Residents’ Rights

It is important that retirement village Residents’ feel secure in their accommodation in a retirement village villa or apartment.

The rights of retirement village Residents’ are defined in the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008.

These documents describe the rights of people living in retirement villages and provide a set of guiding principles for how Residents’ are to be treated, including:

  • The interests of the resident shall be a primary consideration in all action concerning them
  • There should be respect for their existing capacities
  • They should have a say in all matters affecting them

Retirement Villages ACT 2003

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 came into force on
1 February 2004. It comes under the portfolio of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
​It is in the portfolio of the Minister, the Hon Megan Woods. Andrew Crisp has been Chief Executive of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since December 2018.The Act is seen to be “self-regulating”.

The Act is seen to be “self-regulating”. The Retirement Commissioner has required a review of various sections of the Act and the disputes process has been researched by her office.

Code of Practice 2008

The Code of Practice 2008 sets out further rights and obligations of retirement village operators and residents. It provides a set of minimum requirements that all retirement village operators must comply with.

Provisions in the Code override any less-favourable term in an occupation right agreement and are enforceable by residents against operators.

Residents' Rights Resources

Click on the links below to have a look at the offical Documents:


Legal Help for Fellow Residents

We move into a village for ‘peace of mind’ – and for many of us village life is great, however, there are times when we have to address some tough topics – not just (COP) variations – but victimisation, bullying and exploitation by an operator (or others) towards an individual resident or group of residents. The reality is that when there is a case that requires legal help – the operator usually has the deeper pockets. We have cases involving residents, or their residents association, that need your help and ours to defend. Would you consider making a donation towards a “Residents Unite” fund that would help support those in getting the legal help they need to protect their rights – which in turn uphold all our rights?

Please consider making a one-off donation via our givealittle page of $10, $25, $50 or you can do a bank deposit – Westpac 03 0389 0004586 05 (Include your Name, Village & town/city as reference).

​Note: Donations received will be set aside for assisting local residents or committees with legal help, or legal challenges at a national level.

Important Information

Online Services for senior citizens

There is a range of services available online, or you can:

  • call Freephone number 0800 552 002 to make enquiries about’ New Zealand superannuation or your entitlements as a senior citizen,
  • send an email to,
  • send a letter to Senior Services, Ministry of Social Development, PO Box 5054, Wellington 6145,

Office for Senior Citizens

Within the Ministry of Social Development is the Office for Seniors, headed by Hon Ayesha Verrall, Minister for Seniors.

Click here Ministry of Social Development’s Senior Services to open a link to view details on the services this ministry can provide.

The website also lists:

  • your rights and entitlements as a senior citizen
  • where you can get support.

Retirement Commissioner

For retirement villages information:

Care and Assistance

There are additional cost implications if you or your spouse need home support services, or are needs-assessed for residential care. while you are living in a retirement village. See the flowchart explaining different types of care costs for different types of accommodation. It includes tips and links to further sources of information.

Moving from Retirement Village Unit to Rest Home Care

Buying into a retirement village and later transferring into a rest home can pose financial fishhooks which buyers should get full disclosure about, warns the watchdog on retirement villages.

“Buyers should get this information including terms of transfer for short and long-term rest home care before buying an independent unit in a retirement village”, Troy Churton, national manager retirement villages, for the Commission for Financial Capability, said.

Moving from Retirement Village Unit to Rest Home Care  For the latest CFFC(Commission for Financial Capability) monitoring report on the Provision of Residential Care and Occupation Right Agreements (ORA) by Retirement Village Operators.

Please feel free to use this form to contact us through the
 RVRANZ website