Will KiwiBuild be another broken promise by the Government?

A week out from the Budget, the Government's flagship housing policy Kiwibuild seems to be heading for the broken promise zone.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has already delayed the start date, and Newshub can reveal he's also changed another key part of the policy.

Paula Schultz wants to turn an old Papakura medical centre into New York loft-style apartments.

It's locations like that the Government wants so it can supplement the KiwiBuild programme through a 'buying off the plans' policy.

It has to do that because, as shown in the briefing document for developers, "there is insufficient funding for the Crown to deliver all 100,000 KiwiBuild dwellings by itself".

The minister was not very up-front about it, claiming that "$2 billion will be spent many times over".

KiwiBuild was always an ambitious policy, and now that he's in Government, Mr Twyford is tweaking it. The promise was to build 100,000 affordable homes, but the word 'build' has gone by the wayside.

In official documentation, it's been replaced with: "KiwiBuild aims to facilitate the delivery of 100,000 affordable dwellings."

Papakura MP Judith Collins was scathing.

"There's no evidence that they're going to build anything much now, so we've now gone from building 100,000 homes over 10 years to facilitating."

That's where Ms Schultz comes in - she wants to be part of the programme.

But there's a problem: the definition of affordable. Apartments on Great South Rd were to go for $475,000, but construction costs have pushed them up to $550,000 - above the affordable limit.

"I think the price caps are a little bit arbitrary," says Ms Schultz.

"The important thing is to have some clear guidelines out there, make them transparent and stick to them," says Mr Twyford.

But the Government hasn't even stuck to its own guidelines.

Labour's KiwiBuild policy before the election was that standalone houses in Auckland would be priced between $500,000 and $600,000, and apartments would be priced $500,000 or lower.

But the tender documents show that's now changed. All new homes built under the policy will now be costed by room.

One bedroom will go for $500,000, two bedrooms $600,000 and three bedrooms $650,000 - that's $50,000 more than Labour promised in the election.

"Moving to the number of bedrooms was a more rational way to do it," says the minister of the changes.

Ms Collins was less generous.

"Phil Twyford has lost control of KiwiBuild," she concluded.