Getting your deposit together

The first step in buying your first home is saving for a deposit. As a first home buyer your deposit doesn’t need to come from savings alone. You could also use:

  • KiwiSaver first home withdrawal
  • Grants
  • Gifts



Kiwisaver first-home withdrawal

If you’ve been a member of KiwiSaver for at least three years, you may be able to withdraw your KiwiSaver funds to put towards your first home. There are a few criteria that need to be met – see if you’re eligible here.




There are three grants that you could be eligible for to help grow your deposit:

KiwiSaver First Home Grant

This grant can be used towards buying an existing/older home and you can get up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 when there are two or more eligible buyers. Here’s the criteria to see if you're eligible:

  • KiwiSaver First Home Grant criteria
    • You must be 18 years or over

    • Have not received the First Home Grant or KiwiSaver deposit subsidy before

    • You must have contributed regularly to KiwiSaver for a minimum of three years, at least the minimum allowable percentage of your total income

    • Earned $85,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months as a sole buyer, or if two or more buyers – a combined income of $130,000 or less (before tax) in the last 12 months

    • Have a deposit that is 10% or more of the purchase price. This can include the KiwiSaver first home withdrawal, First Home Grant and any other funds such as savings, or a deposit gifted by a relative




KiwiBuild is a government supported programme aimed to help more Kiwis into their own homes. KiwiBuild is supporting developers to build quality, affordable housing for first home buyers and second chancers through a ballot process. To buy a KiwiBuild home, you need to check to see if you’re eligible, pre-qualify and then enter a ballot.

  • KiwiBuild criteria
    • You need to be a first home buyer, or in a similar financial position to a first home buyer (second chancers)

    • Have a deposit of 10% or more of the purchase price

    • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent New Zealand resident

    • Have an income of no more than $120,000 for a single purchaser, or no more than $180,000 for multiple purchasers

    • Intend to own and live in the home as your main place of residence for at least three years


Your family can also help you get your deposit together in a formal way such as gifting, or acting as a guarantor.

A gift from family

You may be able to get your family to help out with your first home deposit. You might have the income to service the loan, but don’t have enough deposit without a family member’s help.

Your deposit may be gifted, or you might agree to pay it back later. We recommend that you and your family member seek legal advice, so you’re both clear on the expectations.

Using a guarantor

Instead of having the deposit gifted to you, another option is for your family member to act as your guarantor.

This means we use the equity from your family’s property as security for your loan. If they’re choosing to act as your guarantor, they’ll be responsible for repaying some or your entire loan if you’re not able to pay it. We recommend getting legal advice on this option as there can be serious implications if you don’t meet your loan obligations.

Your deposit

These elements, plus your own savings can all help get you into your first home. For more information talk to our home lending specialists at TSB today. 

If you’re unsure if your deposit is enough, the best option is to have a chat with our team – we’ll work through the figures with you. You may find you can buy your first home sooner than you think!