You need to meet the lending requirements of a participating bank to receive a home loan and be able to contribute a minimum of 5% of the purchase price of the home you are interested in buying. The more you have available to contribute, the better.

To be eligible for First Home Partner, you must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • be a New Zealand citizen, permanent resident, or a resident visa holder who is “ordinarily resident in New Zealand”; OR be applying with someone who meets the citizenship or residency requirements, and you are married to or in a civil union or de facto partnership with that person
  • have a total household income before tax of no more than $130,000
  • have a good credit rating (subject to a credit report)
  • be a first home buyer
  • not previously received shared ownership support from Kāinga Ora

You must be buying the home for you to live in and commit to living there as your primary place of residence for at least three years from your settlement date. See what homes are eligible for First Home Partner(external link).

If you are applying as a multi-generational household, you'll need to get in touch with us before you apply.

Deposit requirements

You must provide evidence that you have a minimum contribution of 5% toward the purchase price of the home you want to buy. This can include money:

If you are using gifted money, you will need to supply a completed gift declaration.

First Home Partner gifting declaration [PDF, 24 KB]

The more you have to contribute toward the purchase of the home, the better, as this will help set you up closer to full home ownership. 

Bank lending criteria

In addition to meeting the Kāinga Ora eligibility criteria for First Home Partner, you will also need to satisfy the lending criteria of a participating bank in order for them to provide you with a home loan.

All banks and lenders have slightly different lending criteria, but they will include your financial ability to repay the loan, your financial circumstances, your credit history and the way you’ve conducted your bank accounts in the past.

View our participating banks

If you’ve previously owned a home

If you have previously owned a home in New Zealand or overseas, but no longer do, you may be eligible for First Home Partner. You will need to meet the standard eligibility criteria. In addition, you must:

  • not currently own a home in New Zealand or overseas
  • not have previously received financial support from First Home Partner
  • not have realisable assets worth more than 20% of the house price caps for homes in the area you are buying in.

Realisable assets are belongings that you could sell to help buy a house, including:

  • money in bank accounts (including fixed and term deposits)
  • shares, stocks and bonds
  • investments in banks or financial institutions
  • building society shares
  • boats or caravans worth over $5,000
  • other vehicles (such as classic motorbikes or cars that aren't your usual mode of transport)
  • other individual assets valued over $5,000
  • deposit funds paid to real estate agent.

KiwiSaver funds are not considered realisable assets.

Contact us

If you have questions before you apply, you can:

Page updated: 5 October 2021