Rating Valuations Rules Reviewed: Expert Committee Process Brings Industry Together

There are no dramatic changes in the Rules governing the way rating valuations are carried out, but those who put them into practice will find a sleeker, more clearly defined and better constructed document when the reviewed rules are implemented next year.

The Rating Valuations Rules 2008 set the minimum standards for rating valuations done by local authorities. The Rules were gazetted on 21 August and will come into effect on 31 March 2009 once Parliament’s Regulations Review Committee has approved the changes.

Valuer-General Neill Sullivan is satisfied the review – the first since 2002 – has made improvements to the earlier version, but adds that these were mainly matters of presentation and flow. He says the order is now more logical and some of the commentary sections in the 2002 version have been pared back or replaced by succinct definitions.

Also of great satisfaction has been the review process. This involved the input of a 17-strong expert committee, including valuation service providers, four city councils and one district council, the New Zealand Institute of Valuers and members of LINZ audit and regulatory staff.

“It has been fantastic,” Neill says. “The expert committee process brought the whole industry together and helped clear up any misunderstandings around the Rules. It was a great opportunity to sit in one room with all the key players and ‘road test’ the issues in an open environment.”

The group met on three occasions, spending a total of five days together. The final meeting was held to consider the nine public submissions that had been received on the redrafted Rules.

“The consultation model we used will help ensure much greater compliance and understanding within the rating valuation industry.”

Neill stresses that the reviewed rules are minimum standards only. “We encourage councils to use good contracting to identify areas relevant to their own districts that require more than the minimum standard.”

As Valuer-General he is encouraging councils to take a more active quality assurance role with their rating valuations suppliers.

“It’s starting to happen more and more. Some have been reluctant to actively audit the work because they don’t feel confident to impinge in a technical area of work that they don’t do, or be seen to be commenting on values. There are many general areas around the rating valuation process, though, where councils can assist by promoting higher quality, and this is developing well.

“We’ve now changed from the situation prior to 1998 where councils and the former Valuation New Zealand were quite separate. It’s a much more collegial environment now.”

Neill is unsure when the Rules will need a further review, but barring any dramatic changes such as new legislation, he is expecting they could serve territorial authorities well for a good five years. In the meantime his contact details are prominently displayed in the new Rules, and he maintains an ongoing compendium of issues and feedback raised by those working with the Rules day to day.

A set of guidelines, The Rating Revaluations Handbook, will be published in 2009 to coincide with the implementation of the new Rules. “It will be widely distributed to all in the rating valuation community,” Neill says.

This article has kindly been republished courtesy of Land Information New Zealand.  To view this article and other news updates from LINZ click here

Posted: 4 Nov 2008

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