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More security for seniors in retirement villages

27 September 2006

More security for seniors in retirement villages

Older people living in retirement villages can rest assured that there are now checks and balances in place that will ensure better protection of their interests, says Minister for Senior Citizens, Ruth Dyson.

"I welcome the announcement today by Building Issues Minister Clayton Cosgrove of the approval of regulations that bring the Retirement Villages Act 2003 fully into force."

Ruth Dyson, who took the Act through its final legislative processes, says the aim of the Act and the regulations is to protect the financial and occupational interests of retirement village residents, through greater disclosure of information by operators, a Code of Practice and a formal disputes resolution process.

The total legislative package will:

- provide for full disclosure of terms and conditions for intending residents
- promote good relationships between residents and operators through a Code of Residents’ Rights
- ensure there are complaints and disputes resolution processes available
- require compliance through a village registration process and appropriate sanctions and penalties for breaches of the legislation
- enable statutory supervisors to oversee the financial viability of villages
- provide, in conjunction with a proposed Code of Practice, for sound practices to be applied in village management and operations, including in the on-sale of vacant units.

Ms Dyson congratulated those involved in preparing the regulations and getting them approved, as well as the many village operators and residents who supported the passage of the new provisions and assisted with advice.

The dispute resolution provisions come into force on 1 October 2006. From that date, every retirement village must have a way of dealing with complaints.

For information on the Act visit www.dbh.govt.nz or ring 0800 836 262. For further information on operators' obligations to residents and potential residents visit www.retirement.org.nz

ENDS

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