A prominent rest home owner and businessman verbally abused his tenants yesterday after they put up a sign at the complex complaining about noisy trucks.

John Tooby, owner of the $80 million Lady Wigram Retirement Village in Wigram, used the f-word frequently and calling the four elderly residents a pack of "bloody kids".

The tirade was recorded by a Star journalist who was at the rest home to photograph tenants about their ongoing issues of noisy trucks on Lodestar Ave.

The elderly residents were clearly shaken and tried to reason with Tooby, saying they were his tenants, but his abuse continued.


Tooby told the pensioners he was "f***ing pissed off" they had contacted the Star about the campaign to stop the trucks.

"Yes, I'm not happy, I'm not putting up with that s**t."

He told them the rest home fence they put the sign on was his property and it had to be taken down.

John Tooby.
John Tooby.

Tooby has been involved with building projects since the 1970s, and set up Golden Healthcare Group, which owns the Lady Wigram Retirement Village.

Tooby and Golden Health Care was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

The company's website ironically features one of the elderly tenants that he abused yesterday on promotion material.

Tooby later apologised to Bob Prescott, one of the pensioners he abused.

Said Prescott: "I had a verbal apology sort of and we did end by shaking hands and I suppose that means something but it's best I say nothing.


"I'm in a difficult situation now and it's better I say nothing."

The Star unsuccessfully tried to talk to Tooby after his tirade.

But in a brief interview by phone earlier in the afternoon he said: "If I worried about heavy trucks driving past, I wouldn't be in business so I would go and find some real news."

Prescott and other residents at the retirement village have been trying to get authorities to stop trucks using Lodestar Ave since earlier this year.

The trucks rattle everything in their units from 4.30am and Prescott can't open doors and windows because of the noise, he said.

Residents have been to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board and the police and Wigram MP Megan Woods about the problem.

Lady Wigram residents before the altercations with owner John Tooby. Photo / Martin Hunter
Lady Wigram residents before the altercations with owner John Tooby. Photo / Martin Hunter