KiwiBuild plan to sell Wanaka houses and lower deposits to 5%

Sep 04, 2019

Here's the Government's full statement on changes to Kiwibuild - including the release of unsold Wanaka houses back into the open market.

"The Government is announcing new initiatives to help more New Zealanders into homeownership through its KiwiBuild reset, Housing Minister Megan Woods announced today.

“The housing crisis developed over decades and won’t be solved overnight. We’ve made a good start across the wider housing portfolio but KiwiBuild isn’t working so we are changing it. When policies aren’t working we are honest about that and fix them,” Megan Woods said.

“By making improvements to our build programme, we can get more New Zealanders into warm, dry, secure homes whether they be public, rental or affordable KiwiBuild homes.”

The reset includes:

  • New ways for people to become home owners, such as shared-ownership schemes
  • Boosting supply by building more homes where evidence shows they are needed
  • Letting friends and family join their $10,000 deposit assistance together
  • Reducing to 5% the deposit required for a government-backed mortgage
  • Reducing the amount developers receive for triggering the government underwrite rather than selling to KiwiBuild buyers

“We will also be dropping the target of 100,000 houses over ten years. It was overly ambitious and lead to contracts being signed in places where there was little first home buyer demand,” Megan Woods said. 

“Instead of the target, we will focus on building as many homes as we can, as fast as we can in the right places. Each month we will release a dashboard of housing statistics so New Zealanders can easily measure our progress. 

“Homes in Te Kauwhata, Canterbury and Wanaka that haven’t sold will be released to the open market, allowing us to reuse the government capital to get more developments underway where there is clear demand.

“We will also be making changes to that Government underwrite, reducing the amount available in future developments so developers are incentivised to sell to KiwiBuild first home buyers instead of triggering the underwrite, which may be at a lower level.

“The Urban Development Authority, Kainga Ora – Homes and Communities, will coordinate developments across New Zealand making sure that we get the mix of public housing, market priced homes and KiwiBuild homes. We will now target those homes to areas where there is a clearly identified demand and need. We will look for opportunities for build to rent with long term institutional investors through these developments.

Today’s reset of the build programme sits alongside other actions the Government has already taken to begin to address the housing crisis:


  • Banning overseas speculators from the market
  • Stopping the sell-off state houses
  • Reforming tenancy rules
  • Helping hundreds of homeless people get into a home with wrap around services including addiction services and mental healthcare
  • Building record levels of state and public houses
  • Starting off reform of the RMA
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