Kiwisaver HomeStart

The National Party’s Kiwisaver HomeStart programme comes into effect 1st April 2015. We have been in contact with Housing NZ to find out more about the detail of the forthcoming changes. At this stage we are advised that the finer detail is yet to finalised. We will update our members as more information is made available but in the meantime, please find following details currently available;

To qualify for Kiwisaver HomeStart grant you must be purchasing a newly built house – in cases where the relevant dwelling has not yet been built, Housing NZ must be reasonably satisfied that the new dwelling will be built within the following timeframes; (and that the buyer has sufficient finance available to complete the purchase)

  • When purchasing a vacant residential section, a new dwelling must be built within 12 months of the purchase being settled
  • When purchasing a house and land package off the plans a new dwelling must be built within 12 months of the date on which the first home buyer entered into an agreement to purchase the house and land package
  • When purchasing an apartment off the plans, the new apartment must be built within 18 months of the date on which the first home buyer entered into an agreement to purchase the apartment.

What is the general eligibility criteria? 

  • Must have contributed to Kiwisaver for a minimum of 3 years
  • Be a first home owner (ie not owned land or property previously)
  • Must live in the property for at least 6 months

What will the new Kiwisaver Homestart housing price caps be?

  • $550,000 – Auckland
  • $450,000 – Western Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, Hamilton, Kapiti Coast,Porirua,Upper Hutt,Lower Hutt,Wellington, Nelson,Tasman,Waimakariri,Christchurch, Selwyn  & Queenstown
  • $350,000 – All other parts of NZ

What are the income thresholds for Kiwisaver HomeStart grants & Welcome Home Loan?

These remain unchanged as follows

  • $80,000 per annum  for a single buyer
  • $120,000 for 2+ Buyers

What are the KiwiSaver HomeStart grants available?

For newly built home the grants will increase as follows;

  • After 3 years in KiwiSaver $6000 per KiwiSaver Member
  • After 4 years in Kiwisaver $8000 per KiwiSaver Member
  • After 5 years in KiwiSaver $10,000 per KiwiSaver member

So for a couple both eligible for the Grants sums available will be;

  • After 3 years in KiwiSaver $12,000 per couple
  • After 4 years in Kiwisaver $16,000 per couple
  • After 5 years in KiwiSaver $20,000 per couple

What changes are being made to the Kiwisaver first home withdrawal scheme?

In addition to being able to withdraw both your and your employers contributions plus earnings, you will also be able to withdraw your member tax credits. This means effectively that you will be able to withdraw all your Kiwisaver funds with the exception of the $1000 kickstart.


What is the Criteria for Welcome Home Loans?

  • Must meet income and property caps as above
  • Must have 10% deposit – Cannot be borrowed
  • Must meet bank lending criteria

Please note that you do not need to be a KiwiSaver Member to qualify for a Welcome Home Loan

We have put some questions to Housing NZ with respect to the new scheme and will publish these once we have a response. In the meantime we welcome your questions which we will endeavour to get answers for you.


The First Home Buyers Club can assist with you with your Welcome Home Loan Application – call us on 0800449049 – or contact us via our online contact form!

We’re with you every step of the way!


Karen Lewis October 17, 2014 Blog, KiwiSaver, Latest News