PM announces changes to KiwiSaver HomeStart programme

By Ripeka Timutimu

The Prime Minister was in one of the poorest communities in Wellington this afternoon where he made announcements on changes to the KiwiSaver HomeStart programme, which could see couples receive a $20,000 boost to get into a new home.

Reporter Ripeka Timutimu went to the community of Pomare, which has been a redevelopment site for state housing, to hear what the locals thought.

Cousins Desiree Anderson Pairama and Jasmine Tameka have lived in Pomare for three decades but they say the new housing going up isn't their cup of tea.

It's an unusual sight here on Farmer Crescent.  State Houses on one side, new homes on the other. Desiree says they are worlds apart.

But the government wants more people to get into homes like these.  Under the new changes to the KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme, an individual is able to get up to a $5,000 boost toward the purchase of an old home, with more money thrown toward new homes and couples.

But for Jasmine and Desiree, they say it's hard to get ahead.

Jasmine Tameka says, “Not for me. Not right now. I don't have the finances right now, i might think about it in a few more years.”

Desiree Anderson-Pairama says, “Being on the benefit isn't that easy for me I still find it hard to get what i need for my babies as well as the home that we are living in now.”

So for these two, despite the changes, they won't be able to get their foot into the door of the housing market and here in Pomare, it'll continue to be out with the old and in with the new.