KiwiBuild tweaks needed for urban dwellers

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

An Auckland mortgage broker says the KiwiBuild income cap of $180K for households will give Māori families the opportunity to become homeowners, but more needs to be done for urban dwellers.

Tahei Simpson says Minister Twyford’s announcement of the KiwiBuild criteria has been hit and miss.

“For Māori who tend to collectivise anyway to put their KiwiSaver funds together for the deposit and also combine income for servicing, this is going to go a long way towards helping Māori to get into homes,” said Simpson.

“I'm working hard with Minister Mahuta on this,” said Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford.

“I believe that the way we will ensure that whānau Māori get their fair share of the opportunities from Kiwibuild is through the shared equity programme.”

Those who qualify:

  • must be first-home buyers or 'second chancers';
  • a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident;
  • own and live in home for three years;
  • have an income below $120,000 for sole purchasers and $180,000 for a household.

“One of the problems with the Kiwibuild criteria and also the Kiwisaver criteria is currently you cannot withdraw that Kiwisaver to purchase a home back home,” said Simpson.

Simpson says for many urban dwellers the regions they hail from is home. 

“Even though we spend 50 weeks of the year in Auckland and only two weeks back there, that is our whenua tuku iho and that is where we say our primary place of residence is, but the bank doesn't see it that way at the moment, and I would like to see that change to recognise that by allowing Kiwi's and especially Māori to use their Kiwisaver to buy back home.”

Potential buyers can register on the KiwiBuild website.

The scheme is expected to deliver 1000 KiwiBuild homes will by July next year and up to 10,000 in three years.