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Collins calls for Twyford to resign, scrap KiwiBuild

Newstalk ZB, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 9 May 2019, 5:53PM
Judith Collins wants her Labour counterpart to go. (Photo / NZ Herald)

National's housing spokeswoman Judith Collins has called for the resignation of Housing Minister Phil Twyford and the scrapping of his flagship KiwiBuild policy.

But Twyford says he's going nowhere and has today committed to the target of 100,000 KiwiBuild homes over 10 years.

This is despite both Twyford and Ardern yesterday being unable to confirm if that target was still in place.

"There has been no change to the pledge since the speech from the throne," Twyford said in the House today.

The commitment from the speech from the throne was for the Government to build 100,000 high-quality, affordable homes over the next 10 years; half of them in Auckland.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters – speaking on behalf of Ardern in the House today – said the target was still in place and was "easily achievable".

In fact, he told media that Government would "probably build a whole lot more" than the 100,000 target.

Despite this, speaking to the Herald, Collins said it was time for Twyford to stand aside.

"Phil Twyford needs to offer his resignation to the Prime Minister and she needs to accept it."

She said he had no credibility left when it comes to KiwiBuild and the housing and urban development areas of his portfolio.

"KiwiBuild itself has been shown to be a total dog of a policy and is nothing more than a house of cards."

If he stays in the job, Collins said that would start to impact Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's credibility and become a "massive millstone" around her neck.

Twyford's resignation would give the Government the opportunity to kill the KiwiBuild policy, she said.

Yesterday in the House, Ardern refused to confirm if the 100,000 target was still on the cards.

When questioned by media after Question Time, Twyford was also unable to confirm the figures.

"We're considering all aspects of the programme; not just KiwiBuild but the entire housing programme."

After the Government scrapped it interim KiwiBuild targets in January, Ardern and Twyford were both at pains to point out that 100,000 was still the target over 10 years.


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