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Views sought on revised retirement villages code

02 July 2008

Media Statement

Views sought on revised retirement villages code

A new statutory Code of Practice for retirement villages, a document setting out the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators, is currently open for public consultation.

Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones is urging retirement village residents, intending residents, operators of retirement villages, statutory supervisors, lawyers and anyone else with an interest in retirement villages to have their say about the proposed code.

The proposed Code of Practice 2008, sets out the minimum requirements that a resident can expect to receive in a retirement village – known as an occupational right agreement.

It also provides protection for existing residents.

Requirements include measures to protect the safety and personal security of residents, maintenance, and staffing matters. It ensures retirement villages are managed fairly in the interests of both residents and operators.

An earlier Code of Practice was ruled invalid by the High Court in December last year following an application for a judicial review by the Retirement Villages Association of New Zealand.

The revised Code 2008 retains many of the provisions contained in the original version developed in 2006. It:

- Retains consumer protection as the basis of the minimum standards that a Code of Practice must meet

- Reflects the business needs of operators, whether they are large corporate villages or small religious, welfare and charitable villages;

- Limits the number of existing contracts that can be over-ridden by the Code of Practice, where operators require residents to pay for the refurbishment of the residential unit.

The proposed Code of Practice 2008 was developed at the direction of Minister Jones under the Retirement Villages Act, 2003.

Currently in a nine-week public consultation on the proposed Code is being administered by the Department of Building and Housing and the Retirement Commissioner.

Minister Jones said: “The government has worked hard to address the issues that arose from the judicial review.

“I believe the proposed new Code of Practice strikes a fair balance between the needs of residents and operators.

“I would urge anyone who has an interest in either running a retirement village or living in one to take the opportunity to read the code.”


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