25 Jun 2019

KiwiBuild 'reset' details likely to be revealed in July - Twyford

3:04 pm on 25 June 2019

The much-anticipated KiwiBuild reset will probably be unveiled in early July, Housing Minister Phil Twyford says.

A new KiwiBuild home

A new KiwiBuild home Photo: RNZ/ Anneke Smith

A paper outlining a "recalibration" of the programme was set to go to Cabinet in an effort to improve KiwiBuild, after ministers were forced to concede they'd fall far short of their first-year targets.

The KiwiBuild programme launched in July 2018, and aims to deliver 100,000 homes for first home buyers over the next decade.

The initial short-term goal was for 1000 homes to be built by next month. The tally so far sits at about 140.

Mr Twyford said there had been bumps along the road.

"We're committed to getting it right and learning the lessons and actually a really significant capability has been set up in the ministry of housing and development to run this programme, so that makes me very confident for the future," he said.

Phil Twyford answers questions at the Select Committee.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford. Photo: Photo / RNZ

Mr Twyford refused to reveal any details about the reset before it is officially announced.

He also would not guarantee the government would stick to its 10-year target of 100,000 KiwiBuild homes.

After Mr Twyford's admission on the targets, the National Party has been calling for him to be removed from the portfolio or resign.

There has been speculation that a Cabinet reshuffle to be announced on Thursday would see Mr Twyford removed from his portfolios.

However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the time said even if the government was not hitting its targets it was still building affordable houses, and she had confidence in the minister to do the job.

"In the housing area, what we are trying to do here, our ambition in addressing the housing crisis hasn't been done before, and so it hasn't been an easy area of work," Ms Ardern told Morning Report.

"So I'm loath to see one individual carry any blame for what has been a policy that's been difficult - but we don't give up on the ambition around. So I will be a bit defensive there."

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