What a retirement village is

How NZ legislation defines retirement village

The term retirement village is defined under Section 6 of the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and covers a wide range of villages, regardless of what the village is actually called.

Complying with the law

The Act requires the operator of every facility meeting the definition of a retirement village to ensure the village is registered.

A retirement village operator must not make any offers of occupation unless it's registered on the Retirement Villages Register.

It's irrelevant what particular legal form (such as a licence to occupy, unit title, or lifetime lease or tenancy) is used when a resident purchases a right to live in a unit in a registered retirement village — regardless of the form, the residents will be protected by the Act.

The features of a retirement village

A retirement village is any place that has all of the following features:

  • Multiple units — The place has 2 or more residential units. A residential unit might be a villa, an apartment, a studio unit, a kaumatua flat, or even a room in a rest home, or any other place that was built as, or is now mainly used as, a unit of accommodation.
  • Accommodation and services or facilities — The place provides residential accommodation, together with services or shared facilities, or both.
  • For retirement — The place is mainly for people in their retirement, including their spouses or partners.
  • Capital sum — The residents pay a capital sum in return for their right to live in the place. A capital payment could be either a lump sum or periodic payments, if the payments are substantially more than would be paid to cover rent and such services or facilities for the relevant period.