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Unwanted KiwiBuild houses a blot on Government

Judith Collins - Housing and Urban Development

28 January 2019

Three months on and selling the 175 KiwiBuild houses in Te Kauwhata is looking more like a far-fetched dream rather than reality for Housing Minister Phil Twyford, but it’s not the case for other non-KiwiBuild homes in the same development, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“The ballot for the Te Kauwhata KiwiBuild houses opened late October, and three months on they all remain un-sold. Mr Twyford’s excuse for this has been that first home buyers did not always want to buy a home off the plans that was scheduled to be built a year and a half later.

“But while the KiwiBuild houses have failed to entice buyers, the same development has sold plenty of other non-KiwiBuild houses off the plans just fine.

“It’s incredibly embarrassing for the Minister, who not only can’t reach his much plugged target of 1000 KiwiBuild homes, but the houses he has built are clearly not what first-home buyers want.

“This should have been obvious to the Minister from the start that first home buyers would be unimpressed with two-bedroom houses in rural Waikato offered for $480,000 each.

“I’ve been critical in the past of the type of homes Mr Twyford has insisted on building. For example, the Wanaka KiwiBuild homes don’t have a garage, and homeowners will be forced to de-frost their car every day in the winter months because of this.

“The Minister’s blatant disregard for detail has been shown time and time again, and now he’s putting hardworking taxpayer money at risk because of it.

“Despite Mr Twyford acknowledging first home buyers don’t always want to buy a home off the plans and that he ‘won’t be doing much more of that’, he is planning on signing $4 billion worth of contracts for buying off the plans.

“If this decision sucks up the Government’s $2 billion capital fund, the whole scheme will fall over, which is looking more and more likely given the abandonment of the 1000 homes target.

“Mr Twyford is set on telling New Zealanders the type of houses they should be buying. Instead of forcing them to settle for two bedroom homes, he should get to work addressing the real problem causing houses to be expensive, the Resource Management Act.”


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