Real estate agents operate under the Real Estate Agents Act, needless to say overseen by a farcically large Wellington bureaucracy.
The Act’s expressed objectives are the regulating of real estate agents, the raising of standards and to provide a disciplinary process to deal with complaints, all plainly worthy.
By law agents must renew their licence to practise each year. Now brace yourself.
This year the licensing authority has come up with a new angle, specifically that henceforth for agents to renew their licenses they will be required to undertake and pay for a special study course in “the maori world view (maori customs, protocols and the maori language)”.
To that end they’ve engaged an outfit called Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, described as an educational institution, to deliver this nonsense for a fee. They will do this by making agents watch an online video for an hour and a half and in return, at $29 per agent, will pocket circa $600,000.
This rubbish is simply trendy gangsterism against a currently hard-pressed service industry. It’s also ludicrous. There is no bloody maori perspective on buying, selling or renting property.
These are tough times for real estate and over the next two years I suspect their numbers will reduce by at least a third and possibly more as reliant on commissions, agents find their income falls to zilch.
That aside, given their often irrational obsession with property, why not a compulsory study course on “Chinese customs, protocols and language”? If not, why not, after all I’d wager for every real estate transaction with a maori there’s at least 20 with members of our Chinese community. Imagine the carry-on if it were they subject to this rubbish as diverse commentators would rightly protest at its absurdity.
This nonsense is a disgraceful burden on the currently hard pressed real estate agency business and requires Ministerial intervention to put a halt to it.