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The announcement that Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from his position in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development does not bode well for Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s KiwiBuild policy, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says. 

“Stephen Barclay was appointed the head of KiwiBuild by Mr Twyford in May last year with much fanfare. But Mr Barclay has been out of the office since November and the Minister has refused to comment on what he has been doing.

“Mr Twyford needs to come clean. How much has this employment issue cost New Zealand taxpayers? Kiwis deserve to know how many months the Government has been paying Mr Barclay, especially if it was to the end of his contract.

“It’s taken three months for Mr Barclay to exit from a role he held for only four months. This is extraordinary and needs a full explanation from Mr Twyford, and whether it was due to a relationship breakdown.

“If, as the Minister has said, the situation involving Mr Barclay taking leave would make no difference to KiwiBuild, then why was the role created in the first place at what is, no doubt, a huge expense?

“KiwiBuild has been fraught with issues from the beginning with houses just not selling. Despite significant changes by the Minister to encourage sales, the policy isn’t working.

“The KiwiBuild scheme is now almost a year in, and, following the resignation of its Head less than a year after he was appointed, these issues can no longer be described as ‘teething’.

“It’s clear KiwiBuild hasn’t captured the confidence of the New Zealand public as much as it has captured the imagination of Mr Twyford.

“Mr Twyford needs to front up to New Zealanders and explain why the Head of KiwiBuild was unable to last a year in the role. It’s time for the Minister to stop hiding behind a so called employment dispute which has no doubt costed New Zealanders dearly.”

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