So how bad has the Kiwibuild failure been?

At 1 pm today the Government is going to announce a “reset” for Kiwibuild. Their hope is that people will focus on this new policy and forget that 100,000 affordable homes in 10 years was what they campaigned on and promised. It was arguably their most well known policy, and it was well known precisely because it was so specific.

Almost two years after the election they have managed 258 homes so they have achieved 0.26% of their election pledge. Even taking into account their interim targets they are woefully behind. They are building 0.6 homes a day. They promised 2.7 homes a day in the first year, 16 homes a day in the current year, 27 homes a day in the third year and 33 homes a day for the next seven years after that.

But the failure is three dimensional, not one dimensional.

Not only have they totally failed to get many homes “built” but they are also failing to sell them. Numerous homes have had to be purchased back by the Government meaning the entire budget for it is ruined as it relies on being able to reuse the capital.

And the third dimension of the failure is that almost none of the homes to date have in fact been “new” developments done by the Government to increase the housing supply (which is what Labour was promising). All they have done is buy some houses already under construction or planned from developers and stuck a Kiwibuild label on it.

So the failure is as close to total as you can get. It has failed on demand and failed on supply.

The announcement at 1 pm today will be of some interest, but the key thing will be why one should believe any of their promises or projections, when their track record is of under-performance to such a degree that their credibility is at the level of the Mariana Trench.

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