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The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #6

05/09/2019

I have been remiss in not posting more frequently on this Labour debacle helmed by Phil ‘The Builder” Twyford and promoted by Jacinda Ardern.

These posts are built around an excellent article at Stuff by Henry Cooke.

Henry Cooke at Stuff – How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage–  A detailed look at the fiasco from a journalist.

This and other posts explore the article and it’s ramifications

The series provides a good backdrop to the recently announced, no targets, do our best but achieve nothing KiwiBuild ‘Reset’

Previous posts can be found as follows

The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #1

The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #2

The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #3

The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #4

The KiwiBuild Fiasco: How KiwiBuild fell down, and whether anything can be saved from the wreckage – #5

Now we come to Part 6

This is where we see that far from being about ‘affordable homes’ whatever those might be, in many respects the policy was much more about ‘middle class welfare’, much like the tertiary fess scheme, rammed through by Ardern, Robertson and Hipkins in the Brave New World of the first 100 days. Interesting to note that the tertiary fees scheme has not been a rip-roaring success either.

MIDDLE-CLASS WELFARE: JULY 2018 – SEPTEMBER 2018

As the fiscal year began in July, Twyford revealed who would be eligible to buy KiwiBuild homes.

Income caps had in fact not been a part of KiwiBuild up to this point, but once they are announced they are immediately criticised for being too high.

Couples earning up to $180,000 a year would be allowed to buy KiwiBuilds, as would individuals earning up to $120,000. There would be no “asset test” as such, but only first home-buyers and an asset-tested group of “second-chancer” divorcees would be eligible.

The criteria as announced were risible. This was housing for the latte and avocado set, not for as Australian PM John Howard used to call them ‘the battlers on Struggle Street’.

These criteria were clearly dreamed up by people with no concept of the real world.

The fact that Ministers accepted this nonsense is a massive indictment of Ardern, Robertson, Twyford et al. It show just how removed from reality they were and are.

Commentators call it middle-class welfare. National describes the ballot system to be used as a “lottery”. It becomes clear from advice released under the Official Information Act that income caps that high are needed, given how expensive the KiwiBuild homes are.

Clearly, affordable is a very elastic term within Labour circles.

But the public seems very interested, as it often is in middle-class welfare: 36,000 people register interest in the first three weeks – all when just 18 homes are scheduled to be completed any time soon.

New Zealands banks rush to offer competitive KiwiBuild deals, seemingly eager to latch onto a massive outpouring of consumer enthusiasm. There are expected political bumps, but Twyford is clearly very happy with just how popular this thing is proving to be – and how real it suddenly feels. This won’t last.

Then it all starts to go wrong as we shall see in future instalments

 

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