An organisation representing retirement village owner operators has questioned the need to strengthen the complaints system, following a report recommending change.
John Collyns, Retirement Villages Association executive director, said most complaints were resolved at village level and the industry treated every complaint extremely seriously.
He was reacting to the Commission for Financial Capability's report, released this morning, investigating better ways to resolve retirement village disputes.
Collyns indicated support for the existing system.
"The current complaints process is neutral, thorough and impartial. However, we're always looking at ways to ensure residents' expectations are met wherever possible. The sector also treats every complaint extremely seriously.
"Given the negligible number of dispute hearings, it is clear the current system, involving Statutory Supervisors at the start who can resolve issues, is working, but the Association will always welcome further improvements if possible.
Collyns also questioned the need for change, given only 23 disputes went through the formal process between 2007 and last year.
"With over 32,000 residents living in villages, the number of disputes represents around one for every 17,000 residents per annum, which shows the industry responds to resident concerns," Collyns said.
But Nigel Matthews, whose mother is in a Christchurch aged-care facility and who founded the web site Aged Advisor, called for change and said the existing system did not work.
"It's a shame that villages aren't named," he said of the commission's report into complaints against villages.
"I find it staggering that the latest random surveying of residents undertaken in April and May 2015 suggests almost 12 per cent of residents made a complaint to their village over the last two years....and that's only the ones that were bold enough to complain. My experience is that many don't.
"Over the past four years in helping parents transition into a village and then residential care was a real eye-opener. Then when talking to others, they shared similar experiences. A team of us got together to work out how we could improve the situation," Matthews said.
Aged Advisor allows people to give feedback on their experiences in aged care and retirement villages, Matthews said.