Metlifecare has announced plans for New Zealand's first retirement village to be developed on an existing golf course.

Earthworks have begun for Fairway Gardens in east Auckland's Botany Downs, a $180 million job on land the business bought from the Pakuranga Golf Club.

"The resource consent covers all stages of the $180 million development, with the first 48 premium apartments expected to be completed mid-2021," a Metlifecare statement said.

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Glen Sowry, chief executive said: "It's a great milestone to break ground on what we believe will be a village unlike any other, with unobstructed access to an outstanding golf course and real community integration that promotes wellness and social interaction."

Metlifecare bought this golf club land. Photo / Metlifecare
Metlifecare bought this golf club land. Photo / Metlifecare

The unique site is beside the club on the corner of Botany Rd and Cascades Rds. More than 200 independent and serviced apartments and a 40-bed hospital will be built.

"The village holds clear appeal for golf lovers. Many of Pakuranga Golf Club's members have already registered interest," Sowry said.

Metlifecare first bought 2.38ha of the golf club site in 2017 then an additional 1.06ha in 2018. The total development area now stands at 3.44ha.

In November, former Air New Zealand chief executive Chris Luxon won the National Party selection race for Botany and that was announced at the golf club.

Chris Luxon with wife Amanda won the National Party ticket at the Pakuranga Golf Club in November. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Chris Luxon with wife Amanda won the National Party ticket at the Pakuranga Golf Club in November. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Fairway Gardens is Metlifecare's fifth village in the east Auckland region, not far from its Dannemora Gardens, Highlands, Edgewater Village and Longford Park.

"Significant investment is being made in the area, with a comprehensive revitalisation project underway to deliver 45 new apartments and a homestead model care home at Edgewater, while a second new retirement village, Pohutukawa Landing, is under construction in the heart of Beachlands with the first villas due in 2021," today's statement said.

Just after Christmas, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund agreed to sell its 19.9 per cent stake in Metlifecare to European private equity firm EQT in a $1.5 billion takeover.

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Metlifecare's board signed a scheme implementation agreement with the private equity fund manager and recommended shareholders accept the $7 per share offer valuing the retirement village operator at $1.49b.

The offer was a 50 cent lift from the original bid of $6.50, which the board rejected as being too low after checking with its large institutional shareholders.