Uncertainty over 100,000 target for KiwiBuild
Housing Minister Phil Twyford will not guarantee the Government’s target is still to build 100,000 KiwiBuild homes over ten years, but will not walk away from the target either.
After conceding he would not meet the Government’s first target of 1000 homes by the middle of this year Twyford scrapped the scheme’s annual targets, but kept the total target of 100,000 homes over ten years and promised to “recalibrate” the rest of the policy.
Now it seems that this commitment might also be destined for history. In remarks made to interest.co.nz, Twyford could not guarantee that the policy in its new form would retain the same target.
But in comments made to Newsroom on Wednesday, Twyford said the Government was not planning to alter the target.
““There is no plan to change the targets, we’re looking at the whole programme, not only KiwiBuild but the whole of the housing programme,” he said.
Twyford told Newsroom in April that the Cabinet paper outlining the so-called recalibration was “not far away”. The Government has now well and truly entered the pre-Budget period, meaning Twyford is unlikely to be able to make a full announcement before the Budget itself, unless it comes in the form of a well-rehearsed pre-Budget announcement.
When pressed, Twyford said he did not “want to get to confirming or denying things”.
But the problem worsened in the Question Time, when Twyford came under attack from National leader Simon Bridges.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also refused to back the 100,000 home target.
Repeatedly pressed on the subject, Ardern said: “we are working through our KiwiBuild reset. When we have completed that, we will be making announcements in due course”.
Labour’s policy had initially been to build 1000 homes before 1 July 2019, rising to 5000 homes the next year, 10,000 the year after that and 12,000 each year until 2028.
So far only 80 have been built, although the KiwiBuild unit says that 10,356 are currently contracted to be built.