OPINION

I tell you what I do admire about Phil Twyford, the embattled, bewildered Housing Minister: At least he fronts.

He fronted with me yesterday, and took a pasting because you can't hide or argue your way around the cluster or calamity of facts and the avalanche of bad news that's fallen down on top of him.

But at least he is there to actually fight his corner. Many people these days run and hide.

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I also admire him for bulldozing over the Unitary Plans in places, like Auckland, where for years councils have refused to make enough land avaliable for building.

National threatened it, but never actually pulled the trigger despite my urging them to do so.

It's so ironic that a National government wouldn't roll a Labour-esque council and yet Phil took it to his old mate, Phil Goff.

Anyway, that's about where the good news ends.

If you missed yesterday's interview, have a listen and just see when presented with facts, just how bad this fiasco is. And by the end of yesterday, Twyford did the honourable thing and admitted the target for year one will not be met.

And when I say target, the theoretical target is, of course, 10,000. It's 10,000 a year for 10 years. But to be fair in year one they were never going to build 10,000, so they settled on 1000.

The trouble with 1000 was that left 9000 for year two, on top of the 10,000 as part of the original equation, thus potentially making it a 19,000-home year.

Which, of course, is never going to happen either. And you can see the snowball effect. By the time you got to year three and four, you'd be 20,000 to 30,000 houses down and mathematically it would all implode like the house of cards it is.

And let's be honest: year three or four is as far as you can realistically go because governments are generally only good for one or two terms, especially this lot.

But back to year one and 1000 homes. As it stands they've built 33 houses and have 77 underway, which leaves us, well you do the math.

And having done the math, not only are they short on 1000, they're a mile short.

Which brings us back to the beginning of this term where we said over and over and over again, watch this policy, look at the promises, look at what they're based on, and watch it fall on its face.

And here's the most troubling part of all of this. Making that call, seeing this for what it was, wasn't hard. It required an element of common sense and a small understanding of the free market, the building sector, the price of money, and the average income of Kiwis.

If you had that, you had all the ingredients you needed to call the government's bluff.

The fact they couldn't - or wouldn't - see it is why we should sweat this lot. People like Twyford are so far out of their depth it's dangerous.

This thing started July 1. Now, just seven months in, January 24, already the white flag is up on the promise for year one. And if you think that's the only broken promise, you're as deluded as Twyford.