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Institute axes staff as housing slump hits

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  • Institute axes staff as housing slump hits

    4:00AM Wednesday Feb 11, 2009
    By Anne Gibson

    The housing downturn has hit industry organisation the Real Estate Institute, which has been forced to lay off staff and cut operations.

    REINZ chief executive Christine Le Cren told national councillors, staff at head office in Parnell and regional managers that their organisation was in the red and had been pruned.

    "REINZ is finding itself in exactly the same position as all businesses, including real estate agencies, and has had to tighten its belt accordingly," she said.

    Not only was a financial loss being carried from last year into this year but revenue was also falling because of fewer real estate agents in the sector.

    REINZ has shut its Dunedin office, leaving the Christchurch office to cater for all the South Island.

    Employees at various regional offices and at the Parnell headquarters have been made redundant so that only three regional managers remain.

    "I have had to restructure REINZ and some employee roles have been disestablished, meaning, regrettably, some staff members have been made redundant.

    "I made this decision mainly because REINZ revenue directly reflects what is being experienced by the real estate industry due to the current market.

    "In addition, I had to take into account the expected lower numbers of real estate practitioners being active in the industry for the new financial year as well as the [Real Estate Agents] Act 2008 being in full effect by mid-November," Le Cren said.

    She has also proposed a new REINZ structure where a board of directors governs the organisation rather than district committees and sub-committees.

    Peter Thompson, Barfoot & Thompson director, said
    his agency would remain a REINZ member.

    Other agencies were weighing up whether to stay in REINZ after November when the new act came into effect and disempowered the organisation.



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