In 2023 the Ministry, working in partnership with the retirement sector, will begin a review of the Retirement Villages Act. This review will be part of the Ministry’s wider housing work programme and our commitment to creating thriving communities where everyone has a place to call home. 

We are working towards the release of a discussion document in September 2023. 

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 (the Act) sets out obligations for retirement village operators and the rights of residents and anyone considering moving into a retirement village. The Act has two main purposes 

  • protecting 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 sets out further specific purposes such as promoting understanding of the financial and occupancy interests of residents and intending residents, providing a regulatory and monitoring regime and a way to introduce rules and procedures that give effect to this regime.   

Oversight of the conditions in which operators enter the sector and run retirement villages is also included. The Act also gives powers and duties to the Registrar of Retirement Villages and the Retirement Commissioner.  

Read more about the Retirement Villages Act  

Reviewing the Retirement Villages Act 

It’s almost been 20 years since the Act and related regulations and codes were introduced and these have not been reviewed since.  The review aims to address issues and strike a balance between the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators of retirement villages. 

Scope of the Review  

At a high level, the review is set to consider whether the current Act and all its parts 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 retirement villages,  
  • 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 also consider specific aspects related to the main phases of retirement village experience, such as moving in, living in and moving and on, and some wider issues.