What is the Kāinga Ora First Home Grant? And How Much is It?

If you’re a first home buyer looking for help navigating the property-buying world, Canstar is here to help. In this story we take a look at Kāinga Ora’s First Home Grant and how it may get you one step closer to sealing a deal on a home.

First Home Grant: What is it?

It’s access to a grant of up to $10,000. If you’re a first-time home buyer, or a previous home owner and you’ve been making regular KiwiSaver contributions for 3 to 5 years, you may be eligible for a First Home Grant. You can apply for the grant through Kāinga Ora.

In this article, we cover:

What are the conditions?

To be eligible for a First Home Grant, you must:

  • Be over 18
  • Have earned less than the income caps in the last 12 months
  • Not currently own any property
  • Have been contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver (or complying fund or exempt employer scheme) for 3 years or more
  • Purchase a property that is within the regional house price caps
  • Agree to live in your new house for at least six  months

You must also make sure the house or land you want to buy meets the property requirements.

First Home Grant

KiwiSaver contribution requirements

You must have been regularly contributing at least the minimum amount to KiwiSaver for three years. The minimum contribution is currently 3% of your total income. Check out Kāinga Ora’s site for a full rundown on KiwiSaver requirements.

Also see our story: Sort Out Your KiwiSaver in 2021: A How to Guide for tips on ensuring you’ve chosen the right fund for you. Use Canstar’s comparison tools, they’re helpful and free to use. Our latest report also highlights the best-value providers and schemes on the market. Just click below:

Compare KiwiSaver providers for free with Canstar!

Deposit requirements

You must provide evidence that you have a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price of the house you want to buy or build. This can include money:

  • From your KiwiSaver first-home withdrawal
  • From your First Home Grant approval/pre-approval amount
  • That you have saved in the bank
  • You have already paid towards the property
  • Gifted by a close family member. (If using gifted money, you’ll need to supply a completed declaration)

Property requirements

The property purchase price must be within the regional house price caps. You must also agree to live in your home for at least six months from:

  • The date you buy your home (the settlement date), or
  • The date the code compliance certificate for the house is issued, if it is a new build
  • You must not currently own any land or property

First Home Grant

How does the grant work?

You can apply for either:

  • Pre-approval before you start looking for a property to buy – this gives you certainty around eligiblity and how much you may qualify for
  • A grant approval if you’ve found a property and have a signed sale and purchase agreement

If you buy an existing home

You can get $1000 for each of the three (or more) years you’ve paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $5000 for five or more years.

If you buy a new home or land

You can get $2000 for each of the three (or more) years you’ve paid into the scheme. The most you can get is $10,000 for five or more years.

What are the new price and income caps?

As of April 1, 2021, the First Home income and house price caps increased across NZ.

New house price caps


Existing Property Cap

New Property Cap


$625,000 $700,000

Queenstown-Lakes District



Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua City, Kāpiti Coast District



Nelson City, Tasman District, Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District, Hamilton City, Waipā District, Hastings District, Napier City



Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Waimakariri District



Waikato District, Dunedin City



Rest of New Zealand $400,000


New income requirements

In the 12 months before you apply, you must have earned:

  • $95,000 or less before tax for a single buyer
  • $150,000 or less before tax for two or more buyers.

First Home Grant

What is Kāinga Ora?

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities was founded in October 2019. It’s a government organisation that brings together the people, capabilities and resources of the KiwiBuild Unit, Housing New Zealand and its development subsidiary HLC. It was designed to enable a more cohesive approach to delivering the government’s priorities for housing and urban development in New Zealand. 

Canstar has a full guide on buying your first home in our story:

Related article: Help for First Home Buyers: What’s on Offer?

You may want to also check out: Can You Buy a House With No Deposit?

Want to save money on your mortgage? Canstar can help

One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of buying a home is to ensure that you secure the lowest mortgage rate. And this is something Canstar can help you with, thanks to our free and easy-to-use comparison tools. For our five-star home loan awards click here, or to compare rates hit this button:

Compare home loan rates for free with Canstar!

Enjoy reading this article?

You can like us on Facebook and get social, or sign up to receive more news like this straight to your inbox.

By subscribing you agree to the Canstar Privacy Policy

Share this article