Welcome To KiwiSaver HomeStart for First Home Buyers

Today marks the start of the new KiwiSaver Home Start Scheme for First Home Buyers. The scheme replaces the previous First Home Buyers Subsidy and also increases value of withdrawals that can be made from KiwiSaver Schemes.

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  • You can withdraw all contributions including member’s tax credits can be withdrawn (with the exception of the Government $1,000 kick-start).

How do you Apply?

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


  • Housing NZ does not manage the KiwiSaver Withdrawal.
  • The Kiwisaver withdrawal feature is separate from the HomeStart Grant. Eligibility for withdrawal has less criteria to that of the HomeStart 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.
  • KiwiSaver Funds can not be used to make a down payment on a property as these funds are only become available on day of settlement
  • ** minimum contributions required


Eligibility For HomeStart Grant

  • Must be 18 years or over & currently do not own a home or land.
  • Have not received the HomeStart grant or previous KiwiSaver deposit subsidy before.
  • 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 allowable percentage of my total income to a KiwiSaver scheme, complying fund or exempt employer scheme for at least three years. (From 1 April 2013 the minimum contribution was increased to 3 percent of your income, 3 percent of the minimum wage for non-earners or 3 percent of your yearly benefit for beneficiaries. From 1 July 2007 to 31 March 2009 the minimum contribution was 4 percent, and from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2013 it was reduced to 2 percent.)
  • Are the sole purchaser and have earned $80,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months or;Aare two or more buyers who have earned a combined income of $120,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months.
  • Have a deposit that is 10 percent or more of the purchase price. (The 10 percent deposit includes the money you can withdraw through the KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal feature, the HomeStart grant amount you or the other purchasers may be eligible for and any other funds, such as savings, fixed and term deposits or funds already paid to a real estate agent or solicitor. The deposit can also be gifted by a relative with a gifting declaration.) Note that the deposit cannot be borrowed or secured against other property, in order to qualify.
  • buying one of the following types of property and land arrangements:
      • fee simple
      • stratum estate (freehold and leasehold)
      • cross-lease (freehold and leasehold)
      • leasehold
      • multiple-owned Maori land.
  • Must be purchasing a property within the regional property value caps as follows;
    • Auckland – $550,000
    • Hamilton City, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Kapiti Coast District, Porirua City, Upper Hutt City, Hutt City, Wellington City, Nelson City, Tasman District, Waimakariri District, Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Queenstown Lakes District – $450,000
    • Rest of New Zealand – $350,000.

What Can You Get?

Existing Property

  • If you are purchasing an existing/older home, the HomeStart 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).

If you are buying an existing house click here for more info

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).
  • For more info on purchasing
    If you are buying land to build a home on click here for more info.

How do you Apply?

For step by step details and application form – click here

For detailed info on documents required click here


Housing NZ often has to return applications several times due to errors in the application form. Check out these Common Mistakes to avoid delays in processing of your application!