The Kāinga Whenua Loan Scheme is an initiative between Kāinga Ora and Kiwibank to help Māori achieve home ownership on their multiply-owned land. This can also include land received by iwi and hapu as part of Treaty settlements.

Kiwibank will approve and provide the loan, and you will need to meet their standard lending criteria as well as the Kāinga Whenua criteria. Kāinga Ora will underwrite the loan for Kiwibank. A Kāinga Whenua loan is secured only against the house, not against the house and land as with most home loans.

What can I borrow?

With a Kāinga Whenua Loan what you can borrow is down to what you can afford. No deposit is required for a loan below $200,000, but there is a deposit requirement of 5% for every dollar borrowed above $200,000 For example, a $400,000 loan would require a deposit of $10,000. 

The approved loan value must include a 10% contingency amount – or 5% if a Master Build Guarantee is provided. Market interest rates will apply to the loan.

How does it work?

If you have a right to live on multiply-owned Māori land and can obtain a licence to occupy, a Kāinga Whenua loan can help you to build or purchase house on that land. The loan can also be used for repairs and maintenance for an existing house on multiply-owned land.

Kāinga Ora takes security over the house, through an agreement between the landowners, the applicant, and Kāinga Ora. This agreement requires the houses be built on piles, and able to be removed from the site if necessary. Applicants must also have a licence to occupy the land, a valuation from a registered valuer and a satisfactory building contract.

Am I eligible for a Kāinga Whenua loan?

To be eligible for a Kāinga Whenua loan for individuals, you need to meet both Kāinga Ora and Kiwibank’s affordability and eligibility requirements. Some of these include:

  • the land needs to be Māori land that can’t be mortgaged (including land received by iwi and hapu as part of a Treaty settlement) and that is either owned by multiple beneficial owners or the land ownership is vested in the trustees of a trust or incorporation created under Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993
  • you must be able to obtain a licence to occupy the land you wish to build on
  • at least one borrower must live full-time in the house (i.e. it is not to rent or for use as a holiday home)
  • you need to provide satisfactory proof of income to Kiwibank
  • you have a good credit history that is acceptable to Kiwibank

What can I use a Kāinga Whenua loan for?

In order to take security over just the house, a Kāinga Whenua loan has a few requirements on the type of houses you can build or purchase. This includes when accessing the loan to renovate or maintain your house.

 The requirements of a Kāinga Whenua loan are that the house needs to be:

  • built on piles
  • one storey of at least 50 square metres
  • have reasonable road access
  • be located on the mainland of the North or South Islands.

Next steps

To find out if you are eligible for a Kāinga Whenua loan, call Kiwibank on 0800 272 278.

Building on multiply-owned Māori land can be a long and complicated process. Kāinga Ora is here to support you through the process and you can call us on 0800 801 601 with any questions.

Page updated: 31 May 2024