Retirement Village Forum 2018

CFFC’s annual Retirement Village Stakeholders’ Forum provided an opportunity for free and frank discussion on a variety of issues affecting village operators and residents.

Held in Auckland on November 20, the forum was the biggest yet with more than 100 attendees, including members of the Retirement Villages Association, the residents’ association, advocacy groups such as Grey Power and Age Concern, government agencies such as the Office for Seniors and Ministry of Business, Employment and Innovation, and other stakeholders.

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell gave opening and closing addresses, saying that retirement village operators played an important role in adding to the pool of housing supply in New Zealand.

“The retirees of the future face headwinds in arriving at retirement in good financial shape, one of which is housing affordability,” said Maxwell. “We are working with all age groups to improve their financial capability so that they are able to enter the housing market and become mortgage-free by retirement. This not only relieves them of financial pressure during retirement, but allows them the choice of selling to release equity and move into a retirement village if that’s what is right for them.”

CFFC’s National Manager of Retirement Villages, Troy Churton (right), announced the topic of CFFC’s 2018-19 monitoring report, which will study the interface between independent living and care facilities in retirement villages.

June Mowbray of Seniorline outlined the most common concerns voiced by callers to her service, and CFFC’s Research Analyst Dr Celestyna Galicki discussed complaint reporting data and presented statistics relating to the ageing population and workforce. Residents association representatives presented eight issues within the Code of Practice and proposals to resolve them, each of which was discussed by stakeholders. Villages association executive director John Collyns presented highlights from a PWC report on villages’ contribution to GDP, and a panel discussion was held on recommendations for statutory supervision following CFFC’s recent monitoring report.

Churton says he has received positive feedback from a range of stakeholders on the value of the forum in bringing people together to share perspectives and ideas on how to make retirement villages better for all involved.