Large display panels around Kapiti Village's hall celebrate 25 years since the first paying residents moved in.

Photographs and snippets on information abound for residents of the Paraparaumu retirement village to peruse at their leisure.

Michael Leggott, who has been a key person setting up the display, said the village was started by Jim Ballinger who had a vision of creating a retirement village with a difference — younger or more active people.

"He and his wife Betty travelled extensively throughout the country and overseas looking at models for it.

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"Their company was the Ballinger Plumbing company at that stage.

"And then he set up a company for the retirement village, bought a dairy farm that was originally intended for an upmarket residential subdivision, and had to convince the council for some road extensions, and started developing Kapiti Village."

John and Adele Twist were the first paying customers when they moved into 6 Somerset Cres, on April 10, 1995.

The sale of town houses was slow to begin with.

"John told me that when they moved in the Ballingers gave them the undertaking that if they couldn't sell a certain number by a certain time, he could get his money back if he wanted to, because they were just anxious to get someone in to start the village going."

The village, which was sold to Metlifecare on May 1, 2006, now comprises more than 300 people who live in 225 town houses.

Throughout the years various additions were created especially a key hub which includes a large indoor swimming pool.

The village is a hive of activity with sporting activities, arts and crafts, dancing, productions, excursions, fundraising and lots more.

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There's also been visits from dignitaries including former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Mr Leggott said the original vision had been retained.

"It was always set up for people who wanted independent living but in a retirement community.

"And it has kept that sort of feeling right through.

"It's a very active community."