Retirement Commissioner welcomes the wide scope of the review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003

The Retirement Commissioner is pleased to see a comprehensive approach planned for the review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003, following the release of the terms of reference set by the Government.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is leading the review work, which will be undertaken in 2023.

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission had called for a review of the legislation back in December 2020 after releasing a White Paper on the retirement villages framework. This was reiterated in June 2021 after a period of public consultation on the paper, in which 3300 submissions were received, and a summary and recommendations report was provided to Government.

At the time, Retirement Commissioner, Jane Wrightson said the legislation was at risk of becoming outdated and unfit for purpose. Key concerns were raised about the resale process, weekly fees charged after a resident vacates a unit, flaws in an overly complicated complaints system, confusing documentation and the tricky interface between village and care facilities.

“We are pleased to see the review intends to consider most of the issues identified in our White Paper, along with some additional topics raised by others. And, that it will cover specific aspects related to the phases of retirement village living – from moving in, living in, to moving on,” said the Retirement Commissioner.

“Retirement villages are an attractive choice for some older New Zealanders, providing a sense of community and a quality option for those who wish to downsize. However, the legislation has not been reviewed in the 20 years since the framework was established. This will provide a good opportunity to assess how the legislation is working for both residents and retirement village operators.”

The Retirement Commission has statutory obligations under the Act to monitor the framework’s effectiveness.

Te Ara Ahunga Ora also recently published two key projects related to the retirement villages sector which followed feedback received from the White Paper and subsequent report.

This included investigating the feasibility of introducing a standardised Occupation Right Agreement (ORA), and options to improve the current retirement villages complaints disputes resolution process.  


Notes to editors

The full scope is available to read here

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