MP defends KiwiBuild’s record

Botany-based Labour List MP Naisi Chen says the Government recently passed a law that will enable more new houses to be built. Photo supplied

A Government MP based in east Auckland is defending the Labour Party’s record when it comes to building new homes in the local community.

Botany-based Labour List MP Naisi Chen says the Government is committed to delivering KiwiBuild homes, pointing to a new development in Ormiston as an example of it providing more affordable housing for east Aucklanders.

As the Times recently reported, there are currently no KiwiBuild homes available for sale in east Auckland on the programme’s website.

The only properties listed under “available homes” as of February 8 are in Mangere, south Auckland, and Rotorua.

During the 2017 general election campaign the Labour Party and its then-leader, and now Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern said KiwiBuild would deliver 100,000 new affordable homes over 10 years with half of those to be in Auckland.

Five years later it’s built 1049 new homes in Auckland, with an additional 448 under construction, and 1296 nationwide.

The Government scrapped the 100,000 new homes target in September 2019.

According to Kainga Ora Homes and Communities, the sole KiwiBuild project currently planned for east Auckland is a development called The Neighbourhood at Ormiston.

The 80-home project will feature a mix of freehold terrace, duplex and standalone homes, which include the option of three, four or five bedrooms, and a minimum of two bathrooms.

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown describes KiwiBuild as a “failed Labour Party promise which has completely failed to deliver on the thousands of new homes promised to first-home buyers.

“The fact they are planning so few homes for east Auckland only further confirms how much this policy has failed.”

But Chen says last year she was pleased to welcome Ardern and Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods to east Auckland to open the Salvation Army’s new social housing in Flat Bush.

The $18.6 million Kaitiakitanga development is in Chapel Road.

More than 100 people turned out to mark its official opening on June 3 last year.

It includes 46 units, 36 of which are two-bedroom and 10 one-bedroom, and was delivered through a partnership between the Salvation Army and Government.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development provided much of its operating funding.

Chen says the Government has been restrained by existing legislation and it’s recently passed a law that will allow for more new housing to be created.

“The [Auckland] Unitary Plan has limited new housing in east Auckland, including potential KiwiBuild developments,” she says.

“That’s why last year we passed an amendment to the Resource Management Act with the National Party’s support.

“This legislation will enable greater intensification and create opportunities for development that include KiwiBuild houses for east Auckland.”