New Zealanders across the country are quickly losing interest in the Government’s KiwiBuild policy with Housing Minister Phil Twyford confirming today that first home buyers are not purchasing KiwiBuild homes, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The ballot closed for the first houses in Wanaka and Te Kauwhata last month. Across these developments only four of the 20 houses sold, a worrying sign given the Minister has agreed to buy almost 400 houses across the two sites.

“The Minister has underwritten around $200 million worth of houses across Wanaka and Te Kauwhata. Given that only four have sold, serious questions need to be asked about the level of due diligence Mr Twyford undertook before agreeing to sign such a contract.

“When the development at Te Kauwhata was announced I expressed doubt as to whether there would be enough demand for 211 KiwiBuild houses in a town with fewer than 2,000 people. 

“The Minister has made a big deal about the 40,000 people who have made an expression of interest in KiwiBuild, but fewer than 300 of those people have actually followed through with the pre-qualification process.

“The scheme has found it difficult to turn political popularity into meaningful commitments by home buyers.

“The Minister has had years to come up with a comprehensive housing policy. The fact hardly anyone is interested in KiwiBuild is indicative of the type of due diligence Mr Twyford undertook when announcing the scheme.

“It is becoming clearer by the day that there is a lack of enthusiasm for KiwiBuild. There are not enough buyers and it is not adding new houses to the market. The entire scheme is at risk of collapse.”

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