Rotorua Daily Post health and business reporter

Dementia village project on track (+video)

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A new retirement village, which developers believe will transform aged care in New Zealand, has moved a step closer with a $1 million consent issued for the next stage of development.

Whare Aroha CARE is currently building its lakeside Ngongotaha facility, which is inspired by acclaimed Dutch dementia village De Hogeweyk and will be the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific area.

It was one of 132 consents issued in June, exactly the same number as the previous June.

However, the total value of the work jumped to $6.5 million compared with $5.9 million in June 2015.

Last month, 19 commercial building consents were issued, worth $2.6 million.

Commercial consents were down slightly compared with June 2015 when $2.8 million worth of consents were issued for 20 projects.

In the residential sector, the number of consents was up by just one on the same time the previous year, with 113 consents issued in June, while the value jumped 28 per cent to $3.9 million worth of consents.

Whare Aroha CARE project manager Deanna Smit said the administration block Whare Aroha CARE received consent for last month was the next stage of development. Ms Smit said work was progressing well.

She said the current focus was on building the 13 individual households which were each slightly different based on their location in the village and the seven different lifestyles New Zealanders live.

"The households are at various stages but all have had their foundations laid and some are even watertight."

She said there had been no major hold-ups or issues with construction, so Whare Aroha CARE was on schedule to move its residents at the end of this year when the lease on its current premise expires.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh said there was plenty of development going on.

He said the residential numbers were positive and reflected what they knew about people borrowing money and doing work on their homes.

He added the consent statistics were good news for local tradespeople.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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