Buying Your First Home?

Need help understanding KiwiSaver and what grants and financial support are available?

There are some schemes you may have heard of and some that are less known.

These schemes include:


(Withdraw almost all of you KiwiSaver contributions)


(Up to $20,000 per couple)


(Get a loan with as low as 5% deposit)


(Become a co-owner with Kāinga Ora)


(Help for Maori to build on ancestral land)

Here's what you need to know

KiwiSaver Withdrawal

KiwiSaver withdrawal If you have been a member if KiwiSaver for at least 3 years, you may be able to make a withdrawal from your savings to put towards buying your first home. Eligible members can withdraw their KiwiSaver savings (including tax credits). However at least $1,000 must remain in their KiwiSaver account.

First Home Grant

If you’ve been contributing to your KiwiSaver for at least 3 years you may be eligible for a First Home Grant of up to $10,000 to top up your deposit. If you buy a new home or land to build on, you can get $2,000 for each year up to 5 years with a maximum of $10,000 per person.
To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:
  • Be over 18 years old

  • Have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months

  • Not currently own any property or land, this does not include

    ownership of Māori land

  • Have been contributing at least the minimum amount to

    KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more

  • Purchase a property that is within the regional house price


  • Agree to live in your new house for at least 6 months.

  • In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:

    -  $95,000 or less before tax for a individual buyer

    -  $150,000 or less before tax for a individual buyer with one or more dependents

    -  $150,000 or less before tax for 2 or more buyers, regardless of the number of dependents.

A person who has dependents has the responsibility for the part- time or full-time care of a child, children, or other dependent adults in a household who are unable to live independently. If the dependents are aged 18 or over, you will need to tell us why they are dependent on you for their ongoing care.

Providing financial support alone does not meet the definition of having responsibility for the care of a dependent.

First Home Grant caps in your area for new builds

Tauranga Urban Area
(Tauranga, Western Bay of Plenty District)


Matamata-Piako District


Hamilton Urban Area
(Hamilton City, Waipā District, Waikato District)


Other schemes worth knowing about:

The First Home Loan Scheme

Run by Kāinga Ora enables qualifying buyers to purchase a home with a 5% deposit. Kāinga Ora doesn’t provide the deposit. Instead, it provides a guarantee, enabling your bank to lend more to you than its normal lending standards would otherwise allow. Like the KiwiSaver First Home Grant, there is an income cap and a regional house price cap.

First Home Partner

Is another government scheme that allows qualifying buyers to share ownership of a brand-new home with Kāinga Ora. Kāinga Ora buys up to 25% of the property that you’re interested in, and becomes a co-owner on the title. Over time, the home owner will eventually buy out Kāinga Ora’s share.

The Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme

Run by Kāinga Ora and Kiwibank helps Māori build or relocate homes onto ancestral land. If you’re eligible for a KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal, you can also put any funds obtained that way towards the purchase of a Kāinga Whenua property.