More than $11,000 taxpayer dollars spent on a video

The Housing Minister must justify spending more than $11,000 on promotional videos for a housing scheme that has only benefited 12 families, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“It was bad enough that the Minister mocked New Zealanders with a video promoting a ‘game changer’ housing policy that has only benefited a lucky dozen families. 

“We now know the video cost thousands of dollars to produce, and Kiwis paid the bill.”

Answers to written questions show the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development employed a specialist videographer to create the video, including editing in a guest-starring role for Megan Woods and $300 worth of drone footage.

“Many New Zealanders will be rightly concerned about the value taxpayers are getting from this scheme that has only benefited a handful of people,” Ms Willis says.

“The Minister now admits the scheme is costing an average of $235,000 per family. This is nice if you can get it, but the vast majority of Kiwis never will.

“We’ve also discovered that Government agencies are employing more than 11 full-time equivalent employees to work on the scheme.

“To say such a scheme is a game changer will be a difficult pill for the thousands of people on the public housing wait list, or the thousands of young Kiwis struggling to get into a home.

“Rather than spending time and money on hollow PR, the Government should focus its efforts on delivering substantive policies that will make a difference to the tens of thousands of Kiwis locked out of home ownership.”