Purchasing a Unit in a Retirement Village

Visitors may be forgiven for thinking Queenstown does not have an elderly population. Queenstown’s elderly are an elusive bunch; you have to be up early to beat them to the golf courses, they’ll have done their First Tracks at Coronet Peak before anyone else has even got out of bed, you may even spot a gang of lycra clad esteemed ladies and gentlemen biking the Wakatipu Trail before heading for coffee. Queenstown’s pioneers are hardy but growing old. More young families in the area are also attracting more grandparents. The elderly are an essential part of any community.


We are seeing a response in private facilities being offered such as Arrowtown Lifestyle Retirement Village and Queenstown Country Club. Retirement Villages have appeal to those who would love to grow old in an independent environment with the opportunity to socialise with like-minded souls. Retirement Villages can also offer some security and peace of mind that there are people on call for assistance if needed.

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 was designed to ensure the elderly and their family were given clear and concise disclosure of what exactly they are getting when entering into a Retirement Village. Purchasing a Unit in a Retirement Village is after all, more of a lifestyle choice than an investment. The purchase price usually grants only the right to occupy the unit and there is no ownership of the land or building. The occupation still has ongoing costs for facilities, utilities and for the cost of care needed.

All these things are made very clear in the documentation that the Retirement Village must legally provide to prospective purchasers. However, the documentation can be vast and daunting and for this reason the Retirement Village is bound by law to ensure that anyone considering entering into an agreement is first advised by a lawyer.

At Goldman Legal we like to translate these perplexing matters into plain English so you can be sure you know exactly where you stand. Also, our team is not so old as to need retirement ourselves soon, so you can be sure we will be acting on your behalf for a long time to come! If you are thinking of looking into a Retirement Village for yourself or a family member, get in touch and we can steer you right. If you have overseas elderly parents and you would like them to join you in New Zealand, look out for our next blog on immigration options for extended families.