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Papakāinga Ahungarua | Retirement Villages

Review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003

The Government has released a discussion paper as part of the Review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003 detailing options for change. The discussion paper is calling for feedback on a raft of proposals relating to the three phases of retirement living: moving in, living in, and moving out. This spans everything from plain language disclosure statements, partially standardised occupation rights agreements, replacing the current complaints and disputes scheme, right through to introducing mandatory timeframes for repayment of capital sums after units have been vacated.

Submissions can be made with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, which is leading the review work.

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.

The review intends to consider most of the issues identified in the White Paper, along with some additional topics raised by others. It will cover specific aspects related to the phases of retirement village living – from moving in, living in, to moving on.

The Retirement Commissioner monitors the effects of the Retirement Villages Act 2003

An independent monitoring programme began in 2008, with reports on the following focus areas:

  • 2022-23 The experience of residents and their whānau
    when a resident moves on from (or within) a retirement village
  • 2021-22: Occupation Right Agreement
  • 2020-21: Retirement Villages Legislative Framework
  • 2019-20: Operator financial assistance to residents
  • 2018-19: The interface of Retirement Villages and Aged Care
  • 2017–18: The effectiveness of statutory supervision
  • 2016–17: The effectiveness of independent legal advice
  • 2014–15: The disputes process
  • 2011: Residents
  • 2010: Owner-operators
  • 2009: Statutory supervisors

Monitoring reports are available here.

Complaint data

Since 1 April 2017 the Commissioner receives six-monthly reports from operators of all registered retirement villages about any formal complaints they have received in the preceding six-month period. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission collects this information as part of its monitoring function under the Retirement Villages Act. 

Each operator reports about the number of formal complaints during the six-month period, classification, resolution rate and information about the outcome. The operator also reports how many formal complaints were referred to either a statutory supervisor or mediator.

The Commissioner uses this information to monitor trends and any concerns or issues in the industry and to inform the minister. Te Ara Ahunga Ora publishes a summary of the information received but does not publish the identity of any complainant or village involved in a complaint.

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