Duncan Garner: KiwiBuild flop shows we need royal commission into building sector

Opinion 31/01/2019

By Duncan Garner, The AM Show host

OPINION: Stop! Stop right there.

The Government's admission that it will fail to meet all its first term KiwiBuild targets doesn't surprise me.

It's been obvious to everyone but the dreamers who openly misled the country with this pie in the sky promise. 1000 homes this year, 5000 by next year - talk about out of touch.

Fast and loose with words, hopeless with action, and totally irresponsible and reckless with slogans and numbers.

Labour simply made this all this up. Flakey.

It should be absolutely possible for a Government to build 1000 houses in a year. That it can't, that it can only manage or muster 47 miserable shacks in that time shows how farcical the state of our building sector has become.

Forget KiwiBuild, forget 100,000 homes over ten years. Just build a decent 10,000 rentals in that time.

Labour is still lying to itself about what's possible.

So ditch KiwiBuild. Stop. Pause. Grab a sledge hammer and smash open the blockages and frauds and corruption in the building sector.

The Government has neither had the courage or power to make the necessary changes.

I blame MMP and local councils too. Pip squeak parties with too much power and hopeless councils asleep at their own free lunch.

Here's what should happen: Set up an independent royal commission of inquiry.

It will show our building products are heinously expensive compared to Australia, a six dollar downpipe in Australia is 60 dollars here. Why?

This inquiry can name and shame the culprits. Stop the land banking that has seen the very few make tax free millions, force them to sell or build, release more land, crush the parts of the RMA that slow progress, take consenting off the councils, and give war time powers to the Government of the day to build houses quickly.

I squarely blame both Labour and National, both of these sloths of Governments over the past 20 years have failed the people of NZ on housing.

Their record is woeful. They were too busy getting rich themselves in housing to identify and do something for the very people who put them there.

This is their shame. So let's take it out of their hands.

Housing solutions for too long have been too political and too short term. We hauled the life insurance companies over the coals - time to do the same for the housing cartels.

We need a royal commission.

Duncan Garner is the host of The AM Show.