KiwiBuild on life support

By: Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges
National Party Leader

Labour first announced KiwiBuild six years ago, when it was in opposition.

It was to solve New Zealand’s housing woes. Since becoming the government, they have consistently walked back the scheme and its popularity has plummeted. Labour promised it would build 10,000 homes a year by the end of its first term. To date, just 28 have been completed. Last month one of the first ballots for a KiwiBuild home had to be extended, while some houses in the development had received no bids at all.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has been so focused on announcing KiwiBuild developments that he hasn’t checked whether there is a demand for two-bedroom properties at the price point he has set.  Some 80 per cent of Kiwis who have registered want a three or four-bedroom home.

Officials have estimated that a first home buyer household needs to be earning $114,000 a year to purchase a $500,000 KiwiBuild house. The median household income is $25,000 less than this. In reality, the only people who can afford these houses are those on a middle-to-high income.