Twyford finally gets it right

The Minister for Housing failures has finally got something correct. He has said that they are not going to build 1000 homes by July 2019. Well, duh! Everyone has been saying that for months. Welcome to reality, Phil.

And in yet another change to the solve-the-housing-crisis blueprint, Twyford has said that Kiwibuild houses will not necessarily be restricted to first home buyers. Oh dear! Quote.

The Housing Minister has made a stunning admission that KiwiBuild targets are set to fail – and he may not build even half the 1000 homes promised.

It gets worse. If buyers don’t start showing more interest, the houses may not be sold to first home buyers – they could be flogged on the open market.

Phil Twyford knew getting KiwiBuild off the ground was going to be hard, but surely not this hard.

“We found it tougher than we expected to get the early numbers up,” he told Newshub.

That’s an understatement, as the original promise was 1000 houses in the project’s first year. That promise became a target, which he admitted he’ll completely fail to hit.

“I don’t think we can hit the 1000 target this year, and that’s disappointing.”

He admits he won’t get anywhere near the scheme’s first year target, although claims to be “confident” he can pump the numbers up to more than 300. He wouldn’t commit to building 500 homes – half the initial target – by July.

“It’s a failure,” Judith Collins told Newshub. “Phil Twyford got an allocation of $2 billion in the last budget, and for that he’s currently got 33 houses.”

It’s crushing for the Housing Minister – and there’s more bad news. The few houses that are available aren’t even selling.

When KiwiBuild homes are sold, there’s supposed to be a ballot which stays open for a month. When it’s drawn, the lucky winner gets to buy a home.

But if there’s not enough demand for that, the developers can list them for a direct sale and sell them to any eligible KiwiBuild buyers.

“We only ever thought that the ballot would be used where there would be significantly excess demand,” says Mr Twyford.

All the houses listed on the KiwiBuild site at the moment are open for direct sale. Even in Auckland, the home of the housing crisis, KiwiBuild properties are struggling to sell.

“There may in some cases be the occasional home that’s not been sold to KiwiBuild home buyers,” admits Mr Twyford. “They’ll then be sold on the open market.”

So KiwiBuild homes may not even end up in the hands of first home buyers – defeating the whole point of the programme. End quote.


So, so far from their stated ideals.

“Help Kiwis into their first home by building 100,000 modern affordable homes with half of them in Auckland.”

kiwibuild fact sheet

They will miss every one of those benchmarks that they set for themselves whilst in opposition and then promised to the nation in Ardern’s speech from the throne as she took control of the treasury benches.

Maybe they will even contemplate selling them to overseas buyers? (But obviously not those with chinky sounding surnames.)