Below is a list of frequently asked questions about our plans for the future. Click on the question that interests you to reveal the answer. If you need any further information please click on the ‘contact us’ button at the foot of the page and we’ll answer your question as soon as possible.
Why do you need to grow? Why can’t you just focus on providing Aged Care for the Kerikeri Community?
The growth in demand for retirement accommodation and aged care services is very much a local issue. It’s not just a national one. By growing we are helping to meet local demand, not just demand from elsewhere. We have 150 people on our waiting list & about 40 of those are urgent.
Aren't you contributing to the accommodation shortage by marketing to people from outside the region?
The fact is – the silver tsunami is happening regardless of what our community does or doesn’t do about it. To a large extent it involves people from our own communities. This is, and always will be, our primary area of focus.
In so far as we bring new people into our community, that’s about playing our part in harnessing both for ourselves and for the District the economic potential that this sector represents.
I think the argument that we shouldn’t promote our District as a retirement destination of choice because we don’t have the infrastructure is a negative, defeatist one. Instead we say: let’s build the infrastructure and take advantage of the opportunity this sector represents for the ultimate benefit of all across our District.
Do you need every property owner to sell to you before you start building?
What if some neighbours don't want to sell? How will you manage your growth plans then?
We fully expect that not everyone will want to sell to us – and we understand that. We will simply have to do the best with what we are able to acquire – at this stage all we’re doing is confirming what until now has been this town’s worst-kept property secret! We have a long time horizon and are preparing for the long term, so there’s no rush.
Won't it be more expensive for you to build on a piecemeal basis?
We won’t be building on a piecemeal basis. We’ll wait until we have a useful amount of property under our belt.
Why do you have to grow in situ? There’s plenty of Green Field space out there to grow on!
We have considered operating several campuses, with perhaps the rest home and care facilities sited further out of town. But the overwhelming response we have had from staff, our residents and their families is that, mobile or not, proximity to the centre of town and a feeling that they remain part of a vibrant community is of immense value to our Care Facility residents and their families.
Some elderly don't contribute a lot financially to our community. Why should we support this?
Even if you accept the notion that our elderly don’t contribute significantly to our District’s GDP, which we don’t, this argument doesn’t take into account the significant social and economic contribution of the aged care sector as a whole. Every 100 independent retiree living units are supported directly and indirectly by 64 people so growth in the aged care sector means job creation, more education and training, and GDP growth from construction and an expanded population base.
Growth of the Village means growth in employment and has a ripple effect throughout the community as people require the services of the increased population.
Won't using land, formerly used as rental properties, just create a different kind of accommodation shortage?
Many of the people moving into the new accommodation will be moving out of the homes they’re in now and will either sell these or rent them out. We don’t believe there will be a net reduction in homes available locally to buy or to rent.
Also - every 100 independent retiree living units are supported directly and indirectly by 64 people so growth in the aged care sector means job creation, more construction and an expanded population base. Far from degrading the community, we’re actually invigorating it.
Our village residents do contribute to the community. They are generally really engaged and future-thinking people who want to be a part of what Kerikeri has to offer and contribute in a useful way to their community.
How many apartment blocks do you envisage in total?
3-4 apartment blocks placed strategically around the Village where they don’t obstruct views or sight lines.
When will you start building?
We have already started. The apartments we are building on Kerikeri Road are part of this overall vision. In terms of the additional independent living units, we will start building as soon as we have sufficient property to make that viable.
What’s this growth plan going to cost? And how will you fund it?
It will cost in the tens of millions, but we can’t be specific at the moment.
We’ll use bank funding for development - payable down on Occupational Right Agreements sales of the independent living units. Profits will go towards developing the care facility and community amenities as we don’t have shareholders who require dividends.
Are you getting the support and engagement you need from Council on this issue?
We are having constructive discussions on how to take advantage of the social and economic potential of the Silver Tsunami. We’re not as confident that out warnings about infrastructure investment are being heeded.
Why are you being critical of Council? And what are you doing about helping Council to deal with it?
We’re not being critical. We are ringing an alarm bell. Clearly and persistently. And we are having constructive discussions on how to take advantage of the social and economic potential of the Silver Tsunami.
You’re killing our infrastructure – sewerage, fresh water, etc
We haven’t created the growing demand for retirement accommodation and aged care services. But the clear expectation in the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Ageing Strategy of December 2016 is that aged care providers and local government are responsible for meeting it. For dealing with it.
The ‘and local government’ part is important. We are playing our part with the plans we are outlining this week. But we cannot be responsible for the demands and pressures that looking after our community’s elderly will inevitably put on this District’s infrastructure. That is clearly Council’s statutory obligation.
We believe that the ‘Silver Tsunami’ can be harnessed for the benefit of the entire District. There is significant social and economic upside for the Mid North if it can be properly harnessed. Every 100 independent retiree living units are supported directly and indirectly by 64 people so growth in the aged care sector meant job creation, more education and training, and GDP growth from construction and an expanded population base.
How can you keep growing when there just aren’t the healthcare facilities available to look after all these elderly?
There are a number of discussions taking place at the moment about what could be done to boost the availability of acute care locally, and we are involved in many of these discussions.
Of course, the other way to look at that same question is to recognise that with numbers comes the business case. The more elderly there are in our community, the more pressing and convincing is the case for greater investment in acute care facilities by the Ministry of Health and others.
Demand is forecast to peak in 20 years,what will you do with all the surplus accommodation after that?
We’re not building so much now that we won’t be able to fill it when the bubble passes through. In fact, we’ll be far better placed than many providers because we will still have a relatively small amount of accommodation stock on our books.
You’ve left your run a bit late, haven’t you? This bubble was predicted decades ago.
By the time you’ve done what it shows on your plan, wont the bubble will have burst?
That’s partly why we need Council to streamline its Consenting processes and start leap-frogging its thinking and planning process so that instead of following the curve and always playing catch-up to demand, they put themselves in front of it. We are right on track to meet the demand, it couldn’t have happened earlier
Will you be offering any affordable or rented accommodation within these new accommodation plans?
This is a looming issue for our District. We are keen to be a part of a solution to help people across the district live a quality life, the way they want to, even if they don’t have assets to buy into a community. So yes, affordable housing solutions is a conscious part of how we work.
Investment in Kerikeri by Arvida/Metlifecare
Other organisations have recognised the growth in Kerikeri and we know we can’t supply all the demand. But we have several factors in our favour that no-one else does: the best location in Kerikeri and the fact that we are a charitable organisation which doesn’t have shareholders so our profits can be invested back into the community. By and for Kerikeri!
Will you open similar Villages in other towns around Northland?
We are a Charitable Company set up specifically to cater for the retirement and aged care needs of the people of Kerikeri. We have no plans to extend beyond Kerikeri.