The KiwiBuild mess continues to grow with a major construction company building KiwiBuild houses going into receivership this week, putting the Crown further at risk, National’s Housing Spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Five weeks ago, Housing Minister Phil Twyford announced that new state, market and KiwiBuild homes were to be built on the Northcote Development in Auckland.

“But yesterday building company Ebert Construction, which was due to commence work on the Northcote Development, went into receivership raising questions about what happens next.

“This is not the only construction company to go under this year and it probably won’t be the last. This leaves private and government-backed housing developments vulnerable and raises real questions about how robust the KiwiBuild due diligence process is and how vulnerable taxpayers are to risks and cost blowouts associated with failed developments.

“While Mr Twyford has been busy reannouncing housing developments and rebranding private builds as KiwiBuild homes to try and meet his targets he’s neglected to get his head around crucial details including official advice that he’s exposing taxpayers to real risks.

“Mr Twyford’s own Cabinet paper states the Crown has to take on some risk for the KiwiBuild programme but last week Mr Twyford claimed it doesn’t and that all those risks will be borne by the developers. Which is true? Given Mr Twyford’s track record of getting things wrong I’m going with his officials.

“If the Crown is using taxpayer money to share the risk with KiwiBuild developers and the developer goes broke, who will ensure sub-contractors and workers are paid?

“I think it’s fair enough to say we won’t be seeing many KiwiBuild houses ready for young families to move in any time soon. Mr Twyford had nine years to come up with a plan and it looks like he still hasn’t done his homework.”

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