Housing Minister aims for first KiwiBuild home by mid-2018

Housing Minister Phil Twyford hopes the first KiwiBuild home to be ready to move into by the middle of next year.

The Government on Tuesday announced a special KiwiBuild Unit would be formed inside the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. It would be an interim measure, until a separate Housing Commission is established - that will take at least a year.

But the Minister says he can't wait that long for houses to be built.

"A unit within MBIE is being created, so that we can hit the ground running and start building houses as soon as possible," he said.

The KiwiBuild programme is designed to deliver 100,000 affordable homes to Kiwis.

The minister promises to have several sites for KiwiBuild homes secured and has an ambitious target for when the first home would be completed.

"I would hope that we'd be turning the key in the front door of KiwiBuild homes sometime around the middle of next year, but that will be a real stretch."

When asked whether he'd be carrying any furniture into the first home, as Michael Joseph Savage did when he officially opened the first state home 80 years ago, Mr Twyford said he might bring that Labour photo opportunity into the 21st century.

"Maybe a flat-screen TV?"

The Government has set out a list of responsibilities for the new unit, including:

  • Building KiwiBuild homes as part of redevelopment of state housing land, alongside new state and open market homes.
  • Scaling up the building of KiwiBuild homes on underutilised Crown-owned land.
  • Purchasing (or underwriting) new homes off the plans in private developments.
  • Investigating major greenfield and urban regeneration projects, so that they can be progressed swiftly by the Housing Commission once established.
  • Working with councils, iwi and private developers.
  • Exploring innovative ways to address current constraints, including alternative financing options and construction practices.