“Kainga Ora [a.k.a. Housing NZ] has grown its staff by 74 per cent in three years while only managing an extra seven per cent of homes. According to the Minister this is just the tip of the wasteful spending iceberg though,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Housing spokesperson Brook van Velden.
“Written Parliamentary Questions show Kainga Ora employed 1,824 Full Time Equivalents in December 2019. By December 2022 this number had increased to 3181. In the same time period the amount of Kainga Ora properties has only gone from 65,769 to 70,397.
“In November 2022 it was revealed that the costs of taxpayer funded managerial salaries within Kainga Ora had increased from $58,351,798 to $103,695,178.
“I asked the Minister how all these extra staff can be justified when the department isn’t delivering correspondingly. The Minister said “Kainga Ora’s staff costs have been very stable as a portion of total spends.” Translation, its ok that staff costs are going through the roof because every other part of Kainga Ora’s operation is as well. That’s not something taxpayers want to hear.
“Throughout this same period of time private sector businesses have had to tighten their belts and grapple with dire economic conditions. It will be infuriating for them to see how government departments like Kainga Ora have been using their taxes to do the complete opposite.
“This is why ACT wants to return the number of bureaucrats back to 2017 numbers, saving $1.21b in salaries, and zero base government.
“I highly doubt Kainga Ora would be able to show that all of these extra public servants have resulted in better outcomes for New Zealanders, in fact it’s highly likely they’ve made the housing crisis worse by making it harder for private developers to find staff or compete with them on housing developments.
“New Zealand needs real change and that should start with government departments showing restraint when it comes to spending other people’s money.”