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PM Opens New Serviced Apartments for Elderly

26 May 2006

Prime Minister Opens New Serviced Apartments for Elderly

Selwyn Foundation’s 49 stylish new serviced apartments for the elderly, were opened today by the Prime Minister the Right Honourable Helen Clark at Selwyn Village’s 26 acre site at Pt Chevalier Auckland.

The charitable Foundation, which has close affiliations with the Anglican Church and is dedicated to providing care to the elderly, has invested $15 million in building its Bishop Selwyn Apartments - a three-storey licence-to-occupy apartment block. Already 25 of the 49 have sold, and the rest are expected to sell quickly for prices ranging from $270,000 to $450,000.*

“The past ten years have brought a big change in independent living by the elderly,” says Reverend Duncan Macdonald, Chief Executive, Selwyn Foundation. “People want to stay in their own homes, yet they’re also seeking security and help near at hand if they need it. In that time, there’s been a big shift in attitudes by older people towards apartment style living. Apartments provide independence, with as much community and support as anyone wants. There’s low maintenance, security, cost competitiveness and privacy. At Selwyn Village’s site there are also great views of sea or parks, and easy access to the rest of Auckland.”

The apartments include one and two bedroom units, many with balconies. All are fully appointed with kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms and laundries. Central heating is installed, and ducting has been provided so that residents can choose to install air conditioning. On one side, the apartments look out over a central courtyard which has been landscaped.

“Like a lot of the rest of Selwyn Village, this area is appointed for people to sit and meet,” says Rev. Macdonald. “There are deciduous trees, one of which is at eye level in a couple of apartments. You can see the birds and experience the environment.”

The apartments also feature sitting areas and libraries on every floor, so residents can choose to mix and mingle. A fully appointed restaurant is shared on site at Lichfield Apartments, which are a brief walk away on site in Selwyn Village. The village also has a post office, bank, theatre, café, hairdressing salon and mini market, as well as bus service on a ring road connecting the area. There are also a swimming pool, spa pool, health club, computer facilities and chapel on site.

“Elderly people are looking for the same quality of lifestyle that they had in earlier years. We’re determined to give it to them. We also want to ensure the retirement home they own is pleasing to their family and friends. These apartments achieve that,” says Rev. Macdonald. “In the future, we believe ‘assistive technologies’ such as those which can measure gait when a senior person walks down a hall, or diagnose whether a person has had a stroke during the night, point the way forward for independent living. These apartments are a 2006 step in that direction.”

In addition to Bishop Selwyn Apartments, Selwyn Village has a wide range of facilities for the elderly which house 650 residents on site including: dementia care (Christ’s Hospital), licence to occupy single storey units and apartments, rest homes and day stay facilities for dementia care. Some of these facilities are rented to elderly people, or Selwyn services provided through Government funding. Selwyn Foundation is dedicated to the provision of care for all elderly including those with lower incomes, as part of its Christian mission.

“The construction of Bishop Selwyn Apartments, which took around 14 months and was about four years in planning, is the beginning of a new phase for Selwyn Village,” says Rev Macdonald. “We are intensifying facilities on site, and diversifying what we are offering. In future, by the time the elderly are dependent they will be older and more frail. We expect to further develop our hospital and dementia facilities to meet those needs.”


*The Selwyn Foundation is a registered charitable trust. Its mission is to provide quality Christian care and support for the elderly. It owns Selwyn Village (Pt Chevalier); Selwyn Park (Whangarei); Selwyn Oaks (Papakura); Selwyn Cottages (Birkenhead).Selwyn Heights (Mt Roskill) Selwyn St Andrews (Cambridge) An investment statement for The Selwyn Foundation Retirement Villages is available from Duncan Macdonald Selwyn Foundation.

Architects: Simon Woodall, Stephen Wong and Bob Jones from Chow Hill
Construction: Argon
Project Managers: Trust Investments Management Limited


26 May 2006


Selwyn Foundation is one of the largest not for profit aged care providers in the Auckland area.

- Selwyn Village began in 1952 with earthworks, and later (April ’53) the laying of the foundation stone by Governor General Lord Norrie.

- The Village was opened by Mrs Hilda Ross, Minister of Social Welfare on 22 May 1953. There was a main block with accommodation for 20 frail residents and two cottages.

- Later, funds were raised by takings from the Royal Command (Cinema) performance attended by the Queen Elizabeth II on Boxing Day 1953, courtesy of benefactor Robert Kerridge (Kerridge Odeon). More cottages were built.

- Today, Selwyn Village offers a continuum of care from Licence to occupy (apartments and houses) rental accommodation (cottages), residential care (rest homes, hospitals and dementia unit) and Alzheimers Day Care.

- Redevelopment of the site to a master plan is an ongoing project. Lichfield Block was originally rental accommodation, but has been refurbished to a high standard as apartments (licence to occupy). A new rental block of 21 single storey units (Coughlan Court) was built, followed by Bishop Selwyn Apartments.

About Bishop Selwyn

Bishop George Augustus Selwyn (1809 to 1878) was Bishop of New Zealand 1858 to 1868 for the Anglican Church.

- He bought the land on which Holy-Trinity Cathedral (Parnell) sits and built Bishopscourt (on land holdings nearby).

- He was born in Hampstead, England, attended Eton and then St John’s College Cambridge. On the way to New Zealand he began to learn Maori.

- He travelled extensively through New Zealand and Melanesia and was known for his “inclusive” Christianity, whereby he set out to bring the church and its teaching to both Maori and settlers.
(see for a biography)


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