Declaratory Judgment sought by the Valuers Registration Board

Dear Members,
Further to my communication to you last week, a decision has now been delivered in the recent High Court proceedings involving the Valuers Registration Board (VRB), New Zealand Institute of Valuers and Telfer Young (as an Intervenor). 
That decision can be accessed here.
In summary, the decision:

  • Confirmed NZIV’s role in “promoting the interests of the profession, maintaining its standards and maintaining its standing in the community”. 
  • Confirmed that that VRB and NZIV “carry out an important public function”.
  • Confirmed the role of disciplinary proceedings is to ensure professional standards are maintained which is “to the advantage of clients, the public in general and the members of the profession who have a collective interest in the standing of the profession being maintained”.
  • Agreed with the VRB and NZIV that the approach taken by the Board of Appeal in King, as to when a sanction is merited, is incorrect.  This means that improper, unethical or incompetent conduct by a Registered Valuer, as set out in the Act, may be sanctioned provided such a sanction is warranted (and in accordance with its seriousness);
  • Rejected the counter argument put by the Intervenor in support of King, based on a literal interpretation of the Act, considering such an approach was impractical and would hinder the purposes of the Act. 

The clarification provided by the High Court should not impact overall complaint numbers (which remain low in relative terms), or require the VRB to impose more serious sanctions.  It simply confirms the VRB has a range of responses available where it considers professional standards have been breached.
Thank you to all the members who have followed this process and provided feedback and comments.  These are healthy discussions for the profession, and the outcome continues to stress the significance and importance of NZIV and Registered Valuers in New Zealand’s property market and the wider economy.

Jeff Alexander