Pūrongo Aroturuki Monitoring reports

2023-24 Retirement Villages: International Scan of Operating Models

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission commissioned economic research company BERL to investigate the different operating models used by retirement villages internationally.  Markets investigated in this review included Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany and India.  The literature review was integrated with input and insights from industry experts in different international markets.  This research is part of our ongoing retirement villages monitoring programme, for which we undertake an annual research/investigation project. The final report is available here. 

Retirement Villages Annual Investigation Report 2021-22: Occupation Right Agreement

This report investigates the feasibility of introducing a standardised Occupation Right Agreement (ORA) following feedback that the Commission received from the White Paper issued in December 2020 and a recommendation in the White Paper Summary Report and Recommendations to “review introducing a standard-form, plain English ORA for sector-wide use”. 

A secondary area of investigation relates to the Disclosure Statement in particular: the degree of duplication between the information contained in a disclosure statement and the terms of an ORA; and the legal enforceability of disclosure statements and what remedies currently exist if statements made in a disclosure statement about a village do not materialise.  In providing this analysis of disclosure statements, this report has only considered redress that is available under the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and not more widely under other legislation, such as the Fair Trading Act 1986 or actions under the common law.  This report is not intended to provide legal advice and if a resident has particular concerns regarding misrepresentations in a disclosure statement, then the resident will need to take their own independent legal advice.   

Retirement villages legislative framework: Assessment and options for change, 2020-21

In June 2021 Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission released a report and recommendations following public consultation on a white paper studying the effects of the complex legal framework governing the retirement village sector.

We received nearly 3300 submissions. While most were from individuals and the Retirement Village Residents’ Association, others came from operators and other stakeholders including lawyers, supervisors, and consumer advocates.

The report concluded that retirement village legislation was at risk of becoming outdated and unfit for purpose, requiring urgent review to eliminate unfair terms in contracts and better protect the rights of consumers.

Effectiveness of Statutory Supervision, 2017–2018

Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission undertook research to assess the current level of effectiveness of statutory supervision of retirement villages given almost nine years since the previous supervisor project. The general view expressed was that people have confidence in New Zealand’s system and that statutory supervision is being conducted effectively. A small number of amendments were suggested. 

Dispute Resolution Practice, 2015

This monitoring project assessed the level of effectiveness of formal dispute resolution structures and processes under the Retirement Villages Act 2003. Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission engaged with a wide range of stakeholders and also compared our system  to overseas jurisdictions.

The project did not review the substance of matters disputed or outcomes of the dispute, or efficacy of any policies, practices or contracts that may have led to a dispute.

Some key issues that emerged included:

  • The formal dispute resolution process is not user-friendly for all residents

  • A lack of alternative dispute resolution options, both as an alternative to using the dispute panel, and within the panel process

  • A need for greater advice and support for residents in dispute resolution, and better information about the dispute process and agencies, with roles and responsibilities relating to retirement villages and dispute resolution

There was strong consensual interest across the industry for promoting mediation or other dispute resolution options.

As a next step, we conducted a stakeholder forum to determine ways to integrate solutions, such as mediation and alternative dispute resolution,  into the current framework, and potentially implement those by a Variation to the Code of Practice process. Read more about the forum.

Residents’ Perspectives, 2011

In 2011 the monitoring project looked at the Act, the regulations and the Code from the perspective of residents.

It found that residents move to retirement villages to ensure that their future is secured. Although most would not change their decision to take up residence in a retirement village, there was considerable variation in the degree of satisfaction. 

Many residents’ confidence and comfort was compromised by concerns about the future of their village and their situation in it. The monitoring report identified areas requiring consideration and made several recommendations.

Operator Compliance, 2010

The objectives of the 2010 monitoring project were to determine to what extent and how retirement village operators were complying with their statutory requirements and with general provisions of the Retirement Villages Act, and what, if any, issues were arising.

The project found the majority of operators were complying with the regulations and provisions set out in the Act, its regulations and the Code of Practice. Although many operators considered compliance costs to be a significant concern, half of the sector was planning to grow in the next three years.

Statutory Supervisors, 2009

The statutory supervisors monitoring project reported on five specific functions and key issues:

  • Distribution of villages between statutory supervisors

  • Fee charging

  • Trust account maintenance/stakeholder facility

  • Financial monitoring

  • Level of involvement with residents