A low deposit home loan could help you get into your first home sooner than you think.

First Home Loan

  • A First Home Loan (previously known as a Welcome Home Loan) could get you into your first home with just a 5% deposit.

  • Some or all of your deposit can be gifted by a family member.

  • You can choose how to structure your loan – with a fixed rate, a variable rate an offset mortgage, or a combo of them.

How it works

First Home Loan is an initiative supported by Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities, designed to help first time buyers onto the property ladder.

It could work for you if you could afford mortgage repayments, but haven't got enough for a deposit.

To be eligible, you must plan to live in the house you buy - the loan can’t be used to buy a rental or investment property.

There are income limits in place to be eligible for a First Home Loan. You can apply if your annual household income is less than $95,000 before tax year (if you’re the sole borrower) or less than a combined $150,000 before tax if you’re buying a house with other people.

You can use money you’ve been gifted by a relative and you may also be able to use your KiwiSaver to put funds towards the purchase.

What can you buy?

There are house price caps in place, depending on where you live and whether you’re buying an existing property or building a new home:


New builds

Existing/older properties




Queenstown-Lakes District



Wellington (Wellington City, Hutt City, Upper Hutt City, Porirua and Kāpiti Coast District)



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



Christchurch City, Selwyn District, Waimakariri District



Waikato District, Dunedin City



Rest of New Zealand




You might have to pay a First Home Loan – Lenders Mortgage Insurance fee. The fee is 1% of the home loan amount and covers the Lenders Mortgage Insurance Premium that Kāinga Ora charges to insure each First Home Loan. You can choose to pay it upfront or add it to your loan.

Starting over?

The First Home Loans are designed for first home buyers, but you might still be eligible if you’ve owned a home before but are in a similar financial position to a typical first home buyer. For example, if you’ve been through a divorce, no longer own a home and are starting from scratch financially.

Kāinga Whenua — home ownership on Māori land

Tena koutou e te iwi. The Kāinga Whenua loan scheme is an initiative between Kiwibank and Kāinga Ora to help Māori achieve home ownership on papakainga.

The name Kāinga Whenua combines the concepts of home or homestead (kāinga) and connection to ancestral Maori owned lands (whenua/ahikaa).

Kāinga Whenua supports ahikaa and haukainga to help address whānau papakainga housing aspirations and can be used to build, buy, renovate, repair or relocate a house on to your whenua Māori.

How it works

  • If you’re applying as an individual, you have to have a right to live on multiple-owned Māori land (ie you hold a licence to occupy)
  • A Kāinga Whenua loan is only secured against the house, not against the house and land as is usually the case with home loans.
  • You may be able to borrow up to $200,000 with no deposit
  • In some circumstances you may be able to borrow more than $200,000
  • Kiwibank’s standard lending criteria apply.

What are the steps I need to take?

For individuals

  • See the Kāinga Ora website for eligibility requirements
  • Apply for conditional approval
  • Seek the support of the owners for your occupation on the block
  • Confirm home design/construction
  • Seek final loan approval from Kiwibank.

For Maori land trusts

The first step is to fill out a Registration of Interest form. You’ll need to provide a copy of the trust’s most recent audited accounts and details of your housing project. The form will be reviewed by Kāinga Ora, the Māori Housing Unit (MBIE) and Kiwibank.

Once you’re successfully through this review, you can begin the home loan application process.

See more information about Kāinga Whenua Loans for Maori land trusts or call 0508 935 266.