KiwiBuild gives the government the ability to use smaller and more compact houses to drive these larger urban moves that will make our cities more walkable, more affordable, more environmentally robust. If you disagree with these things, or the efficacy of this approach, then great, let's debate that ...
Government and urban designers need an ongoing communication campaign to explain what shape cities we are heading towards, and why.
Examples both local and overseas are great. Useful idiots in our media must be countered every time they promote the car and road-building industries.
The long lagtimes mean we must shift urgently now or climate change will strand many urban people in car-dependant sprawl (and who knows how our minority of rural dwellers will fare). I enjoy driving but it is not our future, and nor are acres of separated houses.
Thanks for this. It’s good to see an explanation of how KiwiBuild is intended to make all housing more affordable. The discussion of state housing and KiwiBuild is helpful too.
Thanks for this. I found another recent story about the Ockham developer quite illuminating on how this all really works because the connections between land / building costs and markets is not that obvious to most of us.
In that story notes like this are explained and the need for a change to the formula (in part at least) which is what I'm taking from the Kiwibuild intervention policy.
"Greenfield developments like Hobsonville, says Todd, are part of the problem. "
The story goes on to make good points about housing density, shared spaces, better public infrastructure and the various tradeoffs to be had. If Kiwibuild can change the background equation on some of this by encouraging the market in a particular direction then we all benefit but it needs a long term perspective.
Really helpful and well thought through piece- perfect for public address :-) I had thought of the overall downward pressure on prices more houses should create, but had not quire thought it through in the way you have addressed the "affordable house" issue. Good info on state house building as well. Thanks.
Thanks for a really informative piece. Where I do think the Government deserves criticism is around the politics.
They’ve done a poor job at shaping the narrative. If as you say the plan has morphed somewhat since Shearer’s time, I bet most of the public wouldn’t know it. Whilst some of the opposition will be principled, some purely partisan, a lot is going to be driven by the disconnect between what Kiwibuild is in the Governments mind (and it seems in reality) and what people’s perceptions of it are. That’s what National is exploiting, and whilst many would oppose any market intervention on principle, I think much of the public would be onboard if they had a better sense of what you very clearly explained.
Yes, we definately need encouragement to build smaller and more affordable homes. The market in Auckland has not done that - I had 8 years processing Land Use consents for Auckland Council and there were lots of houses being consented, but the majority of them in the North Shore area were at least 4 bedrooms and 5 or 6 bathrooms. They were basically "show off houses" for migrants and had no appeal (or affordability) for anybody else.
I think one issue Twyford isn’t willing to confront is that the building industry is not his friend.
One reason the cost of building is so high is that the industry is at best dysfunctional and at worst corrupt.
Handing out government money to take away risk for developers is not going to change the building industry for the better.
Most of the companies and people responsible for the poorly termed leaky building disaster are still around and still fleecing home buyers. Just trading under other names or company numbers.
One does hope that under KiwiBuild that the Government ensures all compliance is met at every step of the way – The developers get the assurance of guaranteed sales while the public can be assured there will be no shonky corners cut.
Having said that I did get to visit the Takanini site a coupla weeks back (the day before the PM welcomed the first ballot winners to their new house – you know the ones Judith Collins saw fit to abuse on line) – I saw the new Coronation Street, terraces with no on-street/lane parking for visitors in the part I was in, the scale felt a tad off human, and on an old military base site I assume judging by street names (at least it wasn’t productive growing soil being built over).
Early buyers might own these for 5 or 10 years, but these houses will provide access into the market for 50 or 100 years.
I can't help thinking this is the cruncher. "Access to the market" is one description. "Onto the property ladder" is another. The ladder seems to be the cause of all this strife. The haves (working poor) are keen (desperate) to sell (buy) so that they can move to a house that will increase in value over the shortest period possible. It all ratchets up. Dare I say there was once a time when folk "made the money" to buy the next rung? Now it is how much will the bank dosh out to get me 3 rungs up. The devil takes the hindmost. We all lose.
I'm happy to impose the CGT to halt this madness for future generations. Unfortunately there will be losers. But is it likely there will be many winners?
This is the biggest threat to Labour’s housing policy. The building industry is seriously dysfunctional and sadly corrupt.
Twyford thinks the building industry is his friend, he should quickly come to terms with the fact it is not.
He also needs to urgently address the huge failings in current legislation regarding apartment building management and ownership. Otherwise people will get put off apartments and intensification will be that much harder.
The directors of theses failed building companies quickly go on to work for other building companies.
Constructing houses in NZ is horrendously more expensive than in other countries. And yet these companies go bust.
Where do the profits from these exorbitant costs go and why aren’t people being held accountable and why is Labour seemingly so disinterested.
Perhaps it’s a bit like how the fishing industry works with Winston Peters.
Well I’ve just seen this. Twyford wanted to lessen the penalty for flipping Kiwibuild homes on for a profit.
Didn’t discuss it with the PM but did discus it with – Shane Jones.
Industry influence, pretty obvious.
That is the angle of a single media story with plenty of reckons but little evidence.
Twyford chooses to discuss his lowering the penalty for making a profit out of KiwiBuild with king of boondoggles Shane Jones rather than with the PM.
The PM doesn’t appear impressed.
All in the context of quite a few people trying to tell Twyford the building industry is dysfunctional and corrupt. But he’s got his fingers in ears. Maybe he’s just stupid, maybe he stands to gain somewhere along the line in his post politics life. Not unheard of.
We know the relationship between NZF and the pillaging fishing industry. Companies like Fletchers won’t be complaining about govt money helping solve their financial problems.
And why is Twyford deliberately dragging his feet over making changes to apartment building governance laws which currently allow ruthless management companies such as Centurion to make life a misery for people who buy apartments. Look up who controls Centurion if you don’t already know.
Intensification has to have a sound legal basis or intensification will just feed exploiters. At present it doesn’t.
The PM doesn’t appear impressed
So the reporters tell us. No actual evidence of that, but hey.
And why is Twyford deliberately dragging his feet over making changes to apartment building governance laws
Good question. Seen no valid answer from him yet.