Residents of three Kerikeri streets likely to be swallowed up an expanding retirement village have mixed views, with some lamenting the loss of family homes and others seeing it as inevitable.
In a series of public meetings last week Kerikeri Retirement Village announced plans to buy as many as 42 properties on neighbouring Wendywood Lane, Stella Dr and Hawkings Cres.
The village intends to buy the properties as they come on to the market and says no one will be pressured to sell — nor will the village pay over the odds.
The extra space is needed to cater for what village chief executive Hilary Sumpter calls ''the silver tsunami'', caused by an ageing population combined with an influx of retirees to the Bay of Islands.
The village, which is run by a non-profit trust, aims to boost its current 87 independent living units and 66 care beds to 300 units and 100 beds.
Among those who won't be selling is Jane Dawson, who has lived in the area for 32 years, first on Hawkings Cres and for the past 21 years on Wendywood Lane.
With good-size sections close to town and schools within easy walking distance, it was an ideal place to raise a family.
Her children had been able to walk to school within minutes along a path through redwood trees.
''My concern is that they're taking good family houses out of the housing pool. They're going to demolish them and I think that's quiet sad.'' Dawson said she ''most definitely'' wouldn't sell to the village and had instructed her children not to do so either.
Only a few streets were left in central Kerikeri where a family could buy a home, she said.
Hugh McKechnie, however, has already assured the village it will have first dibs when the time comes for him and his wife Debbie to down-size their Hawkings Cres home of four years.
Their 0.14ha (1/3 acre) property was in a key location for the village's expansion, and more intensive use of land close to the centre of town made sense.
''Of course we'd be upset about the house being demolished ... But as far as we're concerned it's inevitable and it's quite opportune. The whole development has only done good for us.''
At first he had been concerned about extra traffic but he'd been assured that retirement village residents drove less and were home earlier than most people.
Asked about the loss of family homes, Sumpter said every person or couple moving into the village freed up a home somewhere else for a young family.
Retirement Villages Association chief executive John Collyer said nationally 4500 homes were released each year by people moving into retirement villages.
While the Kerikeri Retirement Village expansion would come at the cost of up to 42 homes and units in adjoining streets, it would also free up about 210 homes elsewhere as the number of village units went from 87 to about 300.
The village's announcement came just a month after aged-care firm Arvida unveiled plans to build a $130 million retirement complex with about 200 villas and 80 care beds on Hall Rd.