KiwiSaver Questions, General

What Stops You From Using KiwiSaver For First Home

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What Stops You From Using KiwiSaver For First Home

As a member of KiwiSaver, the purpose is to either access once you are over the age of 65 or to use it as a deposit for a first home. To use it for a first home deposit, members need to keep in mind that they need to meet the eligibility criteria to access it. As well as this, you also need to leave a minimum balance of $1,000 in your KiwiSaver account.

What will hold you back from being eligible for KiwiSaver first home

To be eligible for using your KiwiSaver for a first home deposit, there are a handful of things you need to keep in mind.

Firstly, to access KiwiSaver for a first home purchase, you must be a member for at least three years. If not, you may need to wait until three years. 

As the name suggests, it will also need to be your first time buying a home. However, some special situations allow you to withdraw even though you have previously purchased a home. 

If you are planning on not living in the house, you will not be eligible either. This is because first-home KiwiSaver withdrawals are intended for living in. So it cannot be used as a rental property. It also cannot be used for a home overseas and needs to be bought within New Zealand.

If you have previously owned property or land before, this will stop you from using it as well. However, as mentioned previously, there is a way to use it to purchase a home even if you have previously owned a home or property before. This would be through Kāinga Ora, which also requires you to be eligible.

What do I need to withdraw my KiwiSaver balance?

Suppose you are thinking about withdrawing from KiwiSaver for a first home. You will also need an application form for your KiwiSaver provider at least ten working days before the settlement date.

If you have already bought or settled, you won't be eligible for the first-home withdrawal as you already have ownership of a property. However, this may cause some financial problems, so make sure you talk with your financial adviser before beginning the process of purchasing a home.

Special Situations 

Suppose you are already or were previously a homeowner or property owner. You may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver through Kāinga Ora. Kāinga Ora (Homes and Communities) is a Crown entity set up under the Kāinga Ora - Home and Communities Act 2019, a Crown agency under the Crown Entities Act 2004.

If you are a previous homeowner, you will still need to apply through your scheme provider. First, however, Kāinga Ora needs to determine whether you are qualified to withdraw. To be eligible essentially means you are in the same circumstances as someone purchasing a first home.

What stops you from using Kāinga Ora for a withdrawal are similar to the requirements of a regular first-home buyer but with additional needs.

Some ways you may not apply, specifically for Kāinga Ora, is if you haven't owned property or land before. If you haven't bought a property or land, this would mean that you can do it through normal means with your KiwiSaver provider.

Another circumstance that would stop you from using Kāinga Ora is if you have realisable assets of more than 20% of the house price cap, you won't be eligible because it would mean that you have enough assets to liquidate and sell to purchase a deposit on your own. These assets would include any investments you may have, building society shares, money in bank accounts. Items such as boats and caravans over the value of $5,000, vehicles with a value of $5,000 that are not being used for transportation, and money that real estate agents may hold as a deposit on the property or other assets over $5,000.


Always talk to a trusted financial advisor about any questions you may have about the withdrawal process. If not, you may not be eligible. By keeping in touch and communicating, you won’t miss out on any essential steps within the process.

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