OPINION: Much has been made of the Government's failure to build Kiwibuild houses.
But this Government has also failed to truly tell the public what's going on in housing.
It's been all doom and gloom, Kiwibuild's failings have totally distracted the Government, because they somehow had to build all these houses based on an empty, hollow slogan.
- Auckland house prices drop
- House prices going up two-and-a-half times the rate of inflation
- Average New Zealand house price reaches all-time high
- Auckland sees biggest property price drop in five years
But away from the Government's fumbling, bumbling - bamboozled by themselves - housing mess, truth is the private sector just got on with the job of building houses.
And they have set a record, not that you'd know. Memo to the Government.
Here's the crucial number - 34,392 - that's the total number of annual residential building consents issued in the year to April this year. That's the bit of paper that says, 'yep, go for it, build the house'.
It's driven by demand in Auckland and the Waikato, and is 7.4 percent more than the year before.
Here's the embarrassing bit, the Government built only 141 Kiwibuild houses, of which dozens couldn't be sold.
But the true picture in housing is strong. Our issue is we can't keep up, we don't build enough truly affordable houses and the Government should have got hold of this 34,392 number and rammed it down our throats.
They should have compared these record levels of consents to 2011.
When house building under National collapsed, just 13,500 houses nationwide were built, that's nationwide.
Yet 72,000 immigrants arrived that year, and every year for the next eight years, the equation doesn't work.
We couldn't house them. For every 140 people arriving in Auckland each week, only 80 could find a house - it drove up homelessness.
We are 10 years late to the party, but we're there now. So congrats to the private sector despite all the finger pointing, accusations, policy on the hoof, you just got on the tools and haven't stopped.
Take a bow, now back to work.
Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.