Megan Woods says government can still be trusted despite KiwiBuild failure

by Roxanne Libatique10 Sep 2019

Housing Minister Megan Woods insisted that the government can still be trusted despite the KiwiBuild scheme failure.

It follows the government’s admission that its KiwiBuild scheme to address the housing crisis “isn’t working”, and instead switching their focus to new initiatives – including cutting government-backed deposits for first-home loans from 10% to 5%, as well as introducing shared ownership and rent-to-buy schemes.

In an interview with Simon Shepherd on Newshub Nation, Woods reassured Kiwis that they can still trust the labour party despite its failures.

“Voters can trust us because, actually, what we’re saying is that we need this to work, that we’ve seen this problem a long in the making – the fact that we haven’t had enough houses in the affordable end of the spectrum coming through, and we’re willing to say that we’re going to do everything we need to do to fix it,” Woods said.

“This isn’t easy. Let’s bear in mind the previous government had a target of 39,000 houses through their special housing areas, they delivered 3100. That wasn’t a success. KiwiBuild wasn’t working for us the way we needed it to, so we’re saying that we need to lift the hood, have a look at what’s not working, and find ways to remedy it. We have not given up on our commitment to build houses.”

Read more: Govt scraps KiwiBuild target, lowers deposit requirement

When asked about her thoughts on Kiwis who now feel betrayed due to the failed schemes, Woods said they’re still committed as the day they were elected to getting Kiwis into homes.

“When something isn’t working the way we want it to, we’ve got the courage to actually say we need to call time on it, and we need to reset it, and make sure that it is working for New Zealanders,” she said.

“Every month I’m going to publish the figures of what we are building, what we are consenting, what’s in the pipeline, what’s for sale, what’s sold, but I’m going to put that also within the context of everything that we’re doing in housing, that actually, as a government, we have built more public houses than any government since the 1970s.”

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