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Residents take stake in village under new owners

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 13:00 04/12/2013

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Waimea Village residents are finally in charge of their own destiny.

Tasman businessman Kit Malinghas confirmed the purchase of the village went through on Friday. Mr Maling announced his plans to secure the 171-dwelling village in September, putting up a $7000 non-refundable deposit from his own pocket.

He said the purchase was an attempt to end a long-standing stalemate between the retirement community's residents and former owners Michael and Carolyn Wright. The Wrights bought the village in 2005 and operated it under their company Waimea Village 2005 Ltd.

Under the Wrights' ownership, residents owned their houses and paid rates to Tasman District Council, but leased the land from the company. They paid a monthly management fee to Waimea Village 2005 Ltd.

Mr Maling founded a new company to operate the village. It is owned by 139 shareholders from the village, and run by a board of directors chosen by Mr Maling.

The board includes Richmond plumber Trevor Tuffnell of Tuffnell Plumbing & Drainage; Tasman Wheelers club president Malcolm Saunders and Mr Maling's accountant, Patrick Adamson of Craig Anderson Chartered Accountants.

Two directors were also elected by Waimea Village representatives to represent them: Dennis Ealam and Joyce Wilson.

Mr Maling resigned from his place on the board two weeks ago but will be retained on contract to manage the property for up to a year.

Ms Wilson said she was delighted at the purchase, saying it was the "best possible outcome".

She said it was the first time she had held a directorship so she would be doing a lot of listening, but she would not advocate for any change to the way the village was currently run.

"I'm not in any rush at all [for change]. What we need is just to settle back down."

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