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Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Ryman unveils $100m Pukekohe village plan

Ryman Healthcare chief executive Simon Challies says the company has picked Pukekohe for a retirement village due to an 'acute shortage' of facilities for retirees in the region. Photo / Natalie Slade
Ryman Healthcare chief executive Simon Challies says the company has picked Pukekohe for a retirement village due to an 'acute shortage' of facilities for retirees in the region. Photo / Natalie Slade

Ryman Healthcare has announced plans to build a new $100 million retirement village in Pukekohe.

New Zealand's largest retirement village operator has bought a 6.58ha site on Valley Rd and is working on plans to build a village which it hopes will be opened next year, according to a statement from managing director Simon Challies.

The village will be two and three-bedroom independent townhouses, apartments and an aged care centre which will be a resthome, specialist dementia and hospital-level care.

"The resort-style amenities will include a gym, a bowling green, a hairdressing salon, a chapel, a movie theatre, a bar and an indoor swimming pool," the statement said.

Challies said Pukekohe was picked due to an acute shortage of amenities in the Franklin region for retirees.

"Franklin is home to Auckland's fastest growing retired population. The number of retirees has grown by 50 per cent to 9000 in the past seven years alone which puts it on a par with cities such as Rotorua."

"We believe the area is massively underserviced for care and independent living options. Our village would more than double the number of aged care beds in Pukekohe alone."

"It means that Franklin people will no longer have to look elsewhere for care - they can stay in the place they love close to their friends and families."

"It's a terrific site and we're looking forward to building a great village."

Franklin Local Board chairman Andy Baker said the project would be the largest development in the area he could remember.

"It will encourage people to stay here rather than having to move out of the community they've been part of for a long time. It will also provide an economic boost - it's fantastic news - I'm really pleased."

Ryman Healthcare builds, owns and operates retirement villages based on an integrated care model for those aged over 70. The model means that residents who move in will be looked after no matter how their care needs change over time.

David Gibson who lives in the area and is a construction manager, welcomed the village.

"I've always thought Pukekohe would be a great place for a village. It will be great to see it built."

As well as providing construction work the village will create about 100 long-term full time equivalent jobs for the region. There will be roles for registered nurses, caregivers, housekeepers, activities coordinators and gardeners.

Ryman is working through the design and planning process. The company has no firm dates for when the resource consent would be lodged but would hope to have work under way later this year, it said.

Ryman is expanding to keep up with demand as the population ages. Statistics New Zealand estimates the number of New Zealanders aged 75 plus will almost triple to 731,000 over the next 30 years, Ryman said.

- NZ Herald

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