Pressure is building on Housing Minister Phil Twyford amid new detail of the scale of the failure of the Government's flagship KiwiBuild policy.
Appearing before a select committee yesterday, Twyford revealed there would be a "reset" of the entire house building programme — although he wouldn't say what was included or when it would be announced.
Initially a revamp was announced in January, when Twyford forecast that 1000 KiwiBuild homes would be complete by July. The new policy was to have been revealed this month.
Yesterday, though, Twyford said only 119 had been finished, with 400 more under construction, prompting predictable criticism from National housing spokeswoman Judith Collins.
Twyford also came under fire over the revelation he had pulled out of the KiwiBuild summit later this month, where he was scheduled to be a keynote speaker.
A spokesperson said he had papers before Cabinet this month so needed to be in Wellington on that day. They refused to confirm whether the papers were to do with the reset.
Collins said Twyford pulling out of the summit at a time when the policy was in such trouble showed "a lack of leadership and belief in his own policy. It is starting to look like Phil Twyford is trying to reshuffle himself out of the Housing portfolio".
As for the reset, "he has no timeframe, no timeline. It's completely unacceptable", she said.
All that on the day it emerged KiwiBuild had sent an email to 50,000 people saying interest rates were falling, making a KiwiBuild home "even more affordable" — a statement criticised for normalising people taking on high debt.
A spokesman for Twyford said the $500,000 home loan figure cited in the email and the example of how much people could save with lower interest rates was designed to be illustrative only.