Kainga Ora First Home Partner / Shared Equity Scheme


The First Home Partner scheme is a Kainga Ora product which was launched in October 2021 as part of the Progressive Home Ownership Scheme (you can read more about this in our earlier blog post here). The First Home Partner has recently undergone some changes and updates. These changes are set to provide aspiring homeowners with more options for what sort of home they can purchase under the Kainga Ora First Home Partner Scheme. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key changes and how they can benefit you.

1. Purchase Existing Homes: More Choices for Buyers

One of the most significant updates to the First Home Partner scheme is the expansion of eligible properties. Initially, the scheme focused on new builds, but now, eligible applicants can also purchase existing homes. This expansion provides buyers with a more extensive array of choices when it comes to selecting their first home. Whether you’re looking for a brand-new property or a pre-existing one with character, these changes open up the market and options for you.

2. Higher Household Income Cap: More Buyers Qualify

Another vital change is the increase in the household income cap. Previously set at $130,000, it has now been raised to $150,000. This adjustment recognises the evolving economic landscape and aims to accommodate more aspiring homeowners within the program. If you were close to the previous income cap or just above it, this change could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

3. Intergenerational Whānau Inclusion: A Wider Circle of Support

The First Home Partner scheme now offers broader support to intergenerational whānau. It’s not just limited to smaller family units; now, larger whānau groups of at least six people who typically live together can participate. This expansion recognises the diverse family structures in New Zealand and ensures that more people can join forces to achieve homeownership together. It’s an opportunity for extended families to collectively work towards their homeownership goals.

4. Effective Date: August 14th 2023

These changes to the First Home Partner scheme came into effect from Monday, 14th August. If you’ve been contemplating homeownership or were previously ineligible due to income or property type restrictions, now is the perfect time to revisit your application.


Kainga Ora’s First Home Partner scheme has evolved to become a more inclusive homeownership option with more flexibility for property options. With the ability to purchase existing homes, a higher income cap, and the inclusion of larger whānau, more New Zealanders than have a chance to make their homeownership dreams come true.

If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge into homeownership, these updates could be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. Owning your first home is a significant step toward financial stability and security. These changes demonstrate the New Zealand Government’s commitment to making that dream a reality for a broader range of Kiwis.

If you’re interested in the Kainga Ora First Home Partner Scheme, feel free to get in touch with us – we’d love to chat!