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Retirement village planned for site

SIMON MAUDE
Last updated 05:00 13/05/2014
Rob Hutchison and  Andrew Mitchell

MAJOR PLAYERS: Rob Hutchison, left, chief executive of Whai Rawa, Ngati Whatua Orakei’s commercial arm, with Ryman Healthcare development manager Andrew Mitchell.

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A large tract of former Navy land at Devonport in Auckland will be developed as a retirement village for 300 people

Ryman Healthcare has signed a 150 year lease with Ngati Whatua O Oraeki, owners of the 4.2 hectare Wakakura site.

Chief executive of Whai Rawa, Ngati Whatua Orakei's commercial arm, Rob Hutchison says the iwi is excited by the opportunity.

Ngati Whatua wants to "ensure there is a long-term development that will provide for its people and create housing opportunities for the community", he says.

North Shore MP Maggie Barry says the much needed facility will make it easier for seniors to stay in the area when they retire.

The village will free up hundreds of homes for resale in the area, Barry says.

Ngati Whatua O Oraeki bought the land as part of a 25ha deal in February this year.

Speculation on what would be built on the former navy land was rife.

Residents fear intensification will exacerbate congestion on nearby Lake Rd, an issue Barry says remains a worry with the new development.

Auckland Council will need to make upgrades to Lake Rd a priority, Barry says.

Ryman Healthcare corporate affairs manager David King says a traffic impact analysis will be conducted as part of the village's consent and planning process.

He expects the traffic impact will be a lot less than other developments because Ryman's elderly tenants drive less, and at off-peak times, he says.

Ryman is "right at the beginning" of the design process and King says "he'd be guessing" how much the development will cost to build.

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- North Shore Times

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