Residents in a South Canterbury village are finding out, firsthand, the futility of the current legislation to fix the systemic failure of poorly designed villages. Nearly two dozen accidents have occurred at this village due to the poor construction of roading, kerbs and footpaths. One resident was in hospital for 3 months with a shattered femur while trying to navigate the kerb. Another resident sustained a head injury when her walker lost control due to the non-compliant slope of the kerbing, and fell into the road.

The villages disclosure for years had said that it met the New Zealand Standards, when it didn’t. Now after almost a year of discussions, formal complaints, engineers and investigations the operator has chosen to remove the offending wording from any new disclosure statements, rather than fully address the failings causing the injuries. (Note, the old disclosure statements still stand as a legal document for current residents). Letters to the Statutory Supervisor, The Registrar of Retirement Villages (RORV), even the RVA (the operators association) have produced minimal results. The RORV pointed out;

  • the disclosure statement has been updated and there do not appear to be any concerns about the accuracy of the current registered disclosure statement;
  • the Registrar has very limited powers in respect of any earlier potentially misleading disclosure statements and does not have any powers to determine your dispute; and
  • your complaint is currently being dealt with under the Village’s complaint system which is the most appropriate mechanism for dealing with your concerns.

The villages complaint system has not worked and residents continue to count the number of resident injuries sustained due to accessibility of the poorly constructed roads, kerbs and footpaths – that should have never been signed off or allowed to deteriorate to today’s state. If you have a concern or issue at your village, please contact us on 0800 787 699 or email

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