Kiwisaver and Homestart

5 May 2017

There are some major frustrations and misunderstandings surrounding Kiwisaver and Homestart and this article will attempt to clarify some major points on both these initiatives. 


The Kiwisaver Withdrawal relates to the funds that a client has contributing to their Kiwisaver provider.  The client can withdraw all contributions with the exception of the Government contributions.  The individual needs to have contributed to their Kiwisaver for at least 3 years before they are eligible to withdraw these funds. 

Approval for Kiwisaver generally takes 10 – 15 working Days.  Some Kiwisaver Providers allow you to apply for Pre-approval to withdraw these funds but not all.  Kiwisaver providers can advise you how much you are able to withdraw at any time.

Some Kiwisavers can make funds available to pay the deposit as stipulated on the sale & purchase agreement.  Some will not. 

Homestart is a Housing NZ Initiative.  You need to be contributing to your Kiwisaver for a period of at least 3 years to be eligible to withdraw the subsidy from Housing NZ.  You may be able to access $1,000 for each year that you have been contributing up to a maximum of $5,000.  This is per person so if you are a couple that would be a maximum of $10,000.  If you are purchasing a new house (ie under 12 months old) or a building a new home then you can double that subsidy. 


To be eligible for Homestart you cannot purchase a house above the maximum thresholds as stipulated on their website.  The Thresholds vary depending on the location of the property that you are purchasing.

You can apply for Pre-approval from Housing NZ for the Homestart Subsidy.  It is preferable to apply online as this is by far quicker.

Approval for Homestart application is approximately 10 working days.  However it will be another 20 working days at least before the funds can be advanced. 

We suggest the following:

  1. Get preapproval from Housing NZ online.  When applying make sure you send up exactly what they have asked for.   Often documentation has been lost so keep a copy for your records. 

  2. Ask your Kiwisaver provider if they can give pre-approval to withdraw your funds.  If they can, put in a pre-approval request.  If not ask for written confirmation on how much you could withdraw.    

  3. Ask your Kiwisaver provider if they are able to advance funds earlier to cover the deposit stipulated on the sale & purchase agreement. 

  4. If you do not have pre-approval from your Kiwisaver provider and/or Housing NZ then ask for a finance date of at least 15 working days and get on to applying to Kiwisaver and Housing NZ immediately ie as soon as the contract is signed. 

  5. Make sure that settlement date is at least 20 working days from the time you go unconditional to allow time for Kiwisaver and  Housing NZ funds come through.  



Published In Whakatane Beacon

This post was written by

Trish Marsden - who has written 96 posts

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