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Code of Practice for Retirement Villages

7 October 2008

Code of Practice for Retirement Villages

Older New Zealanders in retirement villages will have greater protection under a new Code of Practice for Retirement Villages announced by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones today.

Helen Clark told an Invercargill Grey Power meeting that the new Code will set out both the rights of residents and the obligations of village operators to ensure greater clarity and protection. The Code takes effect in October 2009.

“The approval of the Code of Practice is a significant step towards ensuring the security of older people. The government must ensure that seniors are safe and secure and that they are fully aware of all the implications of the agreements they enter into when moving into a retirement village, Helen Clark said.

“This new Code gives village operators certainty about the consistent standards expected throughout their industry. The Code sets out the minimum standards required, but village operators may well choose to exceed those standards.

“This Code of Practice will ensure that the rights of New Zealand seniors resident in retirement villages are standardised and protected by law.

Building and Construction Minister Shane Jones says the Code replaces an earlier Code of Practice which was ruled invalid by the High Court last December following an application for a judicial review by the Retirement Villages Association.

“Today’s approval sets out the national minimum requirements which operators must include in contracts offered to prospective residents,” Shane Jones said.

“In developing this Code, the views of residents, operators, lawyers, statutory supervisors and other interested groups and individuals were essential. We received almost 300 submissions on the proposed Code of Practice underlining how important the Code is to the industry.

“A number of suggestions made have been incorporated into the final version, including how meetings are held, monthly invoicing, insurance, and complaints procedures.

“I believe we have struck a good balance between the need for stronger consumer protection for residents and the business needs of operators,” Shane Jones said.


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