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Scope of Review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003
At a broad level, the review will consider whether the Retirement Villages Act 2003 (the Act),
associated Codes, and Regulations remain fit for purpose to ensure:
- adequate consumer protections for residents and intending residents of retirement villages,
- an effective balance between the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators of
- the on-going viability of the retirement village sector and its ability to provide a range of
retirement housing options and consumer choice, and
- appropriately defined rights and responsibilities of residents and operators, including where
they may differ for different occupancy rights.
The review will consider specific aspects related to the phases of retirement village living, and
wider issues, as below.
- Disclosure requirements on entry to the village, including:
o what is contained in disclosure statements, for example information about and support
for transferring to higher levels of care,
o simplifying disclosure statements and making them accessible so they are easier for
intending residents to understand (including whether statements should be provided in
other languages for residents where English is not their first language), and
o whether a Key Terms Summary should be required to be provided along with the
disclosure statement to all intending residents, which includes financial and care
information for residents to compare villages.
- Occupation Right Agreements (ORA), and what should be included.
- The provision of a simple and effective dispute resolution system, where a dispute cannot
be resolved between the parties.
- The need for:
o an independent body to oversee the complaints and disputes process to ensure
transparency and accountability, and
o resident advocacy services.
- Clarification of the repair, replacement and maintenance responsibilities of operator-owned
- Minimum building quality standards for retirement units, for example similar to the Healthy
Homes Standards under the Residential Tenancies Act 1986.
- Minimum standards for specific financial exit matters concerning:
o termination of weekly fees once the unit is vacated,
o resale and return of residents’ capital after exiting (including whether exit repayments
to residents should go through the statutory supervisor), and
o treatment of deferred management fees and capital gains and losses.
The review will consider general topics related to the retirement village regime, as set out
Other topics for review
- Whether and how retirement villages can offer culturally appropriate services or models of
Security for residents’ capital sums and solvency
- The financial security of residents’ capital sums, including whether statutory supervisors
should be required to hold security on behalf of residents against the titles to the land, and
against the operating entity.
- Whether there should be a statutory requirement that village operators remain solvent.
- The roles of the various Government entities involved in retirement villages legislation and
whether any changes are appropriate.
Impact of other legislation on the Act
- The impact of changes to other legislation in the past two decades on the retirement
villages legislative environment, such as changes to consumer protection legislation and
Health & Safety legislation (e.g., Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017).
Interaction between retirement village sector and aged residential care sector:
- The interdependencies between the retirement village sector and the aged residential care
sector, including the impact of any changes to the retirement villages regime on the aged
residential care sector.
- Whether there should be clearer disclosure on the continuum of care and where legislation
Insurance industry cover
- How changes to the way in which the insurance industry provides cover impacts on the
retirement village sector, and whether any legislative changes are appropriate.
Investigating and auditing compliance with legislation by operators
- How to ensure an appropriate approach for investigating and auditing compliance with the
legislation for all operators.
Improved drafting of legislative regime
- How the legislation, regulations, and codes can be drafted to:
o avoid duplication and simplify processes where appropriate and
o ensure clarity and consistency and remove structural and drafting anomalies.
- Additional issues which may arise during the review will be considered for inclusion on a