Don’t buy a Kiwibuild house in New Plymouth

Phil Twyford
Photoshopped image Credit: Pixy

There was a stoush in Parliament yesterday, with our ‘kind’ prime minister getting a little testy with Simon Bridges about the cost of Kiwibuild houses in Taranaki; the region already trashed by the end of the oil and gas industry.

Stuff  reports: quote.

The cost of building KiwiBuild homes in a new Plymouth suburb led to a clash in Parliament between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Simon Bridges.

The government has announced plans for 68 KiwiBuild homes in Marfell’s Banks St and Discovery Pl, at a cost of $23 million.

The homes – in one of the city’s poorest suburbs – would sell for up to $450,000, Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford said last week.

He hoped the homes would revitalise the area. end quote.

Nice, although a few houses is not going to be enough to revitalise the New Plymouth area. Not by the time this government has finished with it anyway. quote.

However, the median price for a Marfell home is $326,000, prompting Bridges to ask the Prime Minister during Tuesday’s Question Time if she was aware of the difference of more than $100,000. end quote.

Oh no… no… please don’t tell me nobody bothered to check… quote.

The Prime Minister hit back, saying National had “no credibility” on the issue as it had ignored Marfell during its time in power.

“If he’s talking about the area that was absolutely neglected, shamefully by that last government, state houses in a dire need, we need a rejuvenation in that community,” she said. end quote.

Nine years of neglect, would that be Jacinda? Do you have a recording of this mantra going while you sleep? quote.

“It has been widely welcomed by the New Plymouth community because we not only need affordable houses we also need more and better state houses.” end quote.

So at over $100,000 more than the average house in the area, that makes them ‘affordable’?

No, wait… I’ve got this wrong. They are not Kiwibuild houses after all. They are to be state houses.

So why are they included under the Kiwibuild umbrella? Why incur all the extra costs, with taxpayers money, when they are not going to be sold? quote.

Bridges continued to press the Prime Minister on the matter. “Can she confirm then that those KiwiBuild development houses are going to cost around a hundred grand more than the median house price in the area?”

The PM refused to answer the question, saying Bridges lacked credibility in the way he used numbers.

“If the member had a little bit of credibility in the way he’s used numbers in previous questions then perhaps I would.” end quote.

You are so good at numbers yourself, Jacinda. Remind me about the difference between GDP and the Crown accounts, won’t you? And, bearing in mind that you think $100,000 over the local median price makes a house affordable, you could brush up on your mathematical skills yourself.

This is what Kiwibuild has come to. Providing houses in a grotty area of New Plymouth that will sell for over $100,000 more than the average house in the area. Magic.

They will, of course, end up as state houses, but at what extra cost to the taxpayer and for no gain whatsoever?


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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