Below you’ll find some of the common questions about First Home Partner. These FAQs are intended to be helpful, but they are not a complete discussion and should not be substituted for legal advice.

If you cannot find the answer you’re looking for, the team is available to help 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.

How much equity can Kāinga Ora offer?
Each applicant for First Home Partner is assessed on a case by case basis. The maximum contribution Kāinga Ora will make towards a home purchase is 25% or $200,000 – whichever is lower.

Can I buy any home with First Home Partner?
Not any home. First Home Partner specifically supports the purchase of newly built homes that have received their Code Compliance Certificates within the previous 12 months and have not been previously owned or occupied (except by the builder or developer).

Can I use First Home Partner to purchase land to build a house on?
No. First Home Partner is designed to support the purchase of brand-new builds.

I own land with no home on it, am I still eligible for First Home Partner?
No, you will not be eligible for First Home Partner if you currently own or have an interest in land, even if there is no home currently on it.

Are there house price caps?
No. The value of the property you purchase with Kāinga Ora will be determined by your deposit, the first home partner contribution, and the amount a bank is willing to lend you

Is there a minimum income requirement to purchase a home?
There is no minimum income required to purchase a home, but your total household income will need to be enough to satisfy Kāinga Ora that you will be able to buy our share within the first 15 years of ownership and the lending requirements of one of the participating banks in order to service a home loan.

How much of a deposit will I need?
You will need to contribute a minimum of 5% of the purchase price of the home you are looking to buy. However, it is important you contribute as much as you can, as the more you contribute, the closer you will be to full home ownership.

How much will I be able to borrow?
You will need to meet with one of the participating banks to discuss your individual circumstances and receive guidance on how much you may be able to borrow to purchase a home. Banks will have their own lending criteria they will assess you on.

Can I use my KiwiSaver in addition to First Home Partner to help purchase a home?
If you are a first home buyer and have been a contributing member of a KiwiSaver fund for at least three years, you may be able to withdraw part or all your savings to put toward the purchase of a home.

Find more information about Kiwisaver first-home withdrawal

I’m eligible for First Home Partner and the First Home Grant, can I use both to purchase a home together?
You may be able to use a First Home Grant and First Home Partner together to purchase a home, provided you have submitted a separate successful application for both.

Check your eligibility for the First Home Grant

I’m eligible for First Home Partner and the First Home Loan, can I use both to purchase a home together?
If you are eligible for First Home Loan, that means you are able to secure a low deposit home loan from a participating bank or lender and should not require the support from First Home Partner.

What happens if I am not approved?
You will receive a letter outlining the outcome of your application, including the reasons your application has not been approved. You can get in touch with us if you need further clarification on the outcome of your application.

How do I purchase the Kāinga Ora share?
You can purchase the share of the home owned by Kāinga Ora either in small increments (no lower than $1,000) or one lump sum. You may choose to do this by using your savings or borrowing from your bank (subject to bank approval). When you purchase the share of the home owned by Kāinga Ora, you do so at the then current market value.

Can I borrow more from a bank to buy the share owned by Kāinga Ora?
Yes, this is an option available to you subject to lending approval from your chosen bank. You will need a letter from Kāinga Ora confirming that the top up is for the purpose of buying some, or all, of the share owned by Kāinga Ora’s before the bank can approve your request.

Why is the valuation of the home by the bank different the valuation done by Kāinga Ora?
When you apply for lending from a participating bank, the bank will use a valuation from their property data provide, which may differ from the valuation that Kāinga Ora holds.

Can I renovate or make additions to my property?
You will need to seek prior approval from Kāinga Ora if you want to carry out renovations or improvements as long as we remain a co-owner of the home.

Can I rent out my home?
No. You are expected to live in your home as your primary place of residence, and for at least three years after your settlement date.

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The team is available to help 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Page updated: 5 October 2021