Whaleoil transcript: Part one of two – Mike Hosking & Jacinda Ardern on KiwiBuild

Mike Hosking.

Newstalk ZB ? Part one of two

 

Starts at 07:10

Mike

The prime minister joins us this morning in studio ? lovely to see you.

Jacinda

It?s a real pleasure to be in the studio.

Mike

And it?s good that you can do this given it?s our last week. Although you continue working for another week.

Jacinda

Yes, that?s correct. Thank you for noting that.

Mike

No worries at all.? Now? so let?s start with Stephen Barclay and I know it?s an operational matter and I get all of that, but that indicates to me you were trying to eject him from the job and a cheque will be written in some way, shape or form eventually.

Jacinda

I wouldn?t encourage anyone to read between the lines um? ah? as I?ve said yesterday? you?re right? it?s an employment matter. That just simply means it wouldn?t be appropriate for me to be commenting. I have seen speculation on whether it relates to KiwiBuild and I have ruled that out. Ah? it?s not an issue to do with KiwiBuild but it is, as I say, a matter for the chief executive.

Mike

Does it look bad given all the other issues that KiwiBuild has at the moment? The bloke in charge of KiwiBuild has only been there five minutes.

Jacinda

Well? well? of course I would argue that KiwiBuild doesn?t have some of the issues that it?s been charged with Mike. I mean, we could debate each of these of its merits but um? you know? we prefer not to have situations to? you know? to muddy the waters when we are working on a project that I think is desperately needed, of course, but, as I say, this is unrelated and it?s an employment matter.

Mike

How upset at Twyford are you, that he, allegedly, the Finance Minister, and Shane Jones unilaterally, with our money, decided to change the rules around flipping a KiwiBuild house?

Jacinda

Oh, so, no that was a delegated responsibility they were given. Cabinet gave them the? ah? ability to make that decision as a group of ministers and that?s not uncommon when there are finer details?

Mike

So, you were aware that was happening?

Jacinda

That they had delegated responsibility, yes, when there are finer details to work through that?s often um? the way that?s done.

Mike

So, you?re happy for a person who gets into a KiwiBuild house to make $100,000 profit, keep 70 and give you 30?

Jacinda

Well actually no, Mike, they are contractually obliged to hold onto the house for at least three years.

Mike

But they? but they won?t?

Jacinda

So, they are obliged?

Mike

But if they breach?

Jacinda

If they breach their contract there is a penalty that?s in place and if we see that is, for instance being? ah? that?s occurring?? that we are seeing people breach their contracts, which I don?t anticipate but if we do see that then we should be? we will go back and have a look at that criteria?

Mike

You?re telling me that people who see the property go up by $100,000 aren?t going to pocket that and take advantage of it?

Jacinda

They would be breaching their contract?

Mike

And, so what?

Jacinda

I did say they will be penalised and?

Mike

And so, they?ll breach their contract.

Jacinda

And Mike what I?m saying if we see that? ?if we see that happening yes, we will go back and look at it? we?ll go back and see whether or not we should?

Mike

You?ll go back and look at it given you?ve got the policy in place in the first place and you couldn?t keep any of it?

Jacinda

Let?s keep in mind what we are discussing here. This is an individual who has put in there? their own capital into a property that is not subsidized? um? that yes, is at a lower price point because there are just not houses being built at that lower price point? and we?ve used our scale to deliver on what is a market failure. So that is? that is that individual?s money, not the government?s money? their money to purchase that home? we?ve said we want you to hang onto it because we want you to be a genuine first home buyer?

Mike

I get all of that?

Jacinda

And then there?s a penalty if they don?t. If we see it being utilized too often, we will look at? at remedying that.

Mike

Are you worried about the demand given Wanaka?s got extended houses and Auckland?s got the demand? You know, on the open market simply weren?t taken up?

Jacinda

I think you are talking about Te Kawhata because we haven?t seen that in the other areas and from what I?ve seen on that? I think that?s a case of that simply that being advertised too early. What we?ve seen in from those that are really going gang busters it?s when people are able to physically see the home? ah? some of the Wanaka? of course was off plan? and that?s a bit harder to sell a property off plan than it is once it?s built and people can see and visualise the property.

Mike

But you are explaining this to me like this is new? everyone knows this.

Jacinda

And look? this is something that we?ve discovered? certainly with KiwiBuild that you are going to move things a lot faster that way. I?m not worried about the demand though, we?ve got tens of thousands of New Zealanders who registered interest in KiwiBuild and as those properties come online people are able to go and see them then they?re moving.

Mike

The reserve bank and treasury argue that you are not making the contribution to the housing stock anywhere near the way you said.

Jacinda

The pace, of course, was always, is always a?. Mike, we have a housing crisis, if it was going to be easy to address you would have thought maybe the last government might have done it.

Mike

Yeah but what they are saying is that you are not doing anything the market is not doing anyway. People are building houses, all you have done so far in your one year in government is? is get some stickers and put KiwiBuild on them.

Jacinda

Totally? no totally disagree with that. Roughly?

Mike

But it?s factually correct, you count it?

Jacinda

Roughly five percent of the new builds um? that we had coming in ah? to office were what? what would be classified as what a first home buyer would be looking for. You know, the average builds in Auckland were sizeable homes that just weren?t in that bracket that people were seeking. KiwiBuild is just seeking to disrupt that. It?s a building programme that tries to target first home buyers? um? works alongside the developers to build at scale and quickly.

Mike

Let me do it? let me do it this way because I see the whole thing as a house of cards. I see it as a disaster, not that I want to see it as a disaster but I just? I just see the facts of it?

Jacinda

You want to be positive at making? I?ve always thought of you as an optimist Mike.

Mike

No, no. I?ve always? I want to see the supply aspect of it taken care of but what I am seeing is houses that are not being sold, I am seeing houses in areas that are in the wrong areas, the houses are too small?

Jacinda

Mike, let me?

Mike

What else would you do?

Jacinda

In Wanaka we are talking three houses that haven?t sold, Wanaka ? three houses, okay ? three!

Mike

That?s too many.

Jacinda

In Te Kawhata of course we?ve only just started that process, we?ve only just started, but you look in? look in the areas of Auckland we?ve had far more demand than we?ve had houses. Mike, my question to you would be this: ?what would you have us do to address this housing issue?

Mike

That?s a good question and I have an answer. I would not have sold it politically the way you guys sold it to people locked out of the market.

Jacinda

As a house building programme, it is what it says on the label.

Mike

No, you said it was for people who were locked out of the market. A graduate doctor is not locked out of the market. People who could afford $650,000 are not locked out of the market. There?s thousands of open market homes available to those people.

Jacinda

I went to that? I went to the first lot of homes that were? ah? that families were moving into? um? and there were a whole range of people? ah? you know everything from people working at the airport? to, you know? software developers. People who? every single one of them had been searching for a very long time and they said they just couldn?t? even with the kiwisaver?

Mike

That?s bollocks, that?s bollocks because on the open market?

Jacinda

When was the last time you looked for a home on a restricted income, Mike? You know I?m listening to these people and I see their letters, you know, they come into me in great number. ?These? there are individuals out there who are really struggling to find homes in that bracket.

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