Government admits KiwiBuild will not hit its target

by Ksenia Stepanova24 Jan 2019

The government has admitted that it will fall short of its first KiwiBuild target of 1000 homes, with Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford stating that this was “a real disappointment.”

Only 33 houses have been completed under the scheme so far, with 77 currently under construction. The Minister says he expects to have 300 built by July this year – well short of the initial target of 1000 set for July 2019. Selling the new builds has also been an issue, and there is a chance they’ll end up on the open market if eligible first-home buyers don’t express more interest.

National spokesperson Judith Collins says that the failure of KiwiBuild to reach its first targets puts all subsequent targets in jeopardy, and the Minister should instead look at cutting the red tape for land use consents.

“This morning Mr Twyford finally admitted what New Zealanders can already see, he will be unable to reach his target of building 1000 KiwiBuild homes by July this year,” Collins stated.

“Late last year Mr Twyford confirmed he only had 278 houses contracted and scheduled for completion by July 2019, a figure that falls vastly short of his now arbitrary target.

If he can’t organise the delivery of 1000 houses a year, why on earth would we believe the Minister when he says he’s planning on building 10,000 houses a year?”

According to Capital Economics director Dr Bryce Wilkinson, KiwiBuild homes are still unaffordable for first-home buyers despite the discounted prices and are ‘a distraction from what is really needed – direct action to reduce land values and construction costs.’ Collins says reforming the Resource Management Act should be a priority to help deliver on affordable housing.

“Planning and consenting for land use is key to delivering affordable housing and at the moment it takes too long to free up land,” she explained.

“Mr Tywford is in denial. KiwiBuild isn’t experiencing teething issues, it’s experiencing systemic issues because it has a Minister that is blinded by a target, who isn’t looking seriously at his policy and the wider issues surrounding New Zealand’s housing woes.”

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