Ardern says 2019 is time for Government to deliver, but scraps KiwiBuild delivery targets

Jacinda Ardern had contradictory messages today, saying that 2019 was the year that the Government had to deliver on promises – but then conceded that the Government was scrapping KiwiBuild targets to deliver new houses, with some incredibly ridiculous language – “those interim targets haven’t been a useful way to demonstrate our delivery programme”.

Stuff:  Jacinda Ardern says 2019 year of ‘delivery’ for Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has told the Labour caucus 2019 will be a year of “delivery” for the Government.

“For us domestically it doesn’t really matter what the international community does or says, it only matters what we deliver”.

She (or her advisers) seem to have been listening to recent criticisms.

Ardern said 2018 had been a year where the Government had set up the “infrastructure” for serious change and pumped money into health and education. 2019, by contrast, would be more focused on delivery.

“2019 I think for us as a team is going to be characterised by the word ‘delivery’. 2018 was obviously a huge year for us: bedding in as a new Government, setting up the infrastructure for a significant change in direction for New Zealand, reinvesting in those core services – health and education and housing in our budget.”

“That work has now been set in place. 2019 is now the year that a lot of delivery will be required of us and is actually already underway.”

Ardern singled out climate change, housing, mental health, and the recommendations of the tax working group as key areas of focus.

Included in that was housing. They have made ambitious house building promises, but later in the day Ardern conceded that they were scrapping all their KiwiBuild targets apart from the end total of 100,000 houses on ten years – far enough into the future that it is largely irrelevant.

What marked the announcement was the bulldust language used to try to paper over the backdown.

RNZ – KiwiBuild: Interim targets reviewed as scheme is ‘recalibrated’

The government is scrapping all of its interim KiwiBuild targets and going back to the drawing board.

KiwiBuild hasn’t exactly got off to a roaring start this year, with the Housing Minister Phil Twyford admitting last week that the government would not hit its mid-year target of 1000 KiwiBuild homes being built.

Now it appears that that and the other interim KiwiBuild targets are out the window as the whole policy is, as Mr Twyford calls it, “recalibrated”.

“So I’ll take a paper to cabinet in a few weeks’ time, we’re looking at both how we can make KiwiBuild both a stronger incentive for developers and how we can make it work better for first home buyers.”

While the interim targets are toast, Jacinda Ardern is sticking to her guns about the overall KiwiBuild target.

“Our 100,000 over 10 years hasn’t changed, those interim targets haven’t been a useful way to demonstrate our delivery programme and that’s why the minister is looking at that again,” she said.

Ardern actually repeated ” those interim targets haven’t been a useful way to demonstrate our delivery programme”, so it wasn’t an accidental slip of the tongue.

So I wonder how this year’s deliveries are going to be demonstrated.

Opposition leader Simon Bridges described the KiwiBuild back-down as “incredibly embarrassing”.

I have to agree with Bridges on that – at least, quite embarrassing anyway.

The same day that Ardern promised a year of delivery she wiped some very significant delivery targets.

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26 Comments

  1. PDB

     /  30th January 2019

    To date Kiwibuild has provided no new housing stock that wouldn’t have already been built.

    So what do you do when you want to avoid scrutiny & incompetence? You just remove the measurements of progress, exactly as this govt did as soon as that came into power with health and education.

    Essentially Labour thought that by simply adding the word ‘Kiwi’ to the word ‘build’ they could fix the housing ‘crisis’ – actually they didn’t actually believe that, they just hoped the slogan would get some votes much like the ‘positive sounding’ but generalistic nonsense of ‘Let’s do this!’.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  30th January 2019

      I agree 100%, Pants.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  30th January 2019

      foreign buyers ban..5 year brightline..starting to..bite.

      Reply
      • David

         /  31st January 2019

        That has reduced supply by taking capital out of the housing market, it has done nothing to increase supply which is what we need ?
        Reducing house price growth does not house a single new person or relieve one family of a high rent.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st January 2019

          when you reduce state housing,and a greater percentage of ordinary peoples earnings are used to service mortgages or pay ever higher rents,the repercussions are serious.
          We know landlords are sunk without the generous tax payer subsidy of over $2,5 billion per annum.

          Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  30th January 2019

    Labour have done more to address the housing CRISIS in 12 months than National who actually stood by and stoked it for 9 years.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  30th January 2019

      The ‘interesting’ conundrum of economic growth being ‘keyed’ (if you’ll excuse the pun) to a housing crisis … bubble …

      One has to admit that Fifth Labour did it too though, under Clark & Cullen.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  30th January 2019

      Such as?

      Reply
    • artcroft

       /  30th January 2019

      Almost as long as you’ve been spotting squirrels Blazer.

      Reply
    • alloytoo

       /  31st January 2019

      Economic uncertainty does tend to dampen investment

      Reply
    • David

       /  31st January 2019

      Thanks Blazer. What have they done exactly in the last 12 months, just a couple of examples of legislative changes they have made to make it easier to build cheaper houses. Thanks in advance.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  31st January 2019

        Less demand from overseas buyers and speculators increases the stock available to ordinary people.
        33,000 empty homes in Auckland alone.

        Reply
        • phantom snowflake

           /  31st January 2019

          Speaking of decreasing demand; (and no doubt someone will be along shortly to inform me that this is naive nonsense) why can’t we press pause on mass immigration for, say, a year, until we have made significant progress with our housing crisis? It would also give us some breathing space with regard to some of our cities’ infrastructure such as roading and sewage which are groaning under the weight of rapid population growth.

          Reply
  3. PDB

     /  30th January 2019

    If things keep going downhill for the govt it may be time for Ardern to deliver…..another baby.

    Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  31st January 2019

      Kiwibuild is one of those rare instances when the foetus is so malformed that a late-term abortion would be a mercy.

      Reply
  4. david in aus

     /  30th January 2019

    Politicians and politically motivated economists are selective in their diagnoses of property prices.

    The biggest drivers of property prices are the availability and price of credit. That is why property prices in Auckland have stopped increasing and in fact decreased over the last 2 years since the Reserve Bank’s macroprudential measures. This is despite increasing immigration (demand) with restricted property supply.

    Other issues such as immigration, building costs, land supply, and the RMA are important but most commentators deliberately ignore the most important factor. It is because it doesn’t help in driving their agenda and rationing credit has no constituency.

    That is why Labour has Kiwibuild, they believe in the State being the answer to any problem. Find a problem and according to the Left-wing, the State is the answer.
    To NZ first, whatever the question, the solution is always restricting immigration.

    Embarrassing isn’t, their incompetence is like having their underwear fluttering from the flag pole.

    Reply
    • alloytoo

       /  31st January 2019

      “Find a problem and according to the Left-wing, the State is the answer.”

      More recently its:

      “The state is the answer, lets create a problem.”

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st January 2019

      ‘The biggest drivers of property prices are the availability and price of credit. ‘

      Nice to know.So just tightening lending regulations and hey presto…crisis what…crisis?

      Reply
  5. David

     /  31st January 2019

    The money pumped into health and education has been and will be in the form of wage rises and not for the benefit of the users…us.

    Reply
  6. Reply
    • Blazer

       /  31st January 2019

      policies?…’there is no magic ..bullet’-Bill English.

      We may be on the cusp of something…’special’…then again we may not!

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  31st January 2019

        You must have whiplash from all that looking backwards you do while commenting on posts about the here and now.
        Shall I repost the graph showing massive building consents growth under National after the previous Labour Government had tanked the building industry to the lowest level of consents in decades?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  31st January 2019

          consents are intents…not actual building as you well know.

          We had 9 years of..’Labour did it…too’…so I know our right wing friends appreciate being reminded of Nationals record.

          How do I know this?
          Just faith that National supporters are totally sincere and not…hypocrites.

          Reply
  7. Reply
  8. Zedd

     /  31st January 2019

    anyone who seriously thinks the new Govt. has failed with kiwibuild.. needs to take a look in the mirror; its called aspirational targets, better than NONE (under natl)..

    or ‘lets make most of Akld/Tamaki MKR into ‘multi-millionaires row’

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  31st January 2019

      It’s called ‘Kiwibuild is seriously failing to meet targets because it is a dog of a policy that was never going to work so to fix the problem lets… remove the targets!’.

      Reply

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