Surprise, surprise – Kiwibuild is for the children of the white middle classes


Kiwibuild is for the children of the white middle classes

Surprise, surprise – as TDB has been pointing out for sometime, Kiwibuild isn’t for the poor, it’s for the children of the white middle classes…

Housing minister says KiwiBuild not for low-income buyers

Everyone in New Zealand is entitled to having an opportunity of home ownership, the current Government says.

Phil Twyford, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, said KiwiBuild is for families who years ago “would have expected to own their own home”.

However, social media users have criticised the Government for allowing one couple to buy a four-bedroom house with no children, and with their occupations.

Derryn Jayne, a graduate doctor, and partner Fletcher Ross, a marketer, have drawn outrage about their suitability for the KiwiBuild scheme.

…for those NZers still living in cars, or the 900 beneficiaries kicked onto the street during the meth hysteria,  they will be thrilled that a Dr and his media marketing partner can still have a chance to live the dream of home ownership.

Yay them!

If Kiwibuild were the Titanic, the cry would be ‘Drs and marketing mangers first’.

As I pointed out in my review of the first year of the new Government...

Kiwibuild: D

TDB Recommends

Allan Johnson, one of the leading voices on housing in NZ, has written a damning  indictment on how Kiwibuild is simply about building houses for the children of the middle classes...

It is probably time to call the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild programme for what it is – state sponsored gentrification of state housing suburbs.  As such it is little different from the previous Government’s efforts in places such as Tamaki to extract value from the public housing estate under the guise of modernisation.  

…Kiwibuild does another sweet fuck all for those kiwis struggling in cars, this years Bruce Jesson lecture was unbelievably critical of the new Government’s bullshit Kiwibuild…

The title of my reflection is ‘Housing crisis: A smoking gun with no silver bullet’ this reflects my belief that this government has spent 11months claiming all the issues they are confronted with today are solely due to the previous government,

in my opinion what they & we are confronted with today is the fact historically successive governments along with their bureaucrats having not put the time, effort & funding into sustainable housing solutions, with no generational housing strategy that builds strong healthy communities for the present & the future generations.

…like so many other examples, it’s all glitter and warm snuggly feelings with a grim reality that falls far short of the promise.

Kiwibuild is like the Labour party – it’s for the children of the white middle classes. That’s fine and dandy, but let’s dump the illusion that this is helping the poor and until the new Government do something meaningful on state houses (building 1000 state houses per year isn’t meaningful), they should be savaged ruthlessly and relentlessly for this.

We elected a Government that would face the housing crisis with courage.

Ensuring the children of the white middle classes can get ahead isn’t courageously facing anything, it’s business as usual.

University of Auckland Business School economist Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy said it should not be a surprise that a new doctor could qualify.

“Perhaps [it] speaks to how unaffordable housing has become. The effects of KiwiBuild will spillover into the broader housing market – it is not just about who gets the KiwiBuild homes. The increased supply of housing under KiwiBuild puts downward pressure on house prices across the board,” he said.

Kiwibuild will ‘spillover’ to those living in cars and the 40 000 homeless.

Is ‘spillover’ the new trickle down is it?


    • Nothing Labour does will satisfy Unions or NGOs. They won’t be into the government giving employers wage subsidies, they won’t be into bailing out the middle, and they won’t be into employment reform instead of welfare reform. The unions didn’t even like Kiwi Saver but when the fund was split between ACC and Kiwi Saver they loved that.

      I think we can rebuild state housing stock but it needs to be incoded in the constitution and incoded in the treaty because redundancy is good, that you’ll pay 10 times more if any one try’s to sell off state housing.

      We can’t let these little people and the ministries run the joint, ministers have to be able to knock these nobodies off, because unions and ministries will run themselves to there own biases anyway and a good minister will be able to get the big changes the count past them anyway.

  1. I am sure that professional couple can then let two rooms in the Kiwibuild home to overseas student boarders, or flatmates, to help them pay off the mortgage. All tax free doing that.

    • I have watched with great interest the kiwi build saga, at the end of the day it is about money and jobs for the builders and all the suppliers that support the building industry, the government needs a return on there investment, I’m afraid low income families can’t meet the above requirements. The government needs to come down hard on local councils with building permits and costs. Most councils have made it so hard to build small houses on land because they have to be a certain size and type, for the average cost of a kiwi build house which is $600000 plus you could build 6 small houses. Maori iwi also need to look at themselves why they don’t gift land to help out there poor families to much talk. the government needs to think outside the box with big developers of housing projects that a certain amount of housing is set aside for welfare housing the developers pay for this why because they make huge profits, they do this in Ireland and it works. Smaller housing is better for the environment. Look at the small house nation, very good ideas. How ever I’m afraid poor kiwi families will need better family planning when having children for small housing to work. By the way I am a Maori!

      • Max: “….at the end of the day it is about money and jobs for the builders and all the suppliers that support the building industry, the government needs a return on there investment, I’m afraid low income families can’t meet the above requirements.”

        Exactly. The government has said that it will sell these houses at cost; the prices quoted in its policy indicate just how costly housing now is in NZ.

        “….for the average cost of a kiwi build house which is $600000 plus you could build 6 small houses.”

        In all likelihood. Also, many of us older people would like to downsize, but we can’t find houses small enough. No: not in retirement villages!

        I’m not suggesting that people like us would – or ought to – be eligible for Kiwibuild; it’s just that if developers built more smaller houses, we could vacate our over-large house, and a young family could buy it.

        “…a certain amount of housing is set aside for welfare housing….”

        My view about this is that the government needs to put serious heft into building many more state houses. And retaining them, not selling them. Ever. There is a significant proportion of the low-income population which probably has little hope of ever owning a property; they deserve decent housing as much as anybody else.

        The government needs to see state housing as an essential part of the national infrastructure.

        • On state housing – the number should be connected to the population level. If we had 60,000 when the population was 3M it should be 100,000 if the population is at 5M.

          • SPC: “If we had 60,000 when the population was 3M it should be 100,000 if the population is at 5M.”

            Yup. That sounds about right. And wouldn’t that make a difference to homelessness!

          • The best home ownership rate is Singapore at a little over 90% ownership rates and they still run public housing in fact renters in Singapore can claim some of the sale price if the house is sold under them. Not saying we should role that out in NZ but maybe but 10% or 400k state house stocks is probably closer to an actual number, and shove em in places like Devonport and Northcoat point where it’s impossible for low wage workers and what not to get a look in.

            It’s not all about bread cues and homeless shelters, people need opportunities right across the country. A lot of inner city Auckland schools have Kohanagas but they suffer from being located way to far from there target demographic so everything has to be considered.

    • Maybe they will but most will leave the rooms empty, fill them up with stuff they don’t need or use as good little consumer-drones. Gov has no vision. no serious reform of land law, no rent control, no rent-to-buy, to longterm tenancy/tenancy for life, no new city built …Gov could buy cheap land or use land they already own in/by/around some/many of our small villages/towns & build from scratch a whole new city. Mixed suburbs & infrastructure put in. Tax incentives to copmpanies/corporations to relocate to provincial cities/towns/villages. Interest free housing loans for low-income workers to buy houses. Making all the land leasehold perpetually held by crown generating income. If gov converted all land in NZ to leasehold. House prices would decrease with no land-component in sale price & gov would have a massive constant/consistent income from land rent enabling more social programmes & house building.

  2. Anything Twitford is involved with is a guaranteed flop.

    Kiwibuild for the rich kids. A slow tram to the airport for poor people.

  3. One thing is for sure, Collins won’t win votes by attacking the kids of the middle class. Very clever of Labour to draw in the middle class voter base to support them, drawing them away from the Nats. That’s what this is about ; winning votes. That (hopefully) allows Labour to implement other social policies. If this is their strategy a Collins-led National party will sit on the opposition benches for the next ten years.

  4. The Wage Slave Labour Party is a right-wing Chinese-controlled political party that brought “us” Rogernomics and the Free Slave Agreement (just don’t expect “Lefties” like Kelsey to mention the latter… ssshhh)

    The thing is that a growing number in the underclass are actually better-educated and more intelligent than the propertied class and its squawking overlords…

    I wonder if anyone on the property ladder can do simple math?

    50% Haves, 50% Have Nots… sticks and stones…

  5. We won’t solve the lack of affordable housing until we solve the lack of affordable land caused by the local government planning system, which artificially restricts the supply.

    The purpose of the planning system is to stop cheap housing being built, particularly anywhere near where the rich people have their houses.

    But taking on the Local Authority planning system is political death. Home-owners (the majority of voters) don’t want new housing built anywhere near them – it might block a view or add to traffic, or lower their own house’s value.

    • Ada: “The purpose of the planning system is to stop cheap housing being built, particularly anywhere near where the rich people have their houses.”

      This isn’t so. The main purposes of planning are:
      1. To restrict urban sprawl, thus preventing houses being built on arable land. We all need to eat.
      2. To prevent unsuitable land (eg, prone to slips, flooding and liquefaction) being used for housing.
      3. To keep cities compact; the further a city extends, the more Council must spend on infrastructure and services, which all ratepayers must fund.

      With regard to No.2, we’ve all seen in Christchurch the disasters that can result from Councils allowing house-building on unsuitable land. At the end of our time living in Christchurch, the Council was in an Environment Court battle with a developer who wanted to build a subdivision on former swamp land. I think it was the Sea Breezes development. Council lost; the development went ahead. After the 2011 earthquakes, the entire area was wrecked by liquefaction and – last I heard – is now abandoned.

      The harsh reality is that NZ is a relatively small landmass, much of which is unsuitable for housing. In my view, we’ve just about hit carrying capacity; this country cannot manage without more environmental damage a population much larger than it now is. And the only way left to us to deal with the current housing shortage is to put emphasis on multi-unit developments and apartment buildings. We cannot go further out, so we must go up.

      • No, you’re wrong. As much as I don’t want to see much more growth in our overall population our country is of a similar size to UK & Japan both of which manage to have more people than us yet function reasonably well. Japan has 126 million people in more challenging geology re earthquakes, tsunamis & volcanoes yet is cleaner & has less crime/murder/imprisonment.

  6. yes and many of our middle class benefitted ( who are pakeha) from our racist and discriminative welfare state and other government agencies because of racism and discrimination. The pakeha staff in many government departments were extremely racist and they allocated the social housing and who do you think got the best houses in the nicest areas not Maori or PI. Now I see the houses they expected our people to live in have been knocked down and we are seeing 550 k houses pop up in what was once poorer areas this is not right or fair mainly pakeha again are benefitting it really pisses me of cause I lived in one of those dumps .

      • Not all all, ‘Moz’. Michelle has made pertinent observations about societal norms and practices. Trying to dismiss it by sticking a convenient label (borrowed, I might add) on it without explaining yourself doesn’t explain your position. You’re just trolling.

        • Michelle, it’s because Maori and Pacific Islanders don’t fit in to nice neighbourhoods where people act with decency. Not being racist just making pertinent observations.

        • This person’s ‘pertinent observations’ are baseless, she offers no context or justification for branding white staff as racist and white middle class as benefactors of a discriminatory welfare system.

          Then follows it up with sheer conjecture, nowhere does she give any evidence for the claim that white staff are awarding white welfare recipients preferential housing. Unless she has filed an official information request or is a whistle blower, there is no credibility to this.

          I’m not trolling, i am simply pointing out the irony of calling out racism by making racist accusations.

      • You obviously dont know anything about our welfare system and the government agencies like HNZ, ACC, Social welfare now Winz and you probably have never had any dealing with them like me and many of our people who have finally starting speaking up about their BAD experiences and they ain’t nice either MOZ

        • Well, there you go, stereotyping me, i live in a predominately state housing street, which is incidentally split, white to maori/pi at about 60/40, it’s a thoroughly depressing place to live.

          I have had plenty of dealing’s with HNZ, and WINZ, thank you. My experience of HNZ in particular has been that of an agency bending over backwards to accommodate the disenfranchised of all ethnicity, often to the detriment of their non HNZ subsidized neighbours.

  7. Martyn we can really be sure if they are white or not (Im 1/8 Maori and certainly identify as Maori in spite of my white skin) they may very well and quite legitimately self identify as Maori, Pasifika or any other “Brown People”.

    They are certainly NOT middle class. A Doctor and Marketing manager will almost certainly rise to the rarefied 1% of the gilded upper class while middle class folk like myself, will be paying rent from now till retirement.

    Lets say it like it is – this is a very very generous welfare policy for upper class people of all ethnicities – you just need to be in the top 1% to qualify.

    • What I want to know is why the hell it matters what colour they are?
      Race based policies are a disgrace and we’ll, quite frankly, racist.

      So, why is it OK to be racist against people if they are white?
      Because their grandparents were the beneficiaries of racism? Doesn’t sound too fair to me.

      • Because their grandparents were the beneficiaries of racism?

        Not just ‘grandparents’, Jays. Racism is alive and well in modern New Zealand. You just may not recognise it if you’re privileged and it doesn’t impact on you.

      • Jay our country was founded on race based racist policies for example, suppression of the Tohunga act , the native land act and court set up to take our land and divide our people, forbidding our language to be spoken for 50 years, the rebellious act help take lots of our lands especially in the Waikato area. When you colonise a people you assimilate them, isn’t this racism as you assume a superior position to those you are assimilating. Some our you need to learn our countries true history and then move on.

  8. I think kiwibuild is a good thing, but it is only part of the answer for the poor and ordinary kiwis (by building more homes and putting downward pressure on rents).

    Yes, 1000 new state houses is significant, and a reversal of National’s sale of state houses.

    But what we need is a massive programme of state house construction, ramping up to 10,000 new state houses per year.

    It will do no good to simply complain about the coalition government. We need to organise a serious pubic campaign for the mass state housing construction program with is the solution.

    • +100 CHRIS…what is needed is many more State owned Houses ( maybe they can be prefabricated with additions to suit multi-needs)

      ….this is why it was so terrible that Bill English under the jonkey Nact Government set about undermining in sought after areas, not maintaining, destroying and attempting to privatise and sell off to private entrepreneurs, the stock of available State Houses, which was traditionally meant for those many New Zealanders who can not afford to buy houses or rent in the private market

      …the ‘P contamination scare’ whipped up by Nactional and friends who made money out of it, added to the problem for our poorest New Zealanders made homeless

      …this in addition to making existing NZ privately owned housing stock scarce and available to the highest bidder… new immigrants and to overseas speculative buyers…hence over- inflating NZ housing prices and affordability for ordinary New Zealanders, particularly first home buyers… and particularly our youth

      …the last Nact Government indeed betrayed New Zealanders

  9. Why do we need any more State homes? You do realise all that does is take more govt subsidy and piss it away?

    Wouldn’t it be far preferable for the most vulnerable to own their home, rather than deal with NZs most damaging landlord?


      • Michelle pretty simple …co-equity, rent to buy, interest free home loan from re-instituted State Advances, by making all land leasehold thus removing land-component part of price of property. Gov can then use income from land rent to support all social programmes health, education, welfare, housing etc

  10. Your use of the word ‘white’ just perpetuates racist us & them stereotyping. If you’re genuine about building a harmonious society for all NZ’rs then do us a favour & leave out the colour signalling. Bourgeoisie millennial moneybag twats would sound much better.

  11. In this country where so many businesses have no loyalty to their employees and are happy to turf them out when it suits, I fail to understand how this couple should be penalised for being assumed to have a currently joint ‘highish’ income forever. It may be more; it may be less. Future events have a way of creating their own plans for New Zealanders. Pregnancy, ill health, financial recession and so on, ad nauseum.

    Remember when anyone over 40 was being thrown on the scrapheap? The job position didn’t seem to matter. It was all about youth and probably business getting cheaper younger labour.

    Anyone watched the film, I Daniel Blake? A victim of bad health and a bad UK welfare system designed to destroy his courage and ability to continue. Sounds just like NZ a year ago. Hopefully on the road to recovering a humane stance towards all beneficiaries.

    Greed spreading its vile tentacles through propaganda on blogs and media – just thought of Judith Collins then.

  12. As others have said, while i agree at the absurdity of the government helping doctors into the housing market, the article lost any resonance with me for its unnecessarily racist undertone.

    Yes, it may be in vogue on the left to brand all white people as privileged but at the end of the day it’s simply as racist as any other stereotype. How this is not only acceptable but considered good journalism by some is beyond me.

      • Yeah Frank he (Moz) doesn’t know what it is like where as we (Maori) do we have experienced it all our lives in our own country and sometimes by people who are not born here but have come here with their baggage.

      • Do you always dismiss the content of someones argument based on their assumed ethnicity? … you know, there’s a word for that.

  13. Middle class — succinct summary of the Labour Party and its tragedy: I mean, Sir Basil Arthur, bart, as the most working class member of the 84 govt.! However, don’t know about you, but I, Trotter and most (?) others on the beyond-Labour Left are middle class. Those who remember and so understand. But, though more freedom of opportunity has sieved off much of the talent from the working class, it would be far, far better if they were fighting their own corner, instead of their alienation from democracy.

  14. Middle class, eh! Interesting given that this “class” is earmarked for extinction under United Nations Agenda 21/30 as being “unsustainable”. There’s more to this than meets the eye. Look deeper.

  15. Look you bash it all you like, but really it just shows the depth of the crisis – young people can’t buy houses, or apartments, or whatever. Are you saying this couple shouldn’t get a house because they’re “only middle class” and not poor enough?

    • +100 Booker…it is an identity politics, woke left, virtue signalling, blame game , diversion from the real issues…which is that there are not enough houses for young New Zealanders middle class and/or poor

  16. Nothing much will make housing in NZ Inc more affordable as long as even this government allows immigration to continue at relatively high numbers, despite of their previous election talk.

    Now they will let in more building workers and health workers and teachers, and also overseas cops, to work here, how is that going to reduce the pressure on housing availability and affordability.

    We are served endless lies and smoke and mirror tactics, and two or three years down the line, we will still have high house and rent prices, and people will have resigned to this reality, finding other ways of dealing with the high costs (over crowding, staying with mum and dad, couch surfing, having flatmates and boarders, and so forth).

    And smaller homes may be nice for some, it is completely reasonable for Auckland Council and others to enforce minimum dwelling sizes, as we are not all dwarfs or such happy to live in Hong Kong style dwellings.

  17. “….it’s for the children of the white middle classes.”

    Several years ago, when house prices had hit ridiculous heights in Auckland, and first home buyers were being outbid by people from offshore, those first home buyers were the children of the white middle classes.And it was for them that Labour first began to articulate its KiwiBuild policy. And nothing wrong with that: the children of the white middle classes deserve housing too. How would it help anybody, were it them living on park benches?

    But the government must also pay even more urgent attention to the homeless. Probably for most of them, state housing is the most appropriate option.

  18. Hear! hear! Bomber.
    My daughter & partner returned from a stint overseas about 2010, and bought a house. He had left $10k behind with that in mind. I persuaded them to take about $16k from my nest egg and that was their deposit. They got a mortgage broker who got the bank to give them a mortgage on the basis of their high(ish) earnings. If they could do that why not this kiwi-build couple? It’s a scandal & the government should lay off claiming they’re solving the gigantic housing problem starting with this sort of rort.

    • Janio: “If they could do that why not this kiwi-build couple?”

      Your two are fortunate that they could do that. Not everybody can; clearly the KiwiBuild couple could not. Don’t begrudge them.

      ” It’s a scandal & the government should lay off claiming they’re solving the gigantic housing problem starting with this sort of rort.”

      No. It isn’t either a scandal or a rort, as other commenters here have pointed out. Everybody in need of housing deserves to have a chance at it. Including the children of the white middle classes.

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