Kiwibuild turns epic ‘Kiwibust’ for Jacinda Adern

By Leith van Onselen

I’ve noted previously how the New Zealand Labour Party’s promise to “build 100,000 affordable homes across the country” is shaping up as an epic failure due to:

  1. the government changing the program from “building” to “facilitating” the delivery of 100,000 affordable dwellings, meaning that NZ taxpayers would merely ‘underwrite’ many dwellings that would have been built anyway, thereby protecting developer margins;
  2. the government increasing the price threshold on a Kiwibuild 3 bedroom home to $650,000, which is unaffordable to more than half of Auckland households; and
  3. the government announcing a ridiculously high income cap of $180,000 for would-be Kiwibuild homeowners – a level that is more than twice the average household income – thus turning the program into “socialism for the rich”.

Late last year, ex-Labour Party MP, Peter Dunne, described Kiwibuild as “one of Edmund Blackadder’s cunning plans”:

…no longer will the government build “100,000 high quality affordable homes”. And no longer does “affordable” mean $350-450,000, but $650,000.

Moreover, now the plan is merely to “deliver” 100,000 homes, which, in the best Blackadder fashion, means accumulating all the new homes already being built over the next 10 years by the private sector anyway, and dressing them up as Kiwibuild homes… All that is happening is that existing plans are being branded under the Kiwibuild label, which is win-win for both the government and the industry.

Therefore, in reality Kiwibuild is a very clever strategy of the government doing very little, but making it look like a lot…

Whereas last month, the New York Times lamented that only 47 homes have been delivered through Kiwibuild, versus the 1,000 homes Labour had promised by July.

Now, a new poll has revealed that faith in Kiwibuild is plummeting, with the overwhelming majority of Kiwis expecting the scheme to fall short of meeting its targets:

Public faith is fading in the Government’s promise to deliver 100,000 affordable homes, with the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll finding the majority of New Zealanders expect the KiwiBuild target will fall short…

Those polled were asked if they think the Government would achieve its target of building 100,000 homes in 10 years.

Sixty-nine per cent said they did not think the Government would meet the target…

Sadly, Kiwibuild appears to be a smokescreen designed to give voters the impression that the Government is acting on housing affordability, while not actually doing much at all.

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Comments

  1. “give voters the impression that the Government is acting on housing affordability, while not actually doing much at all”

    Exactly as predicted. Sadly.

  2. Yeah the whole thing is a farce, down here in Dunedin if you can afford to buy at the proposed Kiwibuild price, you’re already in the market for a well above median price home. Meanwhile this year we’ve crept up to the ‘severely unaffordable’ bracket in Demographia’s median multiple report, so the idea that any of the common people can get on this scheme is a joke.

    Purely hypothetically of course, because despite being 2.6% of the country’s population we are only earmarked for 0.8% of the builds ‘delivery’, and no work on commenced on that down here

    • Yes. The problem with “cheap” housing is that it can’t be built anywhere near expensive housing (without causing problems for the entitled incumbents)

      If expensive housing is everywhere, well, you’re pretty much rogered.

      • Very cynical, Peachy.

        I’d settle for ‘grossly out of her depth’. I’m sure she intended to change the world … initially.

        Edit: sorry, wrong post. Surely the reason you can’t build cheap houses in expensive areas is because the land is too expensive to begin with. Cheap houses go hand in hand with cheap land.

    • Dunedin did seem cheap last time I was there on holiday. Near top of list of places to go to if we decide to do a longer working holiday or even emigrate to NZ. Good rental yields too IIRC

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        its a University town – big medical school. Close to the Alps – and amazing bushwalking, I mean utterly amazing!!! University Otago is very well respected globally. Known guys who have worked there a researchers for over a decade on biotechnology, which is virtually impossible here in Oz on the tenure system.

        And the wines from the Mackenzie Valley!!!!!! OMG

        God’s own country…

      • yep the tramping and the terrain around is amazing. University is appealing, since I want to go back one day, but also for the kids.
        as for wines, oh yes, but I’m also a Marlborough Sounds whore, and not just the wines – the roads…the fjords……I need to retire ASAP

  3. Turned out to be just a prettier version of the same lying haples scumbag we all expect pollies to be. Colour me shocked.

  4. – The less government intervention/meddling with the housing market(s) the sooner the NZ property bubble is going to deflate/has deflated.

    • Agreed on government meddling but to cut straight to the chase, simply shut the RBNZ and let interest rates be set by markets.

      • – Nope.This is the BIG mistake A LOT OF people make. The FED, RBA, RBNZ, BoE, BoC etc. all FOLLOW the 3 month T-bill rate/shrt term rates. They don’t set the rates !!!! So, the RBNZ can huff & puff all it wants but if Mr. Market says that rates go lower then the RBNZ WILL FOLLOW !!!!

    • “Nope.This is the BIG mistake A LOT OF people make. The FED, RBA, RBNZ, BoE, BoC etc. all FOLLOW the 3 month T-bill rate/shrt term rates”

      So, what you’re saying is that, when the GFC came round, the Federal Reserve Bank were quite happy to keep the Fed Funds Rate at 5% but actually reduced FFR to 0% because the market directed it to?

      You’re welcome to your view but as a former investment banker whose area of specialisation was the bond market I think I’ll take a pass on this one. Added to which, your statement is contradictory inasmuch that on the one hand I suggest closing the central bank altogether and on the other, you suggest not, because the market directs the central bank anyway. If the T-Bill market is setting rates as you suggest then why is there any need for the CB in the first place? (other than as a lender of last resort)

  5. Mission Accomplished.

    Where is that guy and his whole randomly elected citizens idea? Can I vote for him somehow?

      • Jumping jack flash

        Its an interesting concept.

        The real problem is the short-terminism. Nobody thinks longer than 4 years ahead about any of their decisions.
        For example the selling off of all the government’s power. It seemed like a good idea at the time. No problems on the horizon 4 years out. The private companies buying the rights to provide services promise to “do the right thing”. So let’s do it.

        But 20 years later and the government has completely lost control of the country and private companies are ransacking everything.

      • The short termism is a direct consequence of needing to get re-elected. remove the elections and it would improve significantly.

  6. Toothy disappointing Jacinta has turned out to be just another lying politician working for the rich and powerful, and who’s major achievement has been having a kid while working which is something that no other woman has ever done. What a surprise.

    • She’s not working for the rich and powerful trust me, not with all her socialist propaganda and slew of new and increased taxes. She doesnt appear to be working for her constituents either, so that leaves her working for herself. A nice cushy UN number post this gig, ala Helen Clark perhaps?

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        Bang-on… she is a Tony Blairite, always was and will be. Most politicians don’t give a fig about the rich, because by definition, they make up a tiny proportion of the voting population. And nothing like a big stick to bash with if given half the chance. in any case, a country with no rich, is a poor country…

        The big J.A. is only starting her career, and its UN all the way, espousing her social justice message, virtue signalling, and relativism. What separates her from Tony Blair (increasingly as he gets older) is that she actually doesn’t believe in anything – which is a very handy position to be in, politically speaking.

        But is that the future I wonder?

        Some might think Bernie Sanders is a coming danger to capitalism (IMHO he is), but you cannot fault that what he espouses he truly believes, and he will do virtually anything to implement whatever he thinks necessary. A true ideologue. Compare the coming leaders of “belief” with the current generation… they don’t need to be Trumps, they can be Corbyn’s, Le Pen’s, Xi’s, Putins, Erdogan’s… this frictional world will soon become fractional.

        Not necessarily a good development, macro speaking! The age of consensus and relativism is over. Why is belief and pragmatism so difficult?

      • Jacinda Arden is New Zealand’s version of Alexandria (Sanda) Ocasio Cortez.

        Both with the same mad jackal face, the toothy flash & ‘connection’ of Facebook bimbo populist left wing communist / eco alarmism / gender populism.

        Both elected on an ‘entitled minority privilege’ bloc vote that doesn’t represent the majority.
        Both channeling the ‘oppressed’ meme.

        Cortez, despite her comfortable white assimilated middle class upbringing as Sandy now mimicking ‘poor & racially oppressed Rico Jenny from the block’ & the Ardern the small town small minded Marxist representative of the ‘poor & oppressed masses & livestock’ of the comfortable middle class town of Morrinsville 🙂

        Ardern completing her obligatory training in socialism at the local left wing infected Waikato university, then was an ‘advisor to corrupt & disgraced Tony Blair, and finally as ‘President of the International Union of Socialist Youth’. Hard core left wing socialist.
        And such is the paucity of talent in the left.

        Both Cortez & Ardern have exactly the same ugly corrupted crony socialist destructive impulses.
        Already Ardern selling out New Zealand on core promises.
        Reduce Migration? … Redo the stats.
        Housing for the poor? Nothing, sold out to her cronies & the developers.

        An entire generation of young or naive New Zealander’s who got sucked into voting for this socialist bimbo are going to learn a harsh lesson.

    • “SHE LIED THROUGH HER TEETH!!”
      An old expression now but one indicating she knew she was lying from the outset.

      • ResearchtimeMEMBER

        We knew that at the time – because as I pointed out BEFORE she was elected, that there was no budget! No money!! Not a core promise!!! Not a major election platform!!!!

        There is some retrospective revisionism here.

        According to UE’s figures last week I think, 78% of NZ immigration is from three countries, India, China and the Philippines. With a parliament with proportional voting! Really!!!

        Soon nothing will get through legislature, so you can promise anything you want, and confidently know you will never be held accountable.

  7. Sounds like our government’s job promises

    “Moreover, now the plan is merely to “deliver” 100,000 NEW JOBS, which, in the best Blackadder fashion, means accumulating all the new JOBS already being CREATED over the next 2years by the private sector anyway, and dressing them up as JOBS CREATED BY GOVERNMENT POLICY…”

    • Jumping jack flash

      This one is doomed to failure also.
      As soon as the economy stops growing due to unproductive debt growth and starts contracting due to repayment of unproductive debt interest there’s not going to be many jobs created by the private sector.

      Government must have forgot, in a brief moment of insanity, that they don’t really control what the private sector does at all.
      Nor do they want to.
      We have one of those awesome “free market economies”, after all.

      (not that I’m advocating anything else, like communism, or China’s system. But it would be handy right about now if the government still had some control over the cost of living)

    • MountainGuinMEMBER

      How about delivering affordable housing by having the NZ property bubble pop. Claiming a crash as an affordability promise delivered is probably more of a cunning baldric plan than a blackadder one though…

    • Bingo! Governments cannot ‘create’ jobs, by definition so the just claim credit for all the jobs that the private sector created during the period the Govt said it was going to be proactive on the issue.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    Any and every promise to build affordable homes – that doesn’t involve building them inside the crater of an active volcano, or in a sulphur lake, or at least far, far away from existing houses with all the debt attached to them, is doomed to utter and absolute failure.

    You simply can never, ever build affordable houses next to ones that are unaffordable and have debt attached to them.

    It simply never can be done, ever. Not with the current property valuation model we all use, anyway.
    And they’re not going to change the valuation model in a hurry because it facilitates endless debt creation without risk.

  9. KiwiBuild always was a poorly conceived joke …

    A ‘must read’ February editorial by The Listener …

    The KiwiBuild failure should galvanise urgent action on NZ’s housing disaster … EDITORIAL … The Listener

    https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/politics/kiwibuild-failure-galvanise-action-nz-housing-disaster/

    When a nation’s flagship housing policy is such a spectacular failure that it makes the New York Times, the minister in charge cannot avoid the international embarrassment. … read more via hyperlink above …
    .
    .
    … further extensive information … recently updated …

    Performance Urban Planning

    http://www.performanceurbanplanning.org/

  10. The NZ housing crisis isn’t resolved until NZ stops their TR intake, grants their onshore 290,000 TR third world unskilled the NZ citizen stamp & they exit to Australia to join the 260,000 already here on the SCV (Special Category Visa).

    We have 669,000 NZ Non resident SCV in Australia of which 260,000 are now non NZ born third world unskilled. Previously TR in NZ, given the stamp, they can enter Australia with full work rights.

    It’s the Trans-Tasman third world migrant trafficking carrying trade. The NZ ‘ back door’.

    Genuine NZ born are going back, earlier waves now old going back to NZ for welfare & healthcare, offset by a huge increase (8% to 38%) in Non NZ third world entering Australia via the NZ SCV back door – 90% one way flow once they get the passport stamp.
    It’s the 2nd largest flow of third world unskilled non assimilated migrants of all our visa categories.
    (Foreign students 672k, NZ SCV 669k with 260k non NZ born, then bridging protection 195k, then employer sponsored 155k etc).

    So if NZ stops their TR intake & those in transit get the stamp & leave to enter Australia on a SCV then over 90,000 established low level modest NZ units & houses would be freed up & can be returned back to NZ born occupancy.

    -/-

    That of course is just NZ dumping their migrant intake & housing / social issues problem into Australia.

    A much better answer from an Australian point of view is to not allow any Australian SCV for a non NZ born citizen.

    Why is NZ being allowed to decide who enters Australia?
    That is the ethical question here.
    Many would not be able to enter Australia on any other visa category.

    Such a decision (Aust/NZ SCV restricted to only Aust or NZ born would see 2 things happen:

    1. 260,000 non NZ born SCV in Australia would be forced back as NZ’s problem. Most would not pass any other visa classification to enter Australia.
    Genuine NZ born could enter Australia on a SCV (or vice versa) – but they are only a tiny fraction of the overall number.

    2. It prevents the 290,000 third world unskilled migrants currently queued up in NZ from getting into Australia – except on a properly vetted & screened visa category.

    If that decision was made – a simple ministerial change to the SCV visa classification/ then NZ then has no choice but to own the issue & stop as well as dramatically shed their TR intake.

    And that’s a good thing for NZ.
    It would restore housing, wages, unemployment, wages and the standard of living for people in NZ.

    And also for Australians – now unburdened by the current 260,000 third world non NZ born SCV that should not have been allowed into Australia in the first place.

  11. Honestly don’t know what her teeth or appearance have to do with anything

    Please preface any reference to any politician with a comment on physical appearance henceforth please for consistency and to dispel any appearance of sexism

    I’ll start

    Beady eyes Morrison
    Fat guts Morrison
    Jiggle tits shorten (least he is trying but)
    Jabba the Palmer

    Away you all go

    Weee this is fun

    • Jackal faced Ardern?
      New Zealand’s version of Alexandria (Sandy) Ocasio Cortez?
      The resemblance & parallels between them are uncanny

      Both with the same mad jackal face, the toothy flash & ‘connection’ of Facebook bimbo populist left wing communist / eco alarmism / gender populism.

      Both elected on an ‘entitled minority privilege’ bloc vote that doesn’t represent the majority.

      Both channeling the ‘oppressed’ meme.

      Cortez, despite her comfortable white assimilated middle class upbringing as Sandy, now mimicking ‘poor & racially oppressed Rico Jenny from the block’.

      Arden, the small town small minded Marxist representative channeling the ‘poor & oppressed masses & the livestock’ of the comfortable middle class town of Morrinsville 🙂

      Ardern completing her obligatory training in socialism at the local left wing infected Waikato university.
      Cortez same – a bimbo affirmative action ‘degree’ in pseudo economics.

      Ardern then under Auntie Helen’s office coaching and sent as an ‘advisor to corrupt & disgraced Tony Blair, and finally as ‘President of the International Union of Socialist Youth’.
      Both incubated hard core left wing socialists.

      And such is the paucity of talent in the left.

      Both now in public office, all show & no substance, air brained tokenism & exhibiting exactly the same ugly corrupted crony socialist destructive impulses.

      Their role model?
      Dilma Rouseff & Lula De Silva, Gillard & other such notable Left wing populist corrupt cronyism Socialists.

  12. ” the Government is acting on housing affordability, while not actually doing much at all.”

    A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, and all that….

    • The mere appearance of attempting to do something is more than enough to keep the masses pacified for decades………

      • As opposed to John Key ( sorry, Sir John Key) who campaigned on ‘doing something about the housing crisis’ in 2007; got elected and did…..absolutely nothing! Actually, that’s wrong, he made the situation WORSE by selling off State Housing etc.
        So Is Labour and Ardern doing something? Yes, is my answer. Maybe not all she, and they, hoped but a ‘something’ that Key failed to do over the 9 years of his Reign.

    • The only thing she’s actually done is put up taxes and ban plastic bags. I think Donald Trump achieved more in his first 18 months than Jacinda Ardern. And that’s with the Democrats taking every Trump decision to the Supreme Court to argue the point. Maybe she’s still on maternity leave and is only popping into the Beehive in between breast feedings?