5 Jul 2018

KiwiBuild: Phil Twyford and Amy Adams - in their own words

10:47 am on 5 July 2018

The rush to register for a KiwiBuild home is on, with thousands putting their names down on the first day.

The government opened registrations of interest in the home ownership scheme yesterday when it announced who would be eligible to buy.

Those earning up to $180,000 as a couple and $120,000 as an individual will qualify to put their name in a ballot and buy a home.

Houses will cost up to $650,000 in Auckland and Queenstown or $500,000 in the rest of the country.

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Housing Minister Phil Twyford Photo: RNZ

By 7am today, 15,000 had gone to the website to register their interest. The government is planning to have 5000 KiwiBuild homes by June 2020 and 10,000 by June 2021.

National Party finance spokesperson Amy Adams told Morning Report the government had set the income cap so high that those who really need affordable housing would miss out.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said higher earners were also locked out of the housing market, especially in Auckland, which showed how bad the housing crisis had become.

National MP Amy Adams announces she will stand for National Party leader.

National Party finance spokesperson Amy Adams. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Listen to the full interviews with Amy Adams and Phil Twyford from Morning Report this morning.

The income cap - is it fair?

Amy Adams:

"Fundamentally it's an admission of defeat by Phil Twyford that this is a home affordability scheme to help lower and middle income New Zealanders.

"By setting the income caps at $180,000 he's effectively said some of our wealthiest and best paid people - people who might have hundreds and thousands of dollars in assets - are competing on the same basis as those struggling families who worked really hard and were hoping this was really something targeted at them.

"The biggest challenge has been for people in that income band around $90,000 to $120,000 and yet those people are going to be competing against people who earn much much more than that."

Phil Twyford:

"Its an aspirational home ownership policy to give opportunity to New Zealanders who a decade ago would realistically have thought they have every opportunity in the world to get into their own homes.

"A household earning between $97,000 and $118,000 ... they copped a 13 percent reduction in home ownership over the last decade and [there are] similar kind of figures right up to the decile of $190,000. That just shows you how extreme the housing crisis has been.

"Households earning $150,000, $160,000, $170,000 - that is extremely difficult in the Auckland housing market for them to own their own home. That's a sign of just how bad things have got and that's why home ownership rates are dropping rapidly for that group.

"Young professionals, couples, they've worked hard, they're earning good money - they cannot get into the housing market in Auckland where the prices are highest.

"The thing that's unfair is the housing market that we've inherited that has locked out a generation of young Kiwi families."

Will there be enough houses?

Amy Adams:

"We don't think there's going to be a whole lot of houses built. Phil Twyford is now saying at best the first 20 months of office he might have a 1000.

"Those homes at the moment are fundamentally just re-badging private sector developments that would have gone ahead."

Phil Twyford:

"The market has failed to build affordable homes - utterly failed.

"We're just going to build affordable homes for people.

"It's really simple.

"That's the policy."

Tackling the housing crisis

Amy Adams:

"The best thing [National] did was work very hard to increase land supply to reduce some of the planning hurdles to get land supply to market.

"There was the work we did with first buyers around HomeStart grants and welcome home loans."

Ms Adams said building consent numbers ramped up under National. "I think that is all the work we put into growing supply, changing planning rules, helping councils fund infrastructure cutting across the things like special housing areas."

Phil Twyford:

"It's about doing whatever we can as a government to restore the dream of home ownership.

"We're doing a lot of things in the housing space. We're investing $4 billion rebuilding and modernising state housing ... we're reforming tenancy laws to make life better for tenants."

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