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Retirees Tell Government: We’ve Had A Gutsful

Retirement village residents representing retirees living in more than 70% of New Zealand’s registered villages had a clear message for the Government today: It is time for our voices to be heard alongside those of Operators.

The Retirement Village Residents Association of New Zealand (RVRANZ), New Zealand’s peak body advocating for residents, is calling on the Government to set down clear timeframes for a fulsome review of the Retirement Villages Act.

“All New Zealanders living in retirement villages have a right to feel safe, secure and heard,” says RVRANZ President Peter Carr.

“Right now, the system governing the way we run our retirement sector was penned in the interests of companies running retirement villages, not the rights and interests of the people living in them.

“As New Zealand moves to support the largest generation yet into retirement, the Government has an opportunity to ensure the rules governing the sector are fit for purpose,” Peter Carr says.

The Association has the support of almost 13,000 retirees who signed the petition presented to National MP Hon Simon Bridges at Parliament today.

Associate Minister of Housing, Building and Construction Poto Williams has received clear recommendations from the Retirement Commissioner, Consumer New Zealand and retirees across the country on what needs to change. However, RVRANZ says the Minister has sat on this advice, with no clear indication of timeframes for action.

“Residents are continuing to work with Operators on those areas where we can make progress without government. But this good faith engagement can only take us so far.

“If we want to ensure retirees are presented with paperwork that is easy to understand, have a clear idea of care available to them now and in future, have fair fees, dedicated advocacy support and are protected from cowboy operators we need the Minister to engage with the advice she has been given, demonstrate leadership and set down timeframes for action.”

“Without decisive leadership, too many New Zealanders will enter retirement on an uneven footing, unclear of their rights, and without simple recourse should something not go to plan.

“The Government can right the balance, and build a just, fair and equitable retirement sector by setting down clear timeframes for the completion of fulsome review of the Retirement Villages Act prior to the General Election,” Peter Carr said.

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