KiwiFail being rolled out in the provinces

Fresh from the PR disaster launch in Auckland and the lack of applicants in Queenstown Lakes, KiwiBuild is coping more flak now in New Plymouth.? Newsie reports: Quote

Almost 70 Kiwibuild homes are to be built in a neglected New Plymouth neighbourhood more than a decade after a new housing project was first promised.

In 2008, 28 Housing New Zealand properties were demolished in Marfell and in 2012, 20 families forced to move out to make way for a development that never materialised.

And some locals remain sceptical about the Kiwibuild initiative.

Several more Housing New Zealand properties were demolished in Marfell last year after being ransacked by mobs who stripped them of anything of value.

The remaining battle-scarred duplexes that pock-mark the vast empty expanse of Banks Street and Discovery Place are mostly private rentals.

The Minister for Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford, who made the announcement today, said Marfell had become a symbol of inaction.

He said the $23 million, 68 home Kiwibuild project would revive the whole neighbourhood.

“For young families, for first home buyers who will get their start in life in this community it’s an investment that we believe will revitalise and rejuvenate this community.

“It will bring people right back into the heart of this neighbourhood and provide a lifetime of opportunities for young families right here.”

Mr Twyford said the three and four bedroom homes would be warm and dry and built using the latest technology. End quote.

Why do they pepper their speech with such non-statements?? Surely it is a given that the latest technology will be used.? They are not building raupo huts, are they?? Presumably if they get a building permit the houses will be fitted with a roof and walls and be warm and dry. Quote

But he acknowledged that with a maximum price tag of $450,000 the homes would be out of the reach of many current Marfell residents.

Mr Twyford said Kiwibuild homes were targeted at people who could service a mortgage.

“There will be some whose incomes are too low to be able to afford to do that. So I would expect people with a household income of say $70,000, $80,000 or $90,000 would be able to take on the kind of mortgage we’re talking about for these homes here, but I know there are lots of people who earn less than that.” End quote.

Someone on $90k is getting 28% more than someone on $70k.? 28% is a significant difference. Quote

Mr Twyford said an influx of middle income families would add a new dimension to an already vibrant community.

But not everyone shared his vision.

Tino rangatiratanga flag draped over his shoulders and a baby in his arms, Ngawiki Preston approached New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom about the gathering.

“I didn’t see any local representation so I’ve come over and uncle Neil was like ‘hey bro, who are you?’ and I went ‘Ngawiki. Who are you?’ ‘Neil’. ‘Ahh Mr Holdom, check. Have you been up here, sir?’

“And he was like ‘I used to grow up on the BMX track’. And I was like ‘no, here where you are standing?’ ‘Nah it’s the first time I’ve been here.’ I see no local representation here just a whole lot of black suits thinking they have authoritative power over papatuanuku.”

Mr Preston said the Kiwibuild homes would price locals out of their own neighbourhood.

“As a construction contractor myself it’s ridiculous even the common 40-hour a week man on minimum wage can not afford that. They will not be able to afford those, not in their wildest dreams.”

The 37-year-old said the going rate for a home in Marfell was in the mid $200,000 range.

Minister Twyford spoke to labourer Luke Ah Kuio who was taking baby Taylor-Joe for a walk with his partner Krete.

He too thought the homes were pricey.

“For a low decile area I think that is pretty steep. You know for the people that are living here that’s pretty steep, but at least they’re doing something.”

Mr Ah Kuio who paid $270 a week for his run down rental was interested in a rent-to-buy option floated by Minister Twyford. End quote.

KiwiRent appears to be coming. Quote

“If what he was saying that’ll they’ll own part of it until you pay off so much and then you buy it off them. I think it depends if it’s $300 a week, I think that’s affordable.” […]

“It will change the nature of this community so I think it is really positive and I’m sure there will be many people looking to invest in this because it is an amazing opportunity.”

New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young said he was surprised at the $450,000 maximum price tag for properties in the development.

“Housing New Zealand need to ensure that the Marfell Community can access affordable accommodation, whether that is to purchase or to rent. This is their home and they are a proud community who have supported one another through the period when plans have been on and off the table.”

The National Party MP said it was important to acknowledge the work of the Catalyst Housing Trust which had already developed a redevelopment programme for Marfell, before Housing New Zealand took it over as part of their Kiwibuild programme. […] End quote.

Another project that was already underway which Twyford will, no doubt, claim the glory for.