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Some KiwiBuild apartments redesigned after being too small for banks to lend on

Inquiries from 1 NEWS have led to some KiwiBuild apartments being redesigned because they're too small for banks to lend on.

The 25 apartments announced last week at the 340 Onehunga development in Auckland are to be the first KiwiBuild apartments sold off the plans.

However, the six $380,000 KiwiBuild studio apartments were just 39.2sqm in size.

That's below the minimum 40sqm that major banks insist upon for buyers with KiwiBuild sized deposits.

After 1 NEWS made inquiries into the matter, the developer scrambled last night and adjusted the floor plans of the studio apartments.

The developer now says the apartments will meet the 40sqm criteria.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford told 1 NEWS today the incident is "no big deal".

"No look, it's no big deal, it's a very, very, small difference in the floor area, actually the apartments now are going to be slightly bigger," Mr Twyford says.

Loanmarket Director and mortgage broker Bruce Patten can't understand how it happened.

"The minimum size that a lender will lend money on an apartment has been 40sqm for some time.

"It's interesting they make these assumptions without approaching the people who are going to be funding it," Mr Patten says.

National MP Judith Collins says Mr Twyford should be embarrassed for not getting the details right.

"This is a blunder alright, but then most of what KiwiBuild has been, has been a bit of a blunder," Ms Collins says.

1 NEWS understands the plans for the six studio apartments are now being revised.

The Housing Minister is calling it a one off and says it’s no big deal. Source: 1 NEWS


Six injured, four seriously, as car and campervan collide on SH1 north of Timaru

St John Ambulance have confirmed six people have been injured as a result of a two-vehicle crash on State Highway One at Orari north of Timaru. 

Emergency services were called to the scene on the stretch of road known as the Canterbury Pacific Highway at 3.40pm.

Police say the crash was reported to be between a car and a campervan.

St John Ambulance spokesperson Ngaire Jones says four people have suffered serious injuries with two further people suffering moderate injuries. 

Two of the seriously injured patients have been driven by ambulance to Timaru Hospital.  

The other two seriously injured patients were airlifted to Christchurch and Dunedin respectively along with the remaining two patients.      

The road was closed with diversions in place while emergency services attended.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

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Fewer than half of all Kiwis are making wills - research

Less than half of all New Zealanders are making wills, and those that do exist are more open to legal challenges, according to new research.

The data from the Public Trust shows 55 per cent of New Zealanders and 28 per cent of all parents do not have a will.

Public Trust senior solicitor Theresa Donnelly told Nine to Noon the main reasons for the lack of a will are people thinking they don't have enough assets and saying they do not have enough time to sit down and create one.

But she said anybody with assets worth more than $15,000 - which could include Kiwisaver funds or life insurance - should have a document drawn up, and people who kept saying there was enough time to get one done were "taking a gamble".

She also said there were more deep-seated reasons behind the procrastination.

"They are things like the lack of death conversations in New Zealand, that used to be a primary entertainment of the great aunts, having those death conversations and continuing to change the sticky label of whoever's name is under a particular item. But people don't want to talk about their mortality now."

The study also found there were more challenges to wills after a death.

Auckland litigation lawyer Isaac Hikaka said factors such as rising house prices were partly to blame, as they increased the size of estates.

"The more money that is up for grabs, the more people will try and have a tilt at it."

The study also found some ethnic groups were less likely to have wills - up to 80 percent of Pasifika people, 75 percent of Asian New Zealanders and 69 percent of Maori did not have a will.

rnz.co.nz

Caskets, ashes urns, plaques, coffin art.
Source: istock.com


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Watch: Jacinda Ardern admits Government not 'most open, most transparent' after questioning by Simon Bridges in Parliament

The Prime Minister admitted today the Government has not lived up to the commitment to "be the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had", after being questioned by Simon Bridges over the chief technology officer saga. 

Former Associate Open Government Minister Clare Curran made the commitment in November last year.

In August Ms Curran was stripped of her Open Government and Digital Services responsibilities after not disclosing a meeting for the second time and resigned earlier this month from her other portfolios after a poor performance while answering questions in Parliament.

"Clare Curran's failure to accurately answer parliamentary questions about her meeting with [Derek] Handley did not meet my or the former Minister's expectation," Ms Ardern said today in Parliament. 

Derek Handley was offered the role of chief technology officer, which was subsequently retracted by new Digital Services Minister Megan Woods, costing the taxpayer a $100,000 payout. 

At the beginning of the month, Ms Curran admitted she had conducted Government business on her personal Gmail account

Mr Bridges today asked the Prime Minister if she had used private Gmail in correspondence with Ms Curran. 

"Primarily I conduct my business across my parliamentary accounts, but I want to ensure that I answer the member with accuracy, so if he wishes to put them down in detail, then I will do so," Ms Ardern answered. 

Ms Ardern said she recalled her only contact with Mr Handley as Prime Minister was a text message she received from him, to which deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters piped up saying: "Has the Prime Minister contemplated putting the leader of the National Party out of his misery by leaking the email?"

Former Associate Open Government Minister Clare Curran made the transparency commitment in November last year. Source: Parliament TV