Transcript: Mike Hosking on the futility of KiwiBuild

Mike Hosking.

Just quickly, on KiwiBuild, one of the accusations made yesterday against the National government, was why didn?t they do more on housing? And here has been my impart argument all along.

Housing has never been the government?s problem, it only became their problem when they decided to make it their problem, and when the word crisis got bandied about and the word crisis was always the wrong word to use.

The moment you use such a flamboyant word it becomes political.  Once it becomes political you take on a problem you could never solve. And that?s why in part KiwiBuild has never worked.  It is not a problem the government can solve.

The government can?t just front up and, despite the fact that they said they would and did, and start building houses. It doesn?t work that way, we don?t have enough builders, we don?t have enough land, we don?t have enough planners, we don?t have enough people passing paperwork saying ?yes, you can build a house?. All of that was obvious before the government ever stumped up and said ?we?ll build 100,000 houses in ten years?.

That?s why it was never going to happen. And the reason it was never a crisis. Is go back to its core, as to why this was allegedly a problem in the first place. The reason it was a problem in the first place is it was perceived that young people were locked out of the market. Was that ever true? No, it wasn?t. It was in part true because there?s always been young people locked out of the market. There?s always been an inability on the part of some people to afford a house. That hasn?t changed and the stats and the facts back it up.

The percentage of first home buyers only ever dropped in this country in the last handful of years when the LVRs came in, and the LVRs as I argued at the time were a mistake. Put the LVRs on investors, don?t put the LVRs on first home buyers. The moment you put the LVRs on the first home buyers with the 20% deposit there would be some people who couldn?t afford to get into the housing market. Hence, suddenly it became political and it became suddenly a problem.

The reality, once the number or percentage of first home buyers dropped off bounced back. In other words, first home buyers got their way around the deposit. They might have used the bank of mum and dad, whatever they did, didn?t really matter, they were still in the market. In fact, the numbers that came out the other day showed there are more first home buyers in the market than ever. So, the very reason this whole thing started was a falsehood. Young people were never locked out of the market any more or less than they ever had been, other than for a very, very short period of time.

So, if you never had a problem, you never had to create a crisis, you never had to make it political, you never had to get yourself into the trouble they are by promising things that you were never going to be able to deliver.

So, in other words, they created a problem, they didn?t fix it, now they are paying the price. Simple as that.

It begins at 2:46 and finishes at 5:30