Rodney Hide on KiwiBingo

Phil Twyford
Credit: Pixy

Rodney Hide writes at NBR about the ridiculous farce of the ballot for the 18 KiwiBuild houses that National started and labour has claimed as their own: Quote:

I am feeling a little cheated.  Phil Twyford’s Kiwibuild is falling short of his promise.

Last year, before the election, he was clear and unequivocal: “KiwiBuild will deliver 100,000 affordable houses over 10 years …. Half in Auckland … That is a ten-fold increase in the number of affordable houses being built in Auckland each year, from 500 to 5000. The standalone KiwiBuild homes in Auckland will be priced at $500,000-600,000 with apartments and terraced houses under $500,000.”

That was Labour Party policy.
There was an election. His party is in government. Mr Twyford is now a minister.

There has been much political huffing and puffing and now we have a news report of an actual development at 340 Onehunga Mall.

We learn Kiwibuild is not “build” but “buy,” off-plan, on-spec.

The price of an apartment is $600,000 (more than 20% above what was promised), there are to be only 1000 houses this term (that’s 29,000 short), with the houses to be raffled. End quote.

There is a disconnect in what Twyford has sold and what is being delivered. Quote:

What? The minister is running a raffle? For houses? That’s exactly correct and all this policy legerdemain is reported via government press release without media murmur or surprise. I don’t know whether it’s because reporters don’t spot the deception or don’t consider it newsworthy.

Housing affordability has yet to suffer a dent.

I suppose it would fall a little flat campaigning to build only 1000 houses, with prices only approximate, with the houses to be raffled. Better to go big with the numbers over 10 years, safe since no government since the 1960s has lasted that long, to run on a low price knowing it will be forgotten, and never to mention the raffle – better that voters believe everyone who wants a house at the promised price will get one. End quote.

See the farce? Quote:

Of course, politicians have made sure their promises aren’t subject to Commerce Commission investigation, the Fair Trading Act or the Real Estate Authority. They can get away with potentially fraudulent promises that no real estate agent, financier or developer could ever contemplate. End quote.

KiwiFraud? Quote:

Having helped propel Labour into power, it’s hard to see what Kiwibuild is now achieving, apart from managing to convince journalists that the policy is all on track. That’s its only achievement to date.

To convince journalists of progress it has shifted the risk of the chosen developments from mortgagees and developers to taxpayers.

And it has shifted the windfall of any speculative gain to raffle winners, with taxpayers carrying only the downside.

The raffle is proving popular but that just proves the policy is failing. If Kiwibuild were working, affordable houses would be readily available at $600,000 or less. There would be no need to be rationing houses at that price by raffle.

The much-ballyhooed ballot is proof positive that houses remain unaffordable and unavailable to far too many except through government lottery. In Election 2017, Labour was promising a crackdown on gambling: The fact is, it’s now the centrepiece of its housing policy. End quote.

Spot on as usual Rodney.


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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.

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