Property Pointers - Using Kiwisaver to buy your first home

Are you a first home/section buyer? Your KiwiSaver may be able to help you fund the purchase price with the Kiwisaver First Home Deposit Subsidy.

Minimum contribution period

If you have been contributing to a KiwiSaver scheme for 3 years you may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver to help pay the purchase price. Some KiwiSaver funds do not allow you to withdraw your contributions to purchase a first home. Check first. The government contributions to your KiwiSaver are not able to be withdrawn. For example, the $1,000.00 kick start you received from the government can not be withdrawn.

Single buyer

If you are over 18 years of age, you have contributed to a KiwiSaver scheme for at least three years and you are buying your first home or section you may be entitled to a deposit subsidy from the government. For every full year of contributions you will receive $1,000.00 up to a maximum of $5,000.00 for 5 years of contributions.


If you are a couple, over 18 years of age, buying your first home or section and you have:

  • a combined yearly income of $120,000.00 or less (before tax); and
  • both parties have contributed to a KiwiSaver scheme for 3 or more years; and
  • you are going to live in the property for at least six months,

then both parties can apply for the deposit subsidy. The couple could receive up to $10,000.00. If you still have not found a house you can apply for a “pre-approval” which lasts for 180 days after which the pre-approval will expire and a new application will need processed. Housing New Zealand administers the deposit subsidy. There is an application form that can be obtained from

Documents and information required

You must provide:

  • 12 months of income information, as well as the persons wanting to buy property with you, as well as tax returns from the time you joined Kiwisaver;
  • All your Kiwisaver contribution information. This can be obtained from, click in MyKiwiSaver, use your IRD online services user name and password, select “view transactions”, click on the drop down box to select “deductions from salary/wages” change the start date to 1 July 2007, then apply filter, click “view all pages”, print.
  • Copy of your passport, driver licence or birth certificate.
  • Copy of the sale and purchase agreement.
  • Your last two months’ worth of payslips

Processing time

Housing New Zealand need at least 4 to 6 weeks to receive the application and process it. If successful the subsidy is paid to your solicitor on the settlement date. Due to the time delay it is a good idea to get in early for a pre-approval rather than wait until you have made an offer on a property.