Collins: KiwiBuild to be 90 pct below target in first year

Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Friday, 21 December 2018, 9:27a.m.
Phil Twyford has hit back at Judith Collins' claims.
Phil Twyford has hit back at Judith Collins' claims.

The Government's ambitious $2 billion KiwiBuild 100,000-home scheme will fall 90 per cent short on its first-year target, according to the Opposition's Judith Collins but the Government says more places will be announced and built to meet the target.

Collins asked Housing Minister Phil Twyford how many KiwiBuild homes would be finished by July 1, 2019. That date is the inaugural or first-year anniversary of the scheme which started on July 1, 2018.

Collins asked: "What housing developments announced under the KiwiBuild programme have houses that are due to be completed before July 1st 2019, listed by number of houses and name of development?"

Twyford replied: "There have been five developments announced under the KiwiBuild programme that I am advised are due to be completed by 1 July 2019. These include 10 homes in Northlake, Wanaka, 20 homes in High Street, Lower Hutt, 19 homes in Mason Square, Otahuhu, 30 homes in McLennan, Papakura and 21 homes in Marfell, New Plymouth."

But a spokesperson for Twyford clarified this morning: "This written question refers just to the announced developments. There are others contracted or under negotiation which we are not talking about yet."

Far more homes would be built to meet the annual target but they are yet to be announced, the spokesperson said.

Collins tweeted this morning: "That's 100, not 1000" but one Twitter follower attacked her.

"How many did your lot build while this issue ballooned during your three terms? You denied and denied and denied until you got kicked out and still seem to think you have a right to comment on this. F#*king ridiculous."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development this month indicated major KiwiBuild milestones had already been reached.

"To date, over 4000 KiwiBuild homes are contracted to be built and nearly 10,000 more KiwiBuild homes are planned to be built in our large-scale developments, including at Unitec, Māngere, Porirua, and Mount Roskill," he said.

"KiwiBuild staff are working closely with developers to finalise contracts," he said, citing this month's Wellington Company's apartment developments in Mount Cook and Lower Hutt.

"We're working hard towards the targets we've set," the spokesman said.

The scheme is to build 100,000 homes over a 10-year period, with a target of 1000 in the first year but gradually ramping up.

Last year, Twyford told the Herald: "We're going to be as ambitious as possible. There is a $2b cash injection for KiwiBuild over 10 years and we will recycle that money over and over," he said of the state buying the properties, then on-selling to first-home buyers. "It's not going to happen in the first week. We've always said we'll step it up over three years to hit the 10,000-a-year target."