Aronga e toru Goals and objectives

Whāinga e toru Three goals

Our goals focus on three key work streams:

Kaupapa here ahungarua Retirement policies

Retirement means different things to different people – there’s no set definition. We do know that New Zealand is in the middle of a major demographic change, including changes in our ethnic mix, and a growing proportion of New Zealanders aged 65+. On top of this, we are living longer than ever before. In the midst of such change, the right policy settings are crucial.

How do we know if we’ve got the right policy settings? And if demographic and attitudinal shifts change what it means to be an older worker, or retired, then what policy changes do we need to make?

Our role is to monitor the effectiveness of retirement policies and to encourage collaboration and new thinking in a dynamic environment. We track trends, collate data, and build knowledge year-on-year, which informs the debate on New Zealand’s retirement policy settings. Every three years, we provide Government with a comprehensive report that highlights issues, opportunities and policy recommendations. What we do know for certain is that getting our retirement settings right takes collective responsibility - to plan and act.

Papakāinga ahungarua Retirement villages

Right now retirement village living is the accommodation choice of 13% of New Zealanders aged 75+, and this figure continues to grow. How should this industry be regulated and monitored? What information should people know before buying into a retirement village?

We have a statutory role to monitor the effects of the Retirement Villages Act (2003), the Regulations and Code of Practice. Our reports and monitoring data form the basis of our advice to Government on current trends and options for change. We also inform and educate New Zealanders to help them make the best decisions about retirement village living, and work with the industry to enhance clear, standardised consumer information.

And when issues cannot be resolved by the industry, we administer a fair and robust disputes process that all retirement village residents can access.[8]


Āheinga ahumoni Financial capability

Many organisations - from charities and major corporates to government agencies - focus on helping get New Zealanders out of debt, teach money management, and encourage saving for the future. Are all of these organisations collaborating effectively? Is there a ‘best way’ to get New Zealanders saving more for retirement? How do we stop vulnerable groups from being left behind?

We really care about this because financial security is a key part of achieving a better later life for all New Zealanders. That’s why Te Ara Ahunga Ora plays a key role as a hub of this complex ecosystem, so together we can achieve more than any organisation could do alone.

To do this we lead the National Strategy for Financial Capability, the government’s initiative to help all New Zealanders get ahead financially. Over the next year we intend to refresh this strategy and confirm a range of active partners to deliver it, drive improved outcomes, and measure progress in outyears. Our coordination is crucial to minimise unnecessary duplication and maximise impact.

As well, New Zealanders need to be able to access unbiased, impartial consumer information, to help them make financial decisions with confidence. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s own range of resources - under the Sorted brand - target key gaps within the sector. Beyond providing the information, we also play a role in motivating New Zealanders to access and use these resources.

Aronga e toru Three objectives

To guide our strategic direction, we have three core objectives that apply to each of the three goals - retirement policies, retirement villages, and financial capability.

Pārongo e whakaponohia ana Trusted information

We provide advice and information that the government and the public can rely on.

We support the Government by making evidence-based recommendations about the impact of policies on retirement-related matters. Using sources such as in-house research, commissioned industry monitoring reports, complaints data, academic research, and government statistics, we build a clear picture of how policies impact on the lives of New Zealand retirees.

Our educational resources for the public provide trusted information that is accurate, impartial, and easy to understand. We also help to motivate New Zealanders to find and use our resources so they can make the best decisions for their own future.

Taunaki i runga i te mātau Informed advocacy


We promote informed debate about policies that affect retirees, and what it takes to get New Zealanders financially ready for retirement. We support residents living in retirement villages with regular analysis of complaints data and ensure a robust and fair disputes process is available to them.

We will take a stand when we need to, but our advocacy is always anchored in quality evidence.

Mahi tahi whai tikanga Effective collaboration


As a small organisation, we get better results by collaborating with others. We focus on positive relationships and building consensus – whether we are working with the retirement village industry or residents, other government agencies, community groups, non-government organisations, or the private sector.

The National Strategy for Financial Capability is essentially a prescription for collaboration. Our role is to support the many organisations that focus on key aspects of financial capability to work together for the good of New Zealanders. We make sure we have a joined up approach when we lead initiatives in the sector.