New Zealanders will be surprised to hear the Government could be paying hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to overseas companies to manufacture pre-fabricated kit-set houses, National’s spokesperson for Housing and Urban Development Judith Collins says.
“In the nine months Labour has been in Government, the only thing that has been consistent from the Housing Minister Phil Twyford is backtracking, broken promises and repeated pleas to the private sector to bail him out.
“In his latest cry for help Mr Twyford now wants to hear from businesses how to set up flat-pack manufacturers in New Zealand in the hope they might help create a new pre-fabricated housing industry in New Zealand.
“What’s more, in spite of new laws aimed at restricting foreign investment, he’s ‘very happy’ to consider paying foreign-owned companies to do it.
“His many meetings with intermediaries of China Construction Bank and China Development Bank this year, also indicate he is proactively chasing overseas investment in KiwiBuild.
“This from the man who has previously blamed people with Chinese sounding names for rising house prices.
“He is hoping at least half of the 100,000 KiwiBuild homes will be built by these factories. Currently, only a few hundred pre-fab houses are being built per year in New Zealand.
“While National supports foreign investment which helps our economy grow and helps fund infrastructure like housing developments, this Government promised to get rid of it. Now Mr Twyford admits he’s relying on it.
“This Government will ultimately end up exporting taxpayer money in return for overseas investment in building KiwiBuild flat pack homes. Not necessarily the dream Kiwi home Labour was promising to deliver before the election.
“If now the funding will come from overseas, the flat packs will come from overseas and the workers will come from overseas, what part of KiwiBuild is Kiwi?”