KiwiBuild: Yet another failure revealed

Newshub can reveal yet another factor in the failure of KiwiBuild: Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has not delivered on its targets.

The KiwiBuild policy is undergoing a massive shakeup after it failed to meet its initial targets. Just 151 houses of this year's expected 1000 have been built so far.

Documents obtained by Newshub show another part of the policy that's faltered. HNZ was supposed to build 200 homes by July - but they've only completed 30.

A KiwiBuild spokesperson told Newshub HNZ has more under construction. 

"In addition to the 30 KiwiBuild homes built by HNZ at McLennan, which are all sold, another 58 homes at McLennan are nearing completion and these will be going on the market soon.

We have also announced the 68 being built by HNZ at Marfell, where construction is underway, and HNZ have construction underway at another development that will be announced soon."

Housing Minister Phil Twyford defended HNZ on Tuesday.

"They've been responsible for ramping up a massive public housing build programme - that's been the most important priority for them," he told Newshub.

"They've also contributed some KiwiBuild homes in a number of the developments - Housing New Zealand has been the developer. I wouldn't say they've let us down."

HNZ's focus has been on building an extra 1000 state houses a year, but that deadline's up on July 1 - and so far, they've only completed 578.

A spokesperson for the Housing Minister said a further 551 will be completed "in the next few weeks".

The Government has stalled on the KiwiBuild reset that was announced back in January. Prime Minister Jacinda gave a clue on Tuesday that the reset could be aimed at helping people scrape together deposits. When Newshub asked the Prime Minister if Kiwibuild homes were really affordable, she said: "I absolutely accept that for a large number of people wanting to get into the housing market, it is still an amount that's out of reach, particularly because of the deposit."

There are already subsidies and grants available for first home buyers, so extending them could be on the cards.

Neither the Prime Minister nor her Housing Minister would even commit to the KiwiBuild brand in Parliament on Tuesday.

Simon Bridges, leader of the National Party, asked the Prime Minister in Parliament if the name "KiwiBuild" will survive the reset.

Ardern replied: "I see that as the least of the issues - what something is called. The most material thing is whether or not we are going to keep building houses and the answer is yes."