Couple in their first home

First home withdrawal

If you're a first-home buyer, you may be able to use your KiwiSaver account to help fund your purchase.

You're eligible to make a withdrawal if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have been in a KiwiSaver scheme for three years

It pays to set up your KiwiSaver account as soon as possible. Even if you're not currently looking at houses, it's a good idea to start working off that three-year waiting period so that when the time is right, you'll be able to make your withdrawal immediately.

  • You are buying your first home (including land and build packages)

To be eligible, you cannot have owned a home, or an 'estate in land' before. Limited exceptions, usually relating to holdings via certain trust types do apply and we recommend you consult your solicitor if this applies to you.

Also, if Kainga Ora agrees that you're in the same financial position as a first home buyer - even if you have owned a home before - you may still be allowed to make a withdrawal. You will not be able to make a withdrawal if you have already made a KiwiSaver first home withdrawal. For more information check out the Kainga Ora website.

  • The house is in New Zealand

You must also intend to live in the house. If you’re buying a house as an investment property, you won't be eligible to make a first home withdrawal.

Other things to keep in mind:

  • You need to leave $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account
  • You can't use any money that you've transferred to your KiwiSaver account from an Australian superannuation scheme.
  • It will take us up to ten working days to process your request for a first-home buyers’ withdrawal. If you are organising finance for a house purchase, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

KiwiSaver First Home Grant

You may also qualify for a First Home Grant (previously known as a KiwiSaver HomeStart Grant). This grant is administered by Kainga Ora and is worth up to $5,000 if you're purchasing an existing home, or $10,000 if you're buying a new home or planning to build one.

You can combine your grant with that received by another eligible KiwiSaver member. So if you're buying a first home as a couple and you both qualify for the First Home Grant, you can receive up to $10,000 for an existing home and up to $20,000 for a new home.

To qualify for this grant, you need to meet various criteria:

  1. You need to be a first home buyer and planning to live in the house for six months or more
  2. You need to have been contributing at least 3% of your income to your KiwiSaver account for at least three years (or 3% of the minimum wage for non-earners).
  3. The house needs to be under certain price limits as outlined below:

Property caps are from 1 April 2021. Regions are defined by city and district council boundaries.

Region New property cap Existing/older property cap
Auckland $700,000 $625,000
Queenstown-Lakes District $650,000 $600,000
Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City, Kāpiti Coast District $650,000 $550,000
Nelson City, Tasman District, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Hamilton District, Wāipa District, Hastings District, Napier City $600,000 $525,000
Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Waimakariri District $550,000 $500,000
Waikato District, Dunedin City $550,000 $425,000
Rest of New Zealand $500,000 $400,000

There are also household income limits of:

  • $95,000 a year or less for one buyer;
  • $150,000 a year or less for two or more buyers

You also need to provide evidence you have a deposit that is at least 5% or more of the purchase price. Note that this amount may be less than your bank's requirements.

To find out more about the First Home Grant, check out the Kainga Ora website.

If you have owned a home before

If you have previously owned a home (including overseas) you can also qualify for both the first home withdrawal and the KiwiSaver HomeStart grant, provided Kāinga Ora determines that you are in the same financial position as a first home buyer.

For more information about the eligibility criteria and the application process, visit Kāinga Ora's website.

This page contains information of a general nature and is correct as at 1 April 2021. Medical Funds Management Limited is the manager and issuer of investments in the MAS KiwiSaver Scheme (the Scheme). A copy of the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for the Scheme is available here. If you would like to talk to a MAS adviser, phone 0800 800 627 or email