Housing Minister Phil Twyford has updated his Cabinet colleagues on the state of the Government's KiwiBuild programme after a torrid week for the minister and his portfolio.
He will go back to Cabinet at a later date with a plan to get the $2 billion programme back on track after admitting last week it would fall well short of its first-year target.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was staying on message today at her first post-Cabinet press conference today, telling reporters the Government was tackling the housing crisis and the annual build targets were only "interim".
Twyford conceded last week that the programme would not reach its July target of 1000 houses built, and the number was more likely to be around 300. A total of 47 houses have been built to date but the Government has been quick to point out that another several hundred are in the process of being built and 4000 are under contract to be built.
"We don't apologise for the fact that we are tackling the housing crisis head-on, and we are building houses," Ardern said.
"As I've said though, evidence to date is that the pace isn't as quick as we would like but we remain committed to the 10-year target. And we are only six months into that programme."
Twyford's upcoming Cabinet paper was a chance for him to look how each stream, such as buying off the plans, was tracking, Ardern said.
As well as targeting 1000 KiwiBuild homes by July 2019, Twyford has previously committed to building 10,000 in 2020/21 and 12,000 every year after that until 2028.
Ardern said today the July target and the others out until 2028 were "interim targets".
"The overall target of building of 100,000 homes, we are six months into that. We are building and delivering homes. We just want the pace to pick up."
She would not be drawn on how many homes were likely to be built by July this year, but said the Government was turning around the housing crisis.
Ardern has previously said that she still backs Twyford in the portfolio and the issues merely showed how difficult housing was.
Twyford's update to Cabinet today also came a day after the stoush between former KiwiBuild programme head Stephen Barclay and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Crisp heated up.
Ardern said it was an employment matter around alleged conduct issues and Barclay's comments that the KiwiBuild programme was on track when he was in charge were "disputed".
Barclay went on leave last November, just months after his appointment, and resigned officially earlier this month while an employment case was ongoing. He is suing the ministry for constructive dismissal.
Crisp released a statement yesterday which said there had complaints about Barclay's leadership behaviour from employees, contractors, and stakeholders.
Barclay told Radio New Zealand this morning that while he could not go into detail about the complaints, he could rule out financial fraud, sexual misconduct and bullying.
"I can confirm that the complaints were sort of generally related to my management style, and also my direct dealings with a couple of people, two or three people, inside the KiwiBuild unit," he said.