Kiwibuild targets produce 'perverse outcomes' - Housing Minister Woods

Ryan Bridge 04/09/2019

Housing Minister Megan Woods tells Magic Talk Drive that setting targets for Kiwibuild was “producing perverse outcomes”.

The Minister joined Ryan Bridge on Magic Talk Drive Wednesday afternoon following the relaunch of the Kiwibuild scheme.

Ryan began the interview by asking the Minister why was the decision made to drop the target of 100,000 homes within 10 years? The Minister told Ryan “one of the problems was the targets, they were producing perverse outcomes.”

“People were trying to buy in quantities in order to reach their counts, rather than focusing on what we needed to do, which is to make sure that were building the right houses in the right place for kiwibuild buyers.”

We will front up every three months with the figures of what we have done.

When questioned on what she would say to young voters who chose Labour on the promise of 100,000 homes now being promised no concrete numbers for homes the Minister says, “we have absolutely got your back.”

Minister Woods told Ryan that there were small technical changes, like removing targets, but that the large commitments remain in place of “helping more people into opportunity to home ownership.”

She cites the deposit requirement for a First Home Grant being dropped to 5 percent from 10 percent among the initiatives helping first time buyers.

We will keep building as many houses as we can.

Ryan then pressed the Minister as to whether or not she had sought estimates from contractors as to how many homes were feasible to build to which she replied that she had not, instead focusing on reporting how many homes are completed, contracted and commissioned.

What I want to say is what we're actually doing, and that's what I’ve asked officials to concentrate on. When you see targets driving your policy in directions it shouldn't be going then you've got problems

Ryan then highlights the existing kiwibuild homes that will be going on to be sold on the open market. Finally the interview concludes on the implications of improved schemes to help people buying homes potential to raise costs of existing homes.

Listen to the full interview above.