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KiwiSaver First Home Withdrawal

KiwiSaver can help you purchase your first home! If you are going to buy your first home, you may be able to withdraw some of your KiwiSaver savings to put towards it. You may also qualify for a one-off contribution of up to $5,000 through Housing New Zealand’s first home deposit subsidy.

If you have not yet joined a KiwiSaver scheme, join now and get saving for your first home.

Applying for a first home withdrawal from KiwiSaver

You may be able to use the first home withdrawal from KiwiSaver to help you purchase your first home if you meet the following conditions:

  • You must have been a member of KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years.
  • You must have never owned a house or land before.*
  • The house or land you are purchasing must be in New Zealand and intended to be your principal place of residence – a rental investment property would not qualify.
  • You must not have made a withdrawal from a KiwiSaver scheme for the purchase of a home before.

*If you have previously owned a property you may be eligible to withdraw from your KiwiSaver account to help purchase a home if you can show that you are in a similar financial position to a first home buyer. The eligibility of previous home owners for the ‘second chance’ withdrawal is assessed by Housing New Zealand. If you already hold land and wish to use your KiwiSaver savings to assist with building your first home, you will not qualify for a first home withdrawal.

Next steps

If you are a member of the Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme, contact us to confirm your KiwiSaver start date and find out how much you may be able to access through the first home withdrawal. 

Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme members who wish to apply for a withdrawal will need to complete the First or Second Chance Home Withdrawal form, available by emailing us at or by calling us on 0800 427 384. If you have previously owned a property, you will need to apply to Housing New Zealand in the first instance to assess your eligibility for a second chance withdrawal.

If you do intend to withdraw your KiwiSaver money for a first home purchase in the next few years, we recommend that you review your investment direction to ensure it reflects the timeframe you’re working towards.

Please note that it may take up to four weeks for us to cash up your investments and process your withdrawal, so do contact us as soon as you know that you will need to withdraw your savings for a property purchase.  

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Second chance withdrawal

In some circumstances, if you have previously owned a house or land you may still be eligible to withdraw your KiwiSaver savings as a second chance withdrawal. To qualify, you have to satisfy the Housing New Zealand criteria showing that you are in a similar financial position to a first home buyer. You will need to make an initial application to Housing New Zealand, including details of your income and any assets or liabilities, to determine your eligibility. Information about qualifying is on this page of the Housing New Zealand website.

In addition, previous home owners may also be eligible to receive the first home deposit subsidy through Housing New Zealand.

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First home deposit subsidy

As well as the first home withdrawal, KiwiSaver members may also qualify for a first home deposit subsidy from Housing New Zealand.

The subsidy is $1,000 for each year you have contributed to KiwiSaver, up to a maximum of $5,000. So if you’ve contributed for three years, you could get $3,000; for four years, $4,000; and $5,000 for five years or longer. You can only receive this subsidy once.

You are only eligible for the subsidy if you can meet specific conditions determined by Housing New Zealand, including the following:

  • You must have contributed the minimum contribution percentage to a KiwiSaver scheme (or complying fund) for at least three years. More details
    • The minimum percentage of income KiwiSaver members need to contribute is:
      • 4% between 1 July 2007 and 31 March 2009
      • 2% between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2012
      • 3% from 1 April 2013.

    • This condition applies to everyone applying for the deposit subsidy, even those not legally required to make minimum contributions. This means self-employed KiwiSaver members and beneficiaries will need to contribute the minimum percentage of their income, and non-earners must contribute the minimum percentage of the minimum wage in order to qualify for the subsidy.

    • The three year qualification period can be broken up into separate periods. For example, those who take a contributions holiday can still be eligible for the deposit subsidy, as long as the total time spent contributing the minimum rate adds up to three years or more.

  • The property you purchase (house and land combined) must be within the regional house price caps. More details
      • $400,000 for Auckland City, Selwyn District, Wellington City and Queenstown Lakes District;
      • $300,000 for all other areas.

    • From 1 October 2013 the regional house price caps are:
      • $485,000 for Auckland City;
      • $425,000 for Wellington City and Queenstown Lakes;
      • $400,000 for Christchurch City and Selwyn district;
      • $350,000 for Thames/Coromandel, Waimakariri, Hamilton City, Western Bay of Plenty, Hutt City (Lower Hutt), Upper Hutt, Kapiti Coast, Tasman/Nelson, Tauranga City and Porirua City;
      • $300,000 for the rest of New Zealand.

  • The total income of the house buyers must be within the stated caps. More details
      • For one or two buyers the combined yearly income should be $100,000 or less (before tax).
      • For three or more buyers the combined yearly income should be $140,000 or less (before tax).

    • From 1 October 2013 the regional house price caps are:
      • $80,000 for a single buyer;
      • $120,000 for two or more buyers.

  • From 1 October 2013 you must have a deposit that is equal to or in excess of 10% of the purchase price. This can include the deposit subsidy amount you may be eligible for. 

See full details on the eligibility criteria for the deposit subsidy on the Housing NZ website and contact them to apply – phone: 0508 935 266,

Got any questions?

Search our Answer Room for more on first home withdrawals or ask us a question.

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