The latest announcement that the ballot for KiwiBuild houses in Wanaka has had to be extended hammers home just how much Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s pet KiwiBuild scheme is struggling, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The extension of the ballot that opened early last month shows there hasn’t been the demand for a KiwiBuild home in Wanaka that Mr Twyford claimed there was. This is only the second ballot for homes and the scheme is already struggling.

“This has been a case of the Minister canvassing what projects were already in the pipeline that the Government could get to market quickly and announcing those to try and give the KiwiBuild scheme some credibility.

“Mr Twyford has completely missed the point of his own policy, which he says is to provide homes in places where demand is strong. The Minister was more enamoured with announcing a KiwiBuild development in the South Island than checking whether demand existed for properties with two or three-bedrooms in Wanaka at the price point he has set.

“This is another example of the Minister not listening to New Zealanders, and instead building completely the wrong types of houses.

“Coupled with the risk of fixing prices through a ballot where they either create lotto winners by selling below market price, or the Government is forced to underwrite houses they can’t sell, shows the policy hasn’t been thought through at all. The Minister has already been forced to admit that the potential risk to the Crown is $4 billion in just the first three years of the scheme.

“But it’s likely these costs will blow out as the Government struggles to sell studio apartments and two-bedroom houses in rural townships like the recent announcement of a KiwiBuild development at Te Kauwhata.

“The Government needs to scrap its housing policy. KiwiBuild is clearly a fiasco, it’s not delivering the types of homes first-home buyers want and they’re too expensive for the low to middle income families the Minister originally claimed it would help.

“The KiwiBuild policy is underwhelming and a disappointment to first-home buyers across the country. The Government needs to urgently review the entire scheme.”

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