Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Kim Jong-Un Porky Award Goes To . . .

Phil Twyford, NZ Minister of Housing

If Twyford Can't Phil us in on KiwiBuy/Build, Who Can?

Duncan Garner

Seriously, what has Labour and its MPs been doing these last nine years? Eating their lunch?  We'd been led to believe its flagship Kiwibuild idea was this amazing, smart and innovative housing policy.  We'd been told it was an answer to the housing crisis for those who couldn't get into their first home.

I was thinking wow, our best architects and planners had come up with something very new and impressive and all on a large scale. I was thinking, think big, but 2018 style. And I assumed KiwiBuild meant just that;  as Housing Minister Phil Twyford said, 100,000 homes would be built.

Now we learn, um no, that's not the case. It's Kiwibuy, that house, your house, any house will do.

Labour has simply thrown its arms up in the air and put up a classified advertisement the size of a house that calls for all houses to be bought and sold as Kiwibuild dwellings. Labour wants the biggest shortcut to success possible.  It wants to buy current homes under construction or off the plans and call them Kiwibuild's own. It's a total hoax.

And what, Labour suddenly wants to partner up with the private sector? How convenient.  What happened to development on a genuine scale and with true Government buying power.  Sure, Labour and the 100,000 homes promise was impressive and is ambitious, but just how many new homes will it really provide on top of what was being built anyway.

It may be just marketing and a bit of spit and polish when someone else did the hard work.

To me, it looks like Labour and Twyford have made this all up on the back of a moving envelope.  It is underwhelming nonsense from a party that looks bewildered and blinded by the size of the challenge. It lacks detail.

Maybe we trusted them too much in the face of the National government that had buried its head in the hands of the brutal market and the forces that come with that.   Perhaps Labour was just lazily waiting its turn to govern, but this week's revealed no-one anywhere did the hard work. It's a public downtrou.

What sort of grip does Twyford have on his own beast of a policy when he doesn't even know the entry price point of a one-bedroom place? It's worse, actually: he wrongly hiked prices by 10 per cent. Hardly good enough.

I've been told three figures: under $500k, $500k and closer to $550k.  Twyford told me on The AM Show yesterday that it's just gone up to $550k because, blah blah, National didn't do anything.  Where did that come from? He later said sorry, he misspoke, but I wonder if he's simply spoken too soon. You have to know the price when it's your own policy you're trying to sell.

When Labour said it would build 100,000 affordable homes over 10 years, I got excited and thought, great, why can't our best brains build this?  But it appears no-one even asked them which makes the build or buy Kiwi thing a big fat zero. One hundred thousand to go . . .

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