KiwiSaver Withdrawal for First Home Buyers

KiwiSaver Withdrawal is an initiative to help first home buyers with the deposit for their first home. If you have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years, you may be eligible to withdraw from your fund to use as a deposit towards the purchase of your first home.

So, who is eligible, what can you get and how do you apply?

Eligibility for KiwiSaver Withdrawal

  • a member of a complying fund
  • have been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years contributing the minimum required
  • intend to live in the property. (It cannot be used to buy an investment property.)

What can you get?

  • You can withdraw all contributions including member’s tax credits can be withdrawn (with the exception of the Government $1,000 kick-start).
  • Effective 1 April 2015 and onwards your KiwiSaver withdrawal may include:
    • your members contributions
    • any employer contributions (voluntary and compulsory)
    • any returns on investment(s) received
    • any member tax credits.

How do you Apply?

  • The withdrawal is administered by your KiwiSaver scheme provider or relevant complying fund managers and if approved the payments of the funds will be paid to your solicitor on or before settlement day.


  • The Kiwisaver Withdrawal feature is separate from the First Home Grant. Eligibility for withdrawal has less criteria to that of the First Home Grant. ie Property value caps and income caps do not apply to the withdrawal feature, so whilst you may not be eligible for a grant you can still be eligible for the withdrawal.

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First Home Grant

If you are a member of KiwiSaver, you may also be eligible for the First Home Grant (formerly HomeStart Grant)

Eligibility For First Home Grant

  • be over 18
  • have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
  • not currently own any property
  • have been contributing at least the minimum amount (3%) to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
  • purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps (see below)
  • agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.
  • Must be 18 years or over & currently do not own a home or land.
  • Be a member of a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme (contact your scheme provider to check your scheme is eligible).
  • Have contributed at least the minimum amount to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years.
  • Are the sole purchaser and have earned $95,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months or; two or more buyers who have earned a combined income of $150,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months.
  • Have a deposit that is 5% or more of the purchase price. (The 5% deposit includes the money you can withdraw through the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal feature, the First Home Grant amount you or the other purchasers may be eligible for and any other funds, such as savings, fixed and term deposits
  • Must be purchasing a property within the regional property value caps as follows;

Regional Property Price caps:

House price caps for new and existing properties have been set for each region.  You can view the list of regional price caps here.

How Much Can You Get?

The amounts you can get differ depending whether you are buying a new or existing property as follows;

Existing Property

  • If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the First Home Grant is $1,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:
    • 3 years of contributing = $3,000 (the minimum you can get)
    • 4 years of contributing = $4,000
    • 5 years of contributing = $5,000 (the maximum you can get).

New Property

  • If you are purchasing a new home, a property bought off the plans or land to build a new home on, the HomeStart grant is $2,000 for each year of contribution to the scheme:
    • 3 years of contributing = $6,000 (the minimum you can get)
    • 4 years of contributing = $8,000
    • 5 years of contributing = $10,000 (the maximum you can get).

How do you Apply?

For step by step details and application form – click here

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First Home Partner

First Home Partner is a government run shared ownership scheme for First Home Buyers and is managed by Kainga Ora. The following is a broad summary of the scheme.

To learn more visit First Home Partner by Kainga Ora

What is Shared Ownership?

Shared ownership means that a third party also owns a share of your property by contributing equity to the purchase of the property (in this case Kainga Ora) which you repay under an agreed arrangement.

Who is Eligible?

  • NZ citizen, permanent resident, or resident visa holder
  • Over 18 years of age
  • Total household income of no more than $150,000.00 before tax for the last 12 months
  • Have a good credit rating
  • First Home Buyers
  • Not previously received shared ownership assistance from Kainga Ora

Other Criteria

  • Must be for purchase of a property that you will reside in for at least 3 years.
  • Have a minimum 5% deposit (this can be savings, Kiwisaver, First Home Grant or money gifted.
  • Meet lending criteria for the relevant participating bank (Westpac, BNZ, or SBS)

How Much Equity will the First Home Partner scheme contribute?

  • Applicants are assessed on a case by case basis with the Maximum contribution up to 25% or $200,000 whichever is the lower.

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First Home Loan

Kainga Ora run a scheme to assist First Home Buyers called the First Home Loan.

How it works

First Home Loans are available via selected Banks and Kainga Ora underwrites the loans that would normally not get approved due to it being outside their lending standards.

First Home Loan Criteria

  • You need a 5% deposit – your deposit cannot be borrowed.
  • Be a first home buyer or be in a similar position to a first home buyer.
  • Meet the special lending criteria of the participating Bank.
  • Meet the income and house price caps as follows.

Income Limits

  • $95,000 for 1 buyer,
  • $150,000 for 1 buyer with 1 or more dependents,
  •  $150,000 for 2 or more buyers

Property Value Limits

As of May 2022, there are no longer property price caps throughout all of New Zealand.

Other Conditions

  • You must live in the property
  • Must be a standard residential property
  • You cannot own any other property
  • Applicants must be New Zealand Citizens or Permanent New Zealand Residents (holding a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’)
  • a $400 application applies – can often be added to loan
  • a 0.5% Low equity fee applies – can often be added to loan

First Home Loans are only available from some lenders.

The First Home Buyers Club can assist you with a pre-approval for a First Home Loan.

For help getting a First Home Loan, please complete the below form.


New Zealand Housing Foundation

The New Zealand Housing foundation is a not-for-profit, charitable trust set up to support and grow the community housing sector and provide affordable housing for low-income households.

The organisation is focused on developing communities and growing strong, safe neighbourhoods.

The Foundation offers various affordable housing opportunities.
Their most popular programme is called “affordable equity” and offers shared ownership of the house, between you and the Fopundation.

Other affordable housing programmes, like a no deposit “affordable rental”, are available and a programme can be tailored to meet your needs and circumstances.

For more information click here

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