​Kiwibuild a building bust

Official advice shows that in spite of claiming a ‘housing crisis’ the Government’s proposed solution will take years to ramp up, and even then around half its contribution will be instead of private sector builds, National’s Housing spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“Despite Mr Twyford’s big promises to build 100,000 houses over the next ten years, the moment he got into Government that target was slashed to 16,000 over the first three years and now he’s only going to achieve to half of that,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“The Labour Party spent years in Opposition whipping up a frenzy over a ‘housing crisis’ it claimed needed an immediate fix and that it had the magic bullet – its flagship Kiwibuild policy.

“MBIE advice released under the OIA states that Kiwibuild will build only 8,000 houses over the next three years while Treasury advice shows that most were either going to be built anyway through the existing Crown building programme or purchased by the Government from existing developments.

“On top of that, the Reserve Bank has already stated that it expects ‘around half of the proposed increase will be offset by a reduction in private sector activity’. And today, the Reserve Bank has pushed off into the future any positive impact of the KiwiBuild policy and is actually expecting residential house building to grow more slowly than it has been over the next couple of years.

“So if we’re being generous, we’re talking an extra 1,333 houses a year over the next three years, most of which were going to happen anyway. That’s this Government’s much ballyhooed solution to the ‘housing crisis’?

“By contrast, the housing policies implemented by National were supporting the building of 102,000 houses in the same time frame. That’s an extraordinarily telling difference.

“Like the rest of his Government, Mr Twyford’s made huge promises he simply can’t back up and he’s being caught out as his Government is forced to reveal officials’ scathing assessment of his policy.

“We are already building more than 30,000 houses a year, as part of the biggest residential boom in New Zealand’s history and house prices are now flat to falling as a result.

“Through measures like ensuring access to tradespeople, building the infrastructure and that land and funding is readily available for development, we have made real progress and this Government has done next to nothing to add to that.”

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