Ninety-one year old Nikhil Cahusal rides everywhere from his home base at Abbeyfield, wearing his fluoro vest, and he'd like to start up a discussion group at Abbeyfield about "anything but the weather".
When we're introduced he momentarily thinks I'm moving in.
"You'd like that wouldn't you!" says Abbeyfield Golden Bay chairwoman Anne Jones.
Aged a tender 37 I soon put him straight, whilst quietly thinking I'll consider it in a few decades.
With the new Golden Bay Integrated Health Centre opening today and the Collingwood Joan Whiting Resthome closing next Wednesday, Abbeyfield is an option for some.
But only those who can take care of themselves because, as Mrs Jones says, "Abbeyfield is not a resthome. We call it flatting for oldies.
"It's very much an extension of an individual's home. They bring their own help if they need it, but we don't provide nursing care. It's community-based and the fact that it's a not-for-profit means it's affordable."
She says people are supported to move into Abbeyfield, without the expense of having to "buy in" .
We explore the sprawling, modern home. I meet Marianne Short the housekeeper, who is whipping up a huge feed of scrambled eggs on toast for lunch. She's cutting up handfuls of chives from Abbeyfield's vege garden, which keeps them stocked with produce all year round.
Here "home style" (rather than institutional) meals are provided. Mrs Jones explains that people basically pay board, and in turn receive the security, freedom and social benefits of sharing a home.
"They have social hour on Friday night . . . the hilarious things that happen. . ."
Abbeyfield's located just off Commercial St, the main street of Takaka, on a spot donated by Tasman Milk Products (pre-Fonterra). The land is fertile and flat. It's close to useful services such as shops, and for now, the medical centre.
"One chap came in after having a stroke, and now he's walking around the town block every day. He couldn't be happier. He didn't want to go into a rest home," said Mrs Jones.
I meet local Grey Power secretary Kath McKenzie. She tells me you can "please yourself" and "you've still got your own life" at Abbeyfield, but you've also got the security, which means a lot to residents.
It's lunch time now and I meet Mary Gill, who is sitting at the head of the table with her friends. She says it's good to meet me, "but then it depends what you're going to write about us."
Former coal miner Patrick Molloy is on the same table. He blushes and swears happily when I take a photo of him. When I leave he and the others at the table are laughing at him fanning his face with his hands, as if I'm a film star.
So far one person has relocated to Abbeyfield from the Joan Whiting Resthome.
For general inquiries about Abbeyfield call Ann Jones (03) 525 9547 or email email@example.com
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