Retirement village residents unite!

By: Simon Bridges

Simon Bridges
National Party MP

 A couple of weeks back I accepted a petition from the Retirement Village Residents’ Association, on behalf of the more than 45,000 New Zealanders who live in retirement villages across our country.

A petition is the right of all New Zealanders to get an issue before parliament. This one is about better protecting the rights of residents to ensure a truer balance between their rights and those of the village operators.

I accepted it because I personally know a good number of the thousands of folk in our various retirement villages here in Tauranga. Just over 12,500 people signed the petition and it’s now up for submissions and a public hearing at a parliamentary committee.

Clearly, retirement villages are very attractive options to many New Zealanders. The villages in and around the Western Bay are first class amenities in terrific locations. The social activities and interaction is also great.

But it’s been almost 20 years since the Retirement Villages Law was enacted, and there are plenty of issues with it - from the complexity of the contracts residents sign initially, through to the unreasonable delays in returning capital to residents and families of residents upon exiting a property.

National agrees with the Retirement Village Residents’ Association on what needs to happen. Labour’s Poto Williams - the Associate Minister of Housing, Building and Construction - needs to order a government review into the law. We urge her to get on with this.

To help keep up the pressure, please consider making a submission to the committee yourself.