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Jones: Porirua Summerset Retirement V'ge Opening

Hon Shane Jones
Minister for Building and Construction
Associate Minister in Charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations
Associate Minister of Immigration
Associate Minister of Trade

Date: 14 March 2008 Speech

Speech by Hon Shane Jones

Minister for Building and Construction
The official opening of Summerset Aotea
15 Aotea Drive, Porirua

Kiaora and greetings…

Thank you for inviting me to the opening of Summerset Aotea. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Before I go on, I must pass on my condolences to the family of Ron Chippendale, a popular former resident, who died in such tragic circumstances recently.

I am sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He will be missed by all those who knew him or came in contact with him. As chief air accident inspector I know he was a dedicated public servant who served his country with distinction.

As I say, it’s a pleasure to share this special occasion with you all. As we can all see, the facilities here at Summerset Aotea are high quality and are a credit to Summerset - its management and staff.

Your vision - to provide a range of quality facilities with high standards of service – should be congratulated. The accommodation here certainly meets the description on your website – its roomy practical, well-designed and well-built.

I can see why many choose Summerset not just here but at your many villages across the country. Each village is different but facilities available include bowling greens, a mini-putt course, petanque piste, a recreation hall, libraries, spa pools, snooker tables.

With these facilities, who wouldn’t want to stay here?!

But on a serious note, retirement villages and ensuring the rights and obligations of residents and owners are equitably met is an important part of my job as Minister for Building and Construction. I am relatively new to this portfolio but I know my ministerial predecessors and the Department of Building and Housing have worked to achieve that goal. I will continue to carry on this work.

The Retirement Villages Act, fully enacted in 2007, is vital to this industry and to this village. I am delighted every Summerset Village is registered on the register of Retirement Villages. Residents here not only enjoy high quality care and facilities but the peace of mind that registration affords.

Without wanting to get too technical, the Act sets out the rules operators must follow to provide safe, secure and comfortable accommodation. And for residents it provides a platform for your expectations to ensure you are able to lead a happy and fulfilling retirements.

Importantly, it introduced a Code of Practice setting out a number of measures aimed at protecting intending residents. Those measures include formal agreements between operators and intending residents, disclosure statements - setting out all the information residents need to know to make informed decisions together with legal and other supervisory safeguards.

As many of you will know that Code of Practice was judged to be invalid by a court late last year. I know there has been a great deal of speculation about what the next steps will be.

My over-riding priority is to ensure a new Code of Practice is introduced which protects residents without hindering the smooth operation of the business. I will continue to work with officials on this issue and hope to agree an effective solution as soon as possible.

That just leaves me to execute my official duty - to formally open Summerset Aotea!

I congratulate Summerset on yet another successful launch and I wish current and future residents a very happy and comfortable retirement.

I declare this village officially open!



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