Mike's Minute: New Year, same old Kiwibuld cock-ups

Author
Mike Hosking ,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Monday, 21 January 2019, 6:52a.m.

In a “did we really go on holiday or did the same weird stuff keep on happening this whole time“ kind of way, we have the resignation on Friday of Stephen Barclay, who until he quit, was the boss of Kiwibuild. 

Well "boss," Phil Twyford is, of course, the ultimate boss of this calamitous exercise in construction futility. But Barclay apparently, until Friday, ran things operationally. 

Although we don’t even know that, given no one is fronting in terms of just what has gone wrong. It was an "operational matter" until it became an "employment matter." They could, of course, potentially be the same thing, who would know?

What it is though, is yet another cock-up, in a long line of cock-ups that’s plagued this grandiose farce since day one. 

Barclay allegedly hadn't been at work for months, no one confirms or denies any of that either. 

And this is what they do when they know full well it’s a mess, they duck for cover. 

In the most open, honest and transparent government we have ever seen, just where are the relevant operators to shed light on exactly what's happened to Barclay and presumably a shed-load of taxpayers' money, our money. 

Was he paid to do nothing? Was he paid out? Why did he quit? Was he pushed? If so, why was he pushed? Why after such a spectacularly short period of time do we not have a boss of the biggest policy the government has? Given it's public money, why the silence? Where is the accountability?

One of two things happened, either he didn’t like it, didn’t want it, and couldn’t bail fast enough. Or he wasn’t liked, wasn’t competent, didn’t do the job, and they wanted him out.

No one leaves this sort of job under this sort of cloak and dagger arrangement if things have gone well, KPIs have been met, and goodwill abounds. 

This is quite obviously a mess. 

And it’s a mess that is now top of the pile of the rest of the mess that is KiwiBuild, the homes that aren't built, the homes that don’t sell, the tenders that don’t attract bidders, the prices that are too high, the locations that parent right the sizes that don’t suit. 

It's all promises that don’t come within a million miles of adding up. 

New Year, same old cock-up.  

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