More media on Labour’s shambolic housing policy launch

Patrick Gower at 3 News reports:

What is wrong with David Cunliffe and the Party?

Labour is going backwards when it should be going forward. That means something is seriously wrong with its campaign. …

And here’s one of the reasons why – Labour’s campaign is listless, meandering and shambolic.

The media with him say it’s a bit of a shamble and have been reporting on it. …

I took a look at Cunliffe’s campaign myself in Hobsonville yesterday.

Hobsonville quickly turned into campaign trail bizarro-world.

Cunliffe was out there to counter-attack on housing after Key trotted to the very same streets earlier in the week.

Cunliffe and housing spokesperson Phil Twyford re-announced the party’s Kiwbuild policy, saying Labour could build a $485,000 two-bedroom terraced house for $360,000 because of economies of scale.

But they didn’t have a house as an example, they were just standing on the street.

Twyford was saying there were heaps of examples of the $485,000 homes in Hobsonsville, but he didn’t know where they were and never got back to me with an address.

I can tell Twyford where one is – it’s just around the corner, a $450,000 two bedroom – I know because Key took us there on Monday.

Then they rolled out two first home buyers, Harrison and Jordy, who bagged National’s Homestart policy.

But under questioning they weren’t first home buyers at all, they weren’t even looking.

In fact they wouldn’t even buy a house under Labour’s policy.

Then it turned out that they were members of the EPMU, and they stopped answering questions when asked if they voted in Labour’s leadership campaign last election.

And despite the policy being around since David Shearer was leader, Labour still couldn’t come up with simple lines like when the first house will be built.

Labour seem to think photo ops are all they need to do, and that the media won’t ask for details. It’s good that the media are asking for details of a policy which will see the Government borrow $3 billion a year or so. Also good that they are asking for affiliations of people trotted out by Labour.

Felix Marwick at NewstalkZB is on the same tune:

It’s fair to say Labour’s re-launch of its KiwiBuild policy in Hobsonville on Wednesday didn’t run exactly smoothly.  Labour was looking to promote a specific part of its policy; two bedroom housing it claimed could be built 120 thousand dollars cheaper than under current government programmes.  They couldn’t show us a house. Nor could they initially say exactly how many of the houses would be built under the KiwiBuild approach. Finally the tame talent, which they’d brought along as an example of who would benefit from the policy, weren’t actually looking to buy a property just at the moment and wouldn’t even be able to immediately do so under Labour’s proposed initiative.

Again this will see taxpayers being exposed to $3 billion a year of borrowing for a policy which appears to be only slightly more advanced than an idea on a napkin.

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