Government 'arrogant' for thinking people want KiwiBuild houses in Te Kauwhata - Judith Collins

National MP Judith Collins has blasted the Government as "arrogant" for telling first homes buyers they should want KiwiBuild houses in Te Kauwhata. 

It was revealed on Thursday by Newshub that no one expressed interest in the KiwiBuild Te Kauwhata development, despite the Government and Mr Twyford trumpeting about the demand for housing.

Now Ms Collins has called out the KiwiBuild scheme for constructing homes in centres where nobody wants to live.

"It is just ridiculous, the thing is that you've got to actually build houses where people want them, to the style that they want, with everything they want in them," she told The AM Show.

"Telling people that they should be wanting to have a two-bedroom house in Te Kauwhata for their first home, where there probably aren't that many jobs, is actually arrogant."

While Papakura's McLennan property development has seen the most interest, with 77 people previously applying for one of 18 available homes, interest is waning.

The latest ballots for five more houses in the McLennan development saw less than 30 entries, while only four people entered the ballot for KiwiBuild apartments in Ōtāhuhu.

"The trouble with KiwiBuild is it is now a joke for a lot of people," said Ms Collins on Thursday.

"But it's a pretty sad joke because a lot of people's hopes have been raised, and now it's turned out to be a real flop."

While Labour Minister Kris Faafoi told The AM Show the need for housing is still there, he admitted the KiwiBuild scheme hadn't entirely worked out so far.

"Before we started the programme, we certainly saw need, and I still think there will continue to be need in some of these areas," he said.

"There are some issues that we have to work through with KiwiBuild and Phil Twyford has made that patently clear, but we are not going to walk away from the fact that housing affordability and supply is still a problem."

Appearing via a video link, Mr Faafoi also criticised the previous National government for selling off state homes.

"I am coming from you from my electorate this morning. This is where Housing New Zealand houses used to be, but the previous government demolished them, did nothing for eight years, and we are here blessing this land because there are about to be 53 more state houses put here.

"So the fallacy that no houses are being built is not right, the houses are getting built especially for the people who need them the most," he said, before saying construction wouldn't begin until the end of the month.

In August 2018, the Ministry of Social Development revealed more than 8700 Kiwi households were waiting for a state house, an increase of 56 percent in a year.

Mr Twyford said at the time that the Government is doing everything it can to address the crisis, with the Ministry of Social Development investing $646.6m on housing support in the June 2018 quarter - $75m more than in the previous quarter.


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