Twyford doubles down and promises even more houses will be built

Phil Twyford is writing cheques his government can’t cash…he’s now doubled down on the housing promise of building 10,000 houses a year.

Before the election, Labour said it would build 1000 state houses a year – now the Government’s saying that number could double.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford told TVNZ’s Q+A he was confident the Government could build more than 27 houses a day, to reach its KiwiBuild goal of 100,000 houses in 10 years.  
Part of the Labour-led Government’s affordable housing plan was to deliver a net increase of state houses.

On Sunday, Twyford told TVNZ he had asked officials to see whether Labour’s original promise of 1000 houses could be doubled to 2000 extra state houses a year.

Unfortunately for Twyford he has his numbers all wrong. In order to build 100,000 houses in ten years Labour is going to have to build 10,000 houses per annum, not 1000…after ten years that will only get him 10,000 houses not the 100,000 needed. He’s actually saying that Labour are going to build 1000 STATE houses, on top of their Kiwibuild promises. This is real fantasy stuff.

Even at his new rate of 27 houses per day that only equals 9855 houses per annum, 145 houses short of what it needs.

The Reserve Bank has said it would be more likely the Government would be able to build about 5000 houses rather than the 10,000 promised, because private building activity would decrease.

Twyford said he believed the Treasury advice, which informed the Reserve Bank commentary, was incorrect.

“We’ve looked at the advice; it was based on incomplete information. I’ve had the Treasury officials in my office. We’ve talked through the elements of the policy, and I’m confident we can move ahead and be on the same page,” he said.

I know a few people in the building industry who are telling me that there simply is no capacity to get anywhere near their numbers. They are simply heroic.

Listening to Twyford he keeps talking about “doing this at scale”…it is simply a bumper sticker slogan. How on earth does he think the government can build houses cheaper than existing developers?

Twyford also claims he won’t be subsidising existing developers to build “affordable” homes, if that is the case then why on earth would they build them?

Labour has massive risk from people Phil Twyford. They have no real-world experience with things like building, most of them couldn’t run a bath, much less their ministry.

Reality is going to bite.

I’ll bet that by June next year not a single house will have been built.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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