Readers considering taking a punt at the TAB on the proposition the government will reach its various KiwiBuild targets may be confused about what odds they should take.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford this week said he is “pretty gutted” about the rate of progress and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government is still building affordable houses – “just not as fast as we want and as many as what we want as quickly as we want.”
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, on the other hand, said the Government would still be able to get to its 1000 KiwiBuild homes target by July – “I believe so, yes.” He happens to be Minister of Racing
Prospective punters in need of a form guide should consult the latest official progress report.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development yesterday issued updated figures for the number of KiwiBuild homes under contract, construction, committed to be built, completed or sold.
Number of homes contracted and committed: 10,160 with thousands more planned in our Large Scale Projects.
Number of homes completed: 47 with 236 more homes under construction
Number of homes contracted and committed for completion by 30 June 2019: 293 (some contracts are still being finalised for this financial year)
Number of homes sold: 53 (this includes homes sold off the plans)
Number of people who have completed pre-qualification and not yet bought a home: 289 (from the outset, KiwiBuild buyers have been advised to only complete pre-qualification when they see a home for sale they would like to buy. Pre-qualification is valid for six months, and KiwiBuild wants to avoid sending potential KiwiBuild buyers back to their banks to reapply for finance.)
Number of people who have registered their interest in KiwiBuild: 47,853
The press statement, alas, did not include the targets but they can be found in this Stuff report which says Twyford affirmed that 300 houses were due to be completed by July 1.
Twyford said he was working hard to increase that number – but meeting the target of 1000 homes by July 1 was not possible.
This was set to be followed by 5000 homes the following year then 10,000 the year after that.
The ultimate promise was 100,000 new homes in 10 years.
But Peters has rekindled the hopes of those who already have placed bets on the July 1 target or those who who were weighing up the wisdom of taking very long odds.
According to the NZ Herald, the Minister of Racing contradicted Twyford’s projection.
Asked by a reporter if he thought the Government would still be able to get to its 1000 KiwiBuild homes target by July, he said, “I believe so, yes.”
“We’re not giving up at all – we’ve got six months to wind this up as fast as we can, and practically we will.”
Although he offered few details on how he expected the target to be met, he said there were still practical men and women who would “get on with the job and get it done – and get it done we are”.
In fact, he said getting KiwiBuild back on track was a top priority for the Government.
“We’re [Cabinet Ministers] going to recommit ourselves in our first Cabinet meeting to getting this [KiwiBuild] thing back on track.”
So if you have taken a punt on 1000 KiwiBuild homes by July this year or a trifecta embracing the first three annual targets – well, your prospects of big win look highly improbable but don’t tear up your tickets just yet.