During the election, the Labour Party campaigned on a promise of building 100,000 new houses over the next 10 years in addition to what was already going to be built.
It’s become clear over their first nine months in charge that this was purely meant as a headline-grabber and was never properly thought out.
KiwiBuild was first announced in 2012, so you would think Labour has had plenty of time to figure out the details and should have hit the ground running upon their election into government. So far though, all we’ve seen is an endless plea for help from the private sector as Housing Minister Phil Twyford realises there’s simply no other way to fulfil his goal.
Given the Government’s reliance on working groups and reviews, it should come as no surprise that they can’t sort this one out on their own either. Recent reports suggest only 18 KiwiBuild homes are currently under construction and at this rate Labour won’t get anywhere near the 100,000 homes they’ve promised.
When National left office last year, 200,000 new homes were forecast to be built over the next six years, but this progress is now at risk as the construction sector deals with the confusion caused by the new Government’s policies.
In addition to Phil’s KiwiBuild pipedream, the Government’s plans to drastically limit foreign investment and immigration is beginning to stall construction. This is even more confusing when you consider the Government’s admission that apartment developments underwritten by the taxpayer will include apartments that can be sold to foreigners – something this Government has railed against for years.
Phil Twyford and Labour promised to build 100,000 affordable homes for New Zealanders – an admirable goal – but sadly all they have provided is confusion and inaction.
- Simeon Brown is MP for Pakuranga