Wet weather and a construction materials shortage have hit New Zealand's biggest listed retirement operator, delaying a big village building project on Auckland's North Shore.

Ryman Healthcare had expected residents to shift into its new Bert Sutcliff Retirement Village in the Beachhaven/Birkenhead area this week.

But a spokesman for the business led by Simon Challies said the project was delayed by nearly two months.

"We are really disappointed and so are residents. We hate to let them down. We've provided storage, removal and accommodation compensation to keep the inconvenience to a minimum.


"The delays are mainly due to two main factors - supply shortages and the weather. We experienced delays because of a shortage in the supply of concrete panels. Because of the huge amount of building work going on in Auckland our suppliers couldn't keep up," he said.

Yesterday, rival listed retirement village operator Metlifecare revealed an 86 per cent net after tax profit increase for the year, driven by revaluaton gains and big re-sale numbers.

Re-sales happen when residents get sick or die and must leave their units, enabling Metlifecare to re-sell them for higher sums.

The Ryman spokesman explained more.

"The delay in getting concrete panels pushed the programme into winter. We have experienced one of the wettest winters on record in terms of rainfall days. It rained almost every day in May, and again from mid-June into August.

"This severely impacted the ability of our roofing, bricklaying and exterior plaster contractors to make the buildings watertight, so the internal trades could then complete their works," the Ryman spokesman said.

More than 400 people will live in towers up to nine levels high at the site.

The Ryman spokesman said the delays had prompted a change at the business.


"As a result of the delays in getting precast panels, we have now set up our own precast panel plant in Wiri. We will use it to supply our Birkenhead and Greenlane sites. We have new villages to build in Devonport, Tropicana, Hobsonville and Hamilton so we think it will be a wise investment," he said.

A number of North Shore house sale deals are understood to have been affected by the delays. Some retirees who have bought into the new village cannot settle on their deals.

Retirement Village Auckland Boom


- Building at Birkenhead/Beachhaven

- Building at Greenlane/One Tree Hill

- Planning to build at Narrow Neck

- Building at Pukekohe

- Planning to build in Hobsonville

- Planning to build in New Lynn

- Building The Orchards, Glenfield
- Plans to build at Red Beach, Hibiscus Coast
- Building Greenwich Gardens, Unsworth Heights
- Plans to build at Albany
- Plans to build at Crestwood, New Lynn
- Plans to build at Pinesong, Titirangi

Summerset Group
- Building at Ellerslie
- Has a Parnell site
- Expanding at Warkworth