Housing Minister tight-lipped on reported resignation of KiwiBuild chief executive

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has refused to comment on reports the chief executive of KiwiBuild has resigned.

On TVNZ1's Q+A, host Corin Dann questioned Mr Twyford after The Weekend Herald reported Stephen Barclay left his role at the beginning of November, after starting in May.

"I can't comment on anything to do with an individual public servant, it would be completely inappropriate," Mr Twyford said. 

"You're the Minister of a $2 billion investment for the public," Dann said. "I would have thought it would be in the public interest for you to comment on."

"Has he actually resigned?" 

Mr Twyford would not answer. 

Mr Twyford said he did not know why Mr Barclay reportedly left the job and that he did not hire or manage public servants, "I just get their advice".

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    "I know that he's not at work, but it's literally not my job to know. I'm focusing on trying to get houses built."

    National's Judith Collins asked on Twiiter, "How can Phil Twyford speak about individual developers but he can't tell us if he still has a chief executive in KiwiBuild". 

    Over the weekend, Mr Twyford announced another KiwiBuild in Wellington's Mount Cook and in Lower Hutt. 

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      Mr Twyford said it was likely the Government will move away from offering KiwiBuild houses that are bought off the plans following  sluggish demand for yet-to-be-built KiwiBuild houses in Wanaka and Te Kauwhata.

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        Corin Dann talks to Mr Twyford on TVZN1’s Q+A on the latest developments with KiwiBuild. Source: Q+A

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        "Another backflip from Phil Twyford," Ms Collins said. "After a year, he's worked out that Kiwis don’t like buying off the plans. Well, if Labour had asked any developer, they'd know that."

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          Phil Twyford was quizzed by Q+A host Corin Dann about the departure. Source: Q+A