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Retirement villages protection welcome

Age Concern New Zealand
Media Statement

27 September 2006

Retirement villages protection welcome, but a long time coming

“We welcome new protections for people buying into retirement villages, but want the focus kept on the needs of vulnerable older people” said Ann Martin, Chief Executive of Age Concern New Zealand.

“The compulsory Code of Practice for retirement village operators and new regulations including the disputes resolution process are all good news for older people.

“Age Concern New Zealand has been involved in the development of the Retirement Villages Act for several years. It’s great news that older people are finally getting some protection”, says Ms Martin.

However, it’s a pity it’s taken so long, and there is still more than a year to wait for the full protection,” she says.

“For many older people, retirement villages provide a stimulating and secure way to enjoy positive ageing. However, they are governed by complex contracts and involve large investments so care is needed.

“A large part of the industry has successfully regulated itself but inconsistencies between operators added to the confusion. Some older people have been hurt financially.

“Residents previously had few options to resolve disputes with village owners and managers. The disputes panel, which becomes operational from next week, has the potential to make quality, informed and independent decisions.”

Ann Martin warns there’s still a year to go before retirement village residents will see full protection from the Code of Practice, and over a year before the compulsory registration provisions are effective.

ENDS

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