KiwiBuild – What is it?

In December 2017, the New Zealand Government has announced KiwiBuild which originates from Labour’s election promise. During the 2017 Election Campaign, the labour party announced they would aim to tackle the housing crisis.The Party took a holistic approach where its proposed policy would cover constraining foreign speculators, building more affordable houses, supporting those most in need, improving renters’ rights and also cooperating with the Māori organization for the benefits of the indigenous population.


KiwiBuild : Hit Hard By Speculators

For a country with a small population relative to its landmass, it is arguable that house prices are too high. According to the Economist, New Zealand has come out top in three of five measures studying the trends of the global housing market. In the KiwiBuild plan, Labour identifies foreign speculators as one major cause of the problem. The party proposed banning foreign speculators from buying NZ properties and also extending the bright line test to target those who buy property solely for capital gain.


KiwiBuild : Constructing more affordable houses

While reducing the impact of foreign investors could bring down housing prices, increasing quantity from source is another solution to the problem. Therefore, one major focus of KiwiBuild would be to increase the number of affordable houses in the market. Labour have promised to build 100,000 affordable homes with half of them in Auckland. To actualize the plan, Kiwibuild will grow the building workforce by subsidizing employers to provide training to young recruits. It seeks to create 5,000 new jobs to support the construction projects.


KiwiBuild: Improving Renters’ rights

Various measures to improve renters’ rights are to be introduced. The 42 day notice period for landlords will be increased to 90 days so tenants could find sufficient time to find a new home. The “no-cause” termination is promised to be abolished while rent increases would be limited to once a year only. Labour would also subsidize up to a maximum of $2000 to landlords for them to provide adequate rentals for families with the provision of insulation and heating.


KiwiBuild: Support To Those In Need

KiwiBuild will aim to transform Housing New Zealand from a State-owned Enterprise to a public service. The number of state houses are expected to increase substantially and budget would be used to help 600,000 families to upgrade their insulation and heating. They will also implement the recommendations of the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry such as prioritizing Housing First as the primary response to homelessness and also increasing the State housing stock.


KiwiBuild: Build better homes for Māori

Labour believes that all New Zealanders are entitled to having a warm dry and affordable home to live in. The Kiwi Build will cooperate with Māori organizations to meet their joint goals. Measure will include investing $20 million in 4 years in NGOs to deliver home ownership services and A Māori Housing Unit will be established within the Affordable Housing Authority to design specific policies to address the need of the indigenous populations.

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