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Revelations that some people have qualified for KiwiBuild with house deposits upwards of $600,000 is further evidence the scheme is basically taxpayer-funded welfare, National’s Housing spokeswoman Judith Collins says.

Media reports have revealed three KiwiBuild pre-approvals were based on applicants with deposits of $650,000. The three people with pre-approval declared annual incomes of less than $11,000, yet they claimed the ability to stump up massive deposits with help from family members.

Sixteen applicants declared deposits of more than $200,000 with a number of others declaring more than $300,000.

“It’s been obvious for a while now that KiwiBuild is little more than welfare for property developers who are struggling to sell houses in places that people don’t want to live,” Ms Collins says.

“Now it appears that welfare scheme has been extended to New Zealanders with plenty of money they can tap into through parents or friends. Why does Phil Twyford feel the need to give these people a taxpayer subsidy when they can just take their large house deposits down to the bank and get a good deal?

“This shows that KiwiBuild is being accessed by people for whom it was clearly not intended. The scheme has a budget of $2 billion, yet hardly any first-home buyers have actually been able to benefit from it.

“New Zealanders were sold a dog at the last election. Phil Twyford had six years in Opposition to get KiwiBuild right but didn’t think the policy through. The best thing to do now would be to get rid of it and focus on working with community housing providers.

“While Labour continues to over-promise and under-deliver, National is the party that gets stuff done. We are working on Resource Management Act reform that will make it quicker for developers to get properties to market, bringing down the price, and make it cheaper and easier for people to build houses in the first place.”

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