I don't shoot Nikon, but a friend of mine is about to - he sent me this link as he has decided to go with this lens for starters. It really is impressive.
Yes, this lens is new. The AF-P 18-55mm is one of a kit lens, that Nikon provides with a couple of lenses with a camera body. Entry-level. The other kit lens is the AF-P 70-300mm with no VR. Firmware update is required for cameras that were produced before these lenses were introduced. You can purchase these lenses without buying the camera kit. The AF-P 70-300mm can be purchased with or without VR.