing stores of wealth and power. Those are the models of human flourishing given to us in our reading of holy Scripture, and in our reading run quite counter to the power and wealth amassed to landlords in this bill.

The bill as it is now is ridiculous and laughable, and frankly does not warrant any more of our time. It’s wild that both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party in the UK have pledged to abolish no-cause evitions, and yet the government thinks that this is somehow a ‘pro-tenant’ move. 

Ngā manaakitanga,

Michael Toy

Public Theologian

Student Christian Movement Aotearoa

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