Harry Hunt

In a desperate attempt to not acknowledge their failures, Labour has done the smart thing. They have listened to the National Party. By doing this, they are acknowledging the ghost of Kiwibuild over 4 years after it failed and how it will haunt their tarnished legacy for a while now. The new deal looks to fix and further aid the housing crisis that Labour has only added to in their shameful years in office.

To really realise the significance of the two parties working together, let’s take a walk down memory lane.

The BFD. Kiwibuild Reset. Cartoon credit SonovaMin

Kiwibuild is a failure of legislation and a political wound that won’t heal. When campaigning, Labour set out targets the policy was meant to have delivered: 1,000 ‘affordable’ homes by June 2019, and over 16,000 homes by 2021. Despite their high expectations, only 1,058 homes were delivered by May 31 this year.

When Labour dreamt up KiwiBuild the party was clearly suffering some sort of imposter syndrome and looked to its own history for some dull inspiration. Aspiring to reincarnate herself as a second Michael Savage but blinded by her own stardust, Ardern’s failure was epic.

As the ghost of KiwiBuild foreshadowed a Labour demise in 2020, COVID-19 was a blessing in disguise that they rode like Aladdin’s magic carpet. But look at where we are now in 2021. Tell me what has changed? Absolutely nothing. KiwiBuild has faded into just another broken promise.

I recently read an article recommended to me by a professor, written by NBR. It focused on the bipartisanship of the two parties and acknowledges the real reason behind most deals that are cut. Sometimes it feels like there’s too much politics in social issues as everything is a political ploy, even when they agree.

When the announcement came forward, I sat down in my office and watched it live. You can see Opposition Leader Judith Collins, Nicola Willis and Megan Woods but Jacinda Ardern was a no show. That’s the mentality of the Labour government. They hammered the National government over housing, saying National didn’t care and weren’t taking it seriously but, time and time again, they have been unable to solve the problem themselves. So I’m sitting there watching the normal drivel and it starts to bug me: why would the Prime Minister, who relied heavily on the success of KiwiBuild in her 2017 campaign, not be present, nor show a united front with National? It seems strange that she allowed Judith Collins to be the prominent face of the announcement.

While I am forced to concede that this is a step in the right direction, I wonder if it is enough? It does feel extremely cheap of Ardern to sit on the sidelines and still have the success attributed to her. But at this point, if we’re going to watch her sit in the corner and lick her wounds it leaves room for more bipartisanship. Which is essentially admitting your mistakes without actually admitting your mistakes.

Let me be clear, this bill is not to decrease the price of houses but is aimed at slowing the increase in prices. Housing will always be an issue. We need a fast-paced, red-tape-cutting government to be really effective. Under the current government, and the National party that is likely to replace them, it is not looking likely that houses will decrease in price or value anytime soon.


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A Walk down Memory Lane
Harry Hunt

Harry Hunt

Harry's here to cut the crap. From this University student, you will see content focusing on politics and economics while dabbling in other areas. He's not here to make friends, nor is he here to make...