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Minister arrogantly ignores Reserve Bank estimates

Judith Collins - Housing and Urban Development

29 November 2018

Housing Minister Phil Twyford confirmed today he does not agree with the Reserve Bank’s forecast that KiwiBuild will only deliver between a quarter and a half of the number of houses he has promised, National’s Housing spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“Earlier in the year Mr Twyford called officials at Treasury ‘kids… completely disconnected from reality’ for stating KiwiBuild would only bring in $2.5 billion of additional residential investment over 2018-2022. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) had that figure at around $11 billion.

“At the time the Minister tried to claim Treasury didn’t understand the policy and their numbers were wrong, now six months on the Reserve Bank has also made a forecast and it appears Treasury’s numbers were right all along.

“The Reserve Bank’s estimates assumes KiwiBuild will only deliver 7000 to 14,000 additional houses by July 2022, significantly lower than the 28,000 houses the Minister has promised.

“The Minister is simply pinching houses that would have already been delivered by the private sector and sticking a KiwiBuild badge on them. KiwiBuild won’t be adding 10,000 homes to the market, it will simply consume houses already underway.

“The private sector is being displaced because Mr Twyford failed to consider how he would increase capacity in the construction industry.

“While the arrogant Minister still doesn’t accept Treasury’s estimates, Mr Twyford is clearly worried KiwiBuild won’t deliver the number of houses he has promised, stating in Parliament today he is purely ‘hopeful’ KiwiBuild will meet its targets.

“For KiwiBuild to be considered a useful policy, it not only needs to deliver Mr Twyford’s target of 100,000 homes, but it has to do that over and above what the private sector would have delivered. At the moment it’s looking unlikely it will even reach half of its target.”

ends

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