On 3 February 2010, the Housing Minister, Hon. Phil Heatley, announced that Māori who want to build on their ancestral land may have an opportunity through a partnership between Housing New Zealand Corporation and Kiwibank.

Minister Heatley announced that the Crown will be stepping in as guarantor for qualifying home loans.

The partnership provides an opportunity for Māori to build, purchase or relocate a house on multiply-owned Māori land.

Kiwibank is the sole lender for the product and will approve and provide home loans which will be insured by Housing New Zealand.

The scheme, called Kainga Whenua, will mean that Kiwibank will lend 100% of the house building costs with a purchase price for the house being up to $200,000 as long as the borrower has the right to occupy the land, a valuation from a registered valuer and a satisfactory building contract.  No deposit is required for a loan below $200,000.

The house must be:

  • Built on wooden piles;
  • One storey of at least 70 square metres;
  • Located on mainland North and South Islands; and
  • Have reasonable road access.

This will allow for houses to be relocated.

The Kainga Whenua scheme is available to first time buyers or people who have previously owned a home and are in a similar financial position as a first home buyer.

The borrower, to be eligible can earn up to $85,000.  Multiple borrowers can earn up to a combined $120,000 to qualify.

Housing New Zealand is also partnering with iwi to do larger developments on papakainga lands.

Further information will be available on the Housing New Zealand website www.hnzc.co.nz.