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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government is providing a narrow exemption from the discontinuation of the First Home Grant for first home buyers who may face unfair situations as a result, Housing Minister Chris Bishop says.

“The First Home Grant scheme was closed with immediate effect on 22 May 2024, with savings being reprioritised into 1,500 new social houses. Since then I’ve been contacted by a number of individuals placed in a tricky situation because of the sudden closure of the grant.

“For example, some people have valid Sale and Purchase agreements for first homes but have had settlement on those properties pushed out for a variety of reasons. The Government agrees those people should not be worse off as a result of the closure of the scheme.”

Ministers have decided an exemption will be considered for certain individuals based on two key criteria, which are:

  • People with an existing pre-approval that had expired prior to the announcement of the First Home Grant closure and 
  • People who signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement on or before 22 May 2024.

“Buyers must meet both criteria to be considered for an exemption. They must also continue to meet other First Home Grant eligibility requirements, such as income and house price caps. 

“The proposed exemption only applies to the current property for which a Sale and Purchase Agreement has been signed and cannot be transferred to another property.

“To apply for an exemption, eligible customers will need to contact Kāinga Ora. The information that is needed to apply is available on the Kāinga Ora website.

“Applicants will have one week from this announcement to contact Kāinga Ora to request an approval under the exemption. The re-application process only needs to be started within this week, it does not need to be completed.”

Note to Editors: 

Here is the link to the Kāinga Ora webpage: Home ownership :: Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities (

Anyone who thinks they meet the eligibility criteria above should email by 11:59pm, Friday 14 June 2024.