Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga - Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is seeking feedback from the retirement village sector and the public on proposed changes to the Retirement Villages Act 2003 (the Act), associated regulations and codes.

We have released The Retirement Villages Act 2003: options for change, a discussion paper which outlines proposals relating to the three phases of retirement village living – moving in, living in and moving out.

The discussion paper is the next stage in a review of the Act which was announced in December 2022.

This review is part of the HUD’s wider housing work programme and our commitment to creating thriving communities where everyone has a place to call home.

More information about the consultation and how to make a submission can be found on the HUD website.

The Retirement Villages Act 2003

Retirement villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2003 (the Act), the Code of Practice, and various sets of regulations.

The Act sets out obligations for retirement village operators and rights of residents and anyone considering moving into a retirement village. The Act has two main purposes:

  • to protect the interests of residents and intending residents,  
  • to enable retirement villages to develop under a legal framework that is easy for residents, intending residents, and village operators to understand.  

The Act also confers powers and duties on the Registrar of Retirement Villages and the Retirement Commissioner. 

Review of the Retirement Villages Act 2003

The review considers whether the Act, its regulations and codes remain fit for purpose to ensure adequate consumer protections for residents and intending residents of retirement villages, and an effective balance between the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators of retirement villages. It also seeks to ensure the on-going viability of the retirement village sector and its ability to provide a range of retirement housing options and consumer choice.

Key proposals:

The discussion paper invites feedback on a range of proposals including:

  • replacing the disclosure statement with new plain language documents,
  • introducing a partially standardised occupation right agreement,
  • requiring operators to meet the direct costs of maintaining and repairing operator-owned chattels and fixtures,
  • replacing the current dispute resolution scheme with a new scheme that aligns with the best practice principles for dispute resolution,
  • requiring disclosure documents to include more comprehensive information on transferring within a village to aged residential care,
  • stopping fees after a unit is vacated, and
  • introducing a mandatory timeframe for repaying a resident’s capital when they move out, and/or requiring an operator to pay interest if the repayment is not made after a certain time.

The consultation also seeks information and submissions on other matters such as the definition of retirement village, insurance, the operation of the Retirement Villages Register, and the Code of Practice.

Submissions are open until 20 November. You can find the discussion paper and more about how to have your say on our website.