Villas with views to retire on

00:18, Jul 24 2014

Some of the people riding Taranaki's silver tsunami will soon be living within sight of the sea.

A $13 million retirement village will be built in Spotswood over the coming months and people are expected to start moving in in March next year.

The Taranaki Masonic Trust venture would have 37 villas, the trust's executive officer, Jill Dingle, said.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the country is experiencing a significant change in population structure. The number of people aged 65 and over has doubled since 1980, and is likely to double again by 2036. By 2061 between 22 and 30 per cent of the population will be over the age of 65, compared with 14 per cent in 2012.

The ever-increasing ageing population had already led to a waiting list for villas around the district and the 1.33 hectare site would help ease some of the pressure on the booming industry, Dingle said.

The trust ran retirement villages in Hawera, New Plymouth, Opunake, Eltham and Waitara and there was a waiting list of at least 50 people, she said. "We have been at the forefront of this industry for 35 years when we first opened Hawera, and we've kept the same model since," Dingle said.


That model focuses on creating an environment where elderly people can live next door to each other, have someone available to fix any maintenance issues for them, but lead an independent life.

"There's nobody knocking on their door telling them what they are doing for the day. And the trust is a charitable trust, so the residents are able to get the benefit of the trust re-investing in the villages and not answering or paying out to shareholders."

Dingle said the trust, which had been operating since 1961, had no problems getting a resource consent for the new retirement village on Manadon St.

"All the neighbours are very supportive. I went and knocked on the their doors and had cups of tea with them and explained what we were doing here."

Venture Taranaki chief executive Stuart Trundle said it was hard to measure the economic impact of an ageing population.

"Retirement has changed in recent decades, and while the ageing demographic presents challenges for businesses in terms of succession planning, it also presents many opportunities," he said.

"One such opportunity is for our silver surfers to utilise their extensive skills and expertise, through leadership positions, voluntary roles and mentoring younger generations, to help maintain the economic momentum of the region."

Taranaki Daily News