Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s pet housing project KiwiBuild is not only unlikely to reach any targets set, but those houses it does deliver will be at the expense of houses that were being built by the private sector, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Mr Twyford arrogantly ignored the Reserve Bank’s forecast in November last year that KiwiBuild will only deliver 7000 to 14,000 additional houses by 2022, significantly lower than the 28,000 houses the Minister has promised.

“Earlier last year Mr Twyford had called officials at Treasury, who had made similar estimates, ‘kids… completely disconnected from reality’.

“Today, the Reserve Bank Governor said if KiwiBuild is to build 100 houses, that means between 50 and 75 houses elsewhere won’t be built, and Mr Twyford once again could not accept that information.

“KiwiBuild is not substantially adding to the housing supply in areas where it is needed, and in homes the size that people want to buy. Instead it is simply redirecting workers away from private home builders.

“The policy is not only going to fail to build enough houses, but its stripping resources away from builders that were already going to be built or were in the pipeline.

“National had a comprehensive housing programme underway when we left office. We were on track to build nearly 100,000 homes over the next three years, which is twice the number of houses currently in Dunedin.

“It is no wonder KiwiBuild is a joke. Mr Twyford was lazy in Opposition and didn’t hammer out the details. He’s blindly pushing on with the programme, despite all signs pointing to KiwiBuild descending into one of the biggest failures of public policy in recent New Zealand history.

“It’s Mr Twyford who is ‘completely disconnected from reality’.”

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