KiwiBuild a 'hoax' - National leader Simon Bridges

The AM Show 09/07/2018

National leader Simon Bridges says Labour's KiwiBuild policy is a hoax after 30,000 people signed up to the ballot to have the chance to buy a home.

Labour is planning to build 100,000 new homes in New Zealand, with the price cap set at $650,000.

But there will be a long wait for most applicants - only 1000 are expected to be built in the first year of the scheme, and 5000 in the second, eventually rising to 12,000 a year to meet the 100,000 in 10 years target.

But Mr Bridges told The AM Show it's all marketing and no new homes are actually being built.

"[It's] private developers doing stuff, they stop, Phil [Twyford] comes in, he pays them more with taxpayers' subsidised money and then he sticks a stamp on it," he said.

"That is a KiwiHoax."

Mr Bridges said he would consider keeping KiwiBuild under a National Government, but only if it's going well.

"If [Phil Twyford] somehow manages it, to pull it all together and do some magic and get himself into a position where he is building genuinely new houses, okay we might keep that, but I can't see him doing it," he said.

He believes Government should instead be focusing on reforming the Resource Management Act (RMA), bringing in new builders and looking into the cost of building supplies.

Host Duncan Garner asked why Mr Bridges why National didn't reform the RMA during its nine years in Government, but Mr Bridges said it was all down to their support partners.

"We tried, but the reality is in our last six the support partners we had, United Future and the Māori Party, they wouldn't do it," he said.

"By the way Labour and the Greens and New Zealand First, despite what New Zealand First might say, just wouldn't cooperate with us on that."

Labour says the previous National-led Government was negligent when it came to housing, failing to do anything to stop prices spiralling out of control.

Mr Bridges wouldn't say how many houses National built in their last year of Government, saying he didn't know the figures off the top of his head.

Former Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith told The AM Show on Friday they built 31,000 houses in their final year.

"When I became minister, we were building 15,000 houses a year, five years ago. Last year we built 31,000 houses - that's a more than doubling," Mr Smith said on Friday.

Statistics NZ data shows there were about 31,000 consented in 2017. It said around 97 percent of consents result in houses around 10 months after they're approved.

Watch the full interview above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.