Brown: ‘Government’s flaky KiwiBuild scheme crumbling’

The Government’s flagship housing policy has been flaky from the get-go and last week we saw it completely crumble.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford finally admitted KiwiBuild is not all it’s cracked up to be and he’s not going to reach his target of 1000 homes built in the first year.

According to the Prime Minister, we shouldn’t measure the progress of KiwiBuild at all and just trust that there will miraculously be 100,000 homes ready to go in 10 years’ time.

This is from the same Prime Minister who last week said “what gets measured gets done”.

Clearly that’s only when it suits them because they’ve also dropped the health and Better Public Services targets, which measured progress across the public service and ensured the Government was accountable for the services they delivered to New Zealanders.

Labour first proposed KiwiBuild in 2012. But halfway through their term they’ve only delivered 47 houses, while the whole policy seems to change from week to week.

The Government created an expectation New Zealanders were going to get access to a significantly subsidised first home, but that’s not happening. Not only are they struggling to build the houses, the finished product is too expensive.

The Labour Party spent years in Opposition talking about its solution to New Zealand’s housing woes. We’re not denying that there was a problem – under National we were in the middle of a record residential building boom but we know we should have done more.

The difference is that they misled New Zealanders by falsely claiming to have a magic bullet.

In what’s become a trend from this Government, KiwiBuild simply isn’t living up to the promises they made to New Zealanders. They’re all talk.

KiwiBuild isn’t delivering the types of homes Kiwis want and that’s why we’ve seen such a woeful uptake. What is the point in delivering houses for first home buyers, if first home buyers don’t want them?

The Labour Party campaigned on delivering 100,000 homes in 10 years, but they can’t even deliver 1000 in one year. It doesn’t take a genius to know the math doesn’t stack up.

KiwiBuild needs to go, and Mr Twyford should set the Resource Management Act (RMA) in his sights.

In Opposition, Labour campaigned against sensible RMA reform, but New Zealand desperately needs a bold solution to a law that has proven to be a planning nightmare, and KiwiBuild isn’t helping to solve that issue.

National will this year put forward a thorough proposal to reform the RMA, which will allow us to get on and build the houses New Zealanders need.

The issues with KiwiBuild are more systemic than teething. New Zealanders want to see real change and a plan that will actually deliver what New Zealand needs – more houses.

  • Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga