Sanderson sells villages


Sanderson Group, which is developing a new retirement village in Tamahere, has sold the bulk of its villages to major operator Arvida for $180 million.

Group chairman Fraser Sanderson told the NZ Herald that his son, Nathan, 30, who was starting out on his own, would continue to develop the Tamahere Country Club.

NZX-listed Arvida, one of NZ’s largest aged care and retirement village operators, is buying Sanderson’s Bethlehem Shores and Bethlehem Country Club in Tauranga and the Queenstown Country Club.

Sanderson previously sold the Hamilton Cascades to Arvida along with Bethlehem Views rest home, hospital and dementia care centre.

Sanderson is buying $10 million of Arvida shares as part of the deal.

The Tamahere Country Club, between Airport Rd and Tamahere Drive is due to open this November. A sales office is open on Tamahere Dr.

The Tamahere Country Club sales office on Tamahere Dr.

When finished it will have 130 freestanding houses along with assisted living apartments, rest home, hospital and a dementia care facility for around 290.

Nationwide, about 40,000 people now live in retirement villages, which is 12.6 per cent of people over 75.

Troy Churton, who covers retirement villages for financial watchdog the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), says there are fishhooks in village living that can affect quality of life.

He urges people contemplating retirement villages to consider three things: the personal, the legal and the financial.

Are they the kind of person who wants to live in a community of older people? Are they OK with potentially being charged weekly fees after they move on, or having to buy a new fridge they don’t get to keep? And do they have enough money to deal with unexpected costs, or delays in getting money out?

“Relying on super in a retirement village is not something we think is ideal for people’s wellbeing,” Churton says.

Mediator Jennifer Mahony gets a call about once a month about retirement village disputes. They’re often about poor maintenance or ratty gardens, or promised upgrades failing to materialise. She says those considering the move should take their time, and not be afraid to complain once they get there.

Retirement village resident Anton Coetzee, who is on the Retirement Village Residents’ Association executive committee, wants the government to improve retirement contract conditions.

“Even though it’s compulsory for a new resident to go to a lawyer to scrutinise the document, it’s almost a Hobson’s Choice. Whether you go to a, b or c, they all have the same conditions. So if you want to move in, what do you do? You just have to close your eyes and take it.”

Read more: Retirement villages are booming, but what are the catches?

Read more: Fishhooks of moving from retirement village unit to rest home care

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