Minister responds to Bridges’ claims

Photos: File.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has attacked the truthfulness of a Weekend Sun column written by National Party leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.

In his column titled ‘KiwiBuild on life support’, Simon claimed the popularity of the government’s KiwiBuild programme had “plummeted”.

“Labour promised it would build 10,000 homes a year by the end of its first term,” said Simon. “To date, just 28 have been completed. Last month one of the first ballots for a KiwiBuild home had to be extended, while some houses in the development had received no bids at all.”

They were comments that prompted the Housing Minister to contact The Weekend Sun this week.

Phil pointed out that there are now 77 homes under construction and a further 3800 homes contracted. The first 33 homes have been built and 50 families have now either bought or are in the process of buying their first home.

“It’s an exciting time for those families,” says Phil, “and for the first time they will wake up this Christmas morning in their own homes.

“Another 248 families are so motivated to buy a KiwiBuild home, they have already got their finance and their paperwork together. They have pre-qualified and are ready to buy a KiwiBuild home.”

The Minister says this is despite, and in direct contradiction to, Simon’s claim that KiwiBuild’s popularity had ‘plummeted’.

In his column, the opposition leader said KiwiBuild’s aim was to solve New Zealand's housing woes, but claimed the government had “consistently walked back the scheme” since they took office.

However, in his correspondence with The Weekend Sun, Phil put forward some contradictory, more positive numbers.

 “The number of people registering interest in KiwiBuild has continued to grow,” he says. “There are now around 46,500 people receiving regular updates on new, affordable starter homes being built around the country.”

Simon also said that to purchase a $500,000 Kiwibuild house, a first home buyer household needs to be earning $114,000 a year. “The median household income is $25,000 less,” he said. “In reality, the only people who can afford these houses are those on a middle-to-high income.”

But Phil has contested his claims, saying: “Most KiwiBuild ballot winners have family incomes of less than $100,000, with a third having incomes below $80,000 - below the national average household income of $108,000.”

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Posted on 09-12-2018 09:52 | By Taffy

It was just the same when Labour were in opposition particular the likes of Twyford,Hipkins and Robertson who went on and on boring us silly. Question time is really just a joke these days,and hasn,t been helped by the new Speaker and his draconian attitude (remember Mallard was one of the worst offenders of being unruly when he was an MP) I think a good Xmas present for him would be a bamboo cane he so reminds me of an old style vindictive headmaster whom enjoyed inflicting punishment!


Posted on 08-12-2018 22:08 | By CC8

I tend to agree with Nerak regards Mr Bridges dream, but I think we must all realise it’s only his dream, he is doing his job...that is being a time and space filler for National , a fall guy for the next real Prime Minister who will hopefully bring New Zealand back to its senses and National back to running NZ. Still the sums don’t add up do they? even if labour had built 3000 houses already, they would be way way behind their election promises, whether it is 28 or 77, it’ pathetic. AND the nit picking between median and average wages incomes , etc is all fluff..the fact remains that most people on wages cannot actually afford to BUY a $500k house, without a better entry method.....its B.S.

Irrespetive of the rhetoric...................

Posted on 08-12-2018 21:49 | By groutby

......from Mr Bridges, ’Kiwi Build’ has and will continue to be, a scam to appeal to voters who are naive enough to believe it is actually going to happen!..yup it got Labour into government but have let every taxpayer down on almost every front including Kiwi Build, and, at the end of next year when the original number is again revised etc. etc. ..who will still believe..and...why?...

Agree with penguin, Merlin

Posted on 08-12-2018 11:32 | By nerak

just more rhetoric, often inaccurate, from a politician who’s watching his dream disintegrate. Even those who fell for him early have fallen away. Not over struck on alternatives to him, but he never was the man for the job, never will be. The desperate tone/face are quite pathetic.

@By Penguin

Posted on 08-12-2018 11:29 | By Merlin

Add Smart Arse remarks from Bridges to tedious and boring.That is why he got thrown out of the house with a smart arse remark to the speaker.

Why should we...

Posted on 08-12-2018 09:41 | By penguin

...believe anything Bridges says? He is simply scaremongering and desperately trying to gain political traction to lift his rating. Problem with that is the facts will always come to the fore and expose inaccuracies contained in political rhetoric. Best that Bridges says nothing. As an aside, if readers like political comedy, watch question time in Parliament on TV (channel 31). That’s where one can see desperation at play by the national opposition... also tedious, futile and boring!


Posted on 08-12-2018 08:23 | By Merlin

Just more scaremongering from National nothing has changed.I don’t even know what they stand for anymore other than grizzling at anything or everything.

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