Former KiwiBuild boss Stephen Barclay says the complaints against him which led to an employment dispute were shocking and came "completely out of the blue".

Yesterday, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development chief executive Andrew Crisp revealed that Stephen Barclay resigned amid an employment investigation that revealed complaints from employees, contractors and stakeholders regarding his "leadership behaviour".

The reason for Barclay's resignation on January 18 had previously been unknown, aside from that it was an "employment dispute".

Stephen Barclay told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking the complaints arose straight after KiwiBuild's move from MBIE to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

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Barclay said two weeks after the move he was told there were complaints about his "style" and how he "interacted with some of my employees".

The investigation was led by Crisp.

"Every complainant, that includes one person from another Ministry, were all known to Andrew Crisp," Barclay said.

When asked whether there was any "validity" to the complaints, Barclay said, "I didn't think so".

"Within a week of receiving the allegations or the complaints, I wrote a very comprehensive, point-by-point rebuttal of those things, provided evidence for the lot, frankly I thought it would be over."

He said the complaints came "completely out of the blue".

"There was no communication with me about them. There was no discussion with me, it just came absolutely out of the blue."

Barclay said he is suspicious about the way the complaints arose.

"What I was so surprised about was that things had been going so well when we were a stand-alone business on the side of MBIE, and then as I say, within two weeks of going into this new Ministry, all these complaints arose."

"My suspicion is that Andrew Crisp wanted the KiwiBuild unit to be part of his Ministry...which was not how we were organised when we were with MBIE, we were a stand-alone business."

"In fact, he actually communicated that to me prior to taking over. I made it clear to him that I felt that wouldn't work, because we were only ever going to be in his Ministry for a year...but he was adamant that was how he wanted it to be handled."

Housing Minister Phil Twyford wasn't directly involved in the dispute, he said.

"Ministers have quite a lot of influence over ministries but they have no line management direct control. So Minister Twyford would have heard about this from Andrew Crisp, and he would have been very interested in the outcome, of course, but that's all."

Minister Phil Twyford and PM Jacinda Ardern with KiwiBuild homeowners Derryn Jayne and Fletcher Ross. Photo/File.
Minister Phil Twyford and PM Jacinda Ardern with KiwiBuild homeowners Derryn Jayne and Fletcher Ross. Photo/File.

Barclay said if Andrew Crisp hadn't publically revealed the investigation, he wouldn't have spoken out.

"Your organisation and a bunch of others were all over me including having cars outside my house...leading up to Christmas, but I didn't say anything and neither did Andrew Crisp or the Ministry."

"I wanted to move on with my life and I thought about the people inside the KiwiBuild unit, wanted to few them some certainty about what was happening so then I resigned on 18 January."

"The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development issued a statement that day saying I had resigned, so what was the point of yesterday?"

Yesterday, Andrew Crisp revealed that Stephen Barclay resigned amid an employment investigation that revealed complaints from employees, contractors and stakeholders regarding his "leadership behaviour".

Stephen Barclay still stands by the programme despite e the negative attention.

He said before he left the programme was on track to meet its target.

"I wouldn't have taken the job if I felt it couldn't be done. In fact, as you would have seen from my statement, I believe we were on track to deliver not just the first year numbers but also the second year numbers."

Last week, Phil Twyford admitted KiwiBuild will fall short of its first-year target.

He said he remains confident the Government will still achieve its 100,000 homes over 10 years promise.

The Government had previously said it would have 1000 KiwiBuild homes built by July this year but Twyford admitted today he was now only expected to have 300 built by then.

"I'm pretty gutted by the fact we're obviously going to fall short of our target."
He said the Government was now in the process of refining and looking at how to improve KiwiBuild.