Retirement villages could be creating as many as 1700 full-time construction jobs and generating as much as $117 million for the Bay of Plenty's economy.
A number of new retirement villages are being built or are expanding across the region, particularly in Tauranga.
Industry experts say the boom in retirement village development is meeting market demand as an increasingly ageing population seeks retirement - and fast.
A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting report commissioned by the Retirement Villages Association New Zealand investigated the contribution new villages make to the local economy.
The report found there were 12 villages from Tauranga to Whakatāne with about 870 units either at the design, consenting or construction stage.
Six more villages with 540 villas or apartments were on the drawing board.
The research suggested that number of units could create 1700 full-time construction jobs and 800 full-time jobs as managers, chefs, caregivers, activity co-ordinators, cleaners, maintenance staff, gardeners and clinicians.
It could also generate $117m for the region's economy.
Retirement Villages Association president Graham Wilkinson said retirement villages were sought after.
"What we are seeing is diligence," he said. "There is an increasingly ageing population seeking retirement. The Bay of Plenty is an absolute driver in all of that."
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Wilkinson said in Tauranga City's case, about 31 per cent of people aged 75-plus choose to live in a registered retirement village.
"That means one in five people are living in a retirement village," he said.
Age Concern Tauranga general manager Tanya Smith said Tauranga was a popular place to retire.
"We have been told the baby boomers are coming for the last 20 years and now it is happening. There is a market there. People want to come here, it is a beautiful place."
However, Smith had concerns that with demand for retirement villages came a bigger demand for other services such as medical centres.
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said retirement villages were meeting market demand.
"Tauranga is expected to grow by 20,000 residents over the next decade. A quarter of this growth will be made up of people aged 65 years and older."
Cowley said retirement villages also came with a range of economic benefits.
"The strong aged-care sector in the Western Bay of Plenty attracts high-quality medical facilities and services that other residents can also access.
"Villages also support our local tourism businesses with out-of-town relatives visiting throughout the year."
Medcall regional manager for the Bay of Plenty and Waikato, Shirley West, said phones had been ringing off the hook at the healthcare recruitment agency.
"Demand has grown so much more than it was this time last year and that is because of the new facilities popping up," she said.
"It is good for the region to have these state of the art facilities but they do need the staff to fill them. There is a nationwide shortage, we are crying out for registered nurses."
1st Call Recruitment managing director Phil van Syp said the construction industry was also in desperate need of skilled workers with the amount of development in Tauranga.
"Construction is extremely busy. Anyone with skills, we are in dire need of them."
It is just a large patch of green grass at the moment, but in 10 years' time, there will be a fully functional aged care facility.
Wind the clock forward to 2029 and there will be 110 villas and a contemporary care facility that will also provide for dementia care patients at 718 Grenada St.
A building consent worth $12.6 million was approved in June to build the new retirement village, which will be named Parewaitai.
The development is being built in partnership with the Classic Group, Kensway Consultants and Parewaitai Estates Limited, which is a family-run company.
Parewaitai Estates Limited chairman Paraone Pirika said the development will be named Parewaitai after his great grandmother, who was the original owner in the early 1900s.
"Parewaitai, it means when the oceans are calm," he said.
Pirika said the 36ha was just farmland five decades ago, with neighbours using it for calving.
"It took us 50 years to get to a place like this."
Over the years, the family developed the land into residential housing at the front and rear of the section.
But Pirika said the family wanted to keep hold of the land and eventually decided to build a retirement village.
"We wanted to share our kuia's land with the community. We were just waiting for the right time."
Tauranga's retirement villages
Two consents issued for nine new villas at the $250 million eco-friendly Pacific Lakes Retirement Village in Pāpāmoa ($2.6m)
One consent for a retirement village at 718 Grenada St ($12.6m)
One consent for a new development at Copper Crest Retirement Village ($18.0m)
- One consent to build the foundations for a new aged care and apartment complex
at Copper Crest Retirement Village ($7.9m)
- One consent to demolish and rebuild a new 60-bed aged care facility at Hamurana Rd, Ōmōkoroa ($15m)
One consent for stage two of the Melrose Retirement Village development on Waihi Rd ($27m)
Source: Priority One
Rotorua's retirement villages
40 Owhatiura Dr (new retirement village)
- Resource consent granted November 21, 2018 for 65 units
- Building consents granted July 12, 2019 for two new show homes ($550,000)
22 Hilda St (Glenbrae – existing retirement village)
- Resource consent granted September 25, 2018 for variation to existing village for 12 additional units
- Building consent granted August 12, 2019 for three two-storey apartments for 12 additional units ($3.6m)
429 Te Ngae Rd (Redwood Village – existing retirement village)
- Resource consent granted October 24, 2018 to add additional 11 card beds and three lounges
- Building consent granted December 11, 2018 for creating 12 bedrooms and communal spaces ($1.9m)