Wellington Scoop

$50m retirement village, for 200 people, to be built in Wainuiomata

News from Masonic Villages Trust
The Masonic Villages Trust will be wasting no time in getting works underway on a new retirement village on The Strand, near the centre of Wainuiomata. The $50 million development last week received a resource consent from the Hutt City Council.

“The village will eventually house around 200 people in retirement villas, rest home and hospital beds, care suites and serviced apartments,” Trust chief executive Warick Dunn says.

“In the retirement community, there will be 80 single-story villas available in single, two- and three-bedroomed options. The rest home and hospital will provide beds for up to 60 residents and become one of the largest local employers.

“The establishment of such a village has long been sought by the residents of Wainuiomata. It is only because The Masonic Villages Trust is a charity and has been given significant support by the Hutt City Council that we will be able to turn the community’s vision into reality. I am particularly grateful to mayor Ray Wallace, who has personally championed the village ever since we first became involved.”

Dunn says site preparation will begin in February, with the aim of having the first villas ready to occupy by spring 2019. To meet this deadline, the groundworks need to get underway during the summer months when the soil is relatively dry.

“The development will cost close to $50 million and will be built in stages over several years on former council reserve land. The first buildings will be retirement villas, set in landscaped surroundings. These will be followed by the community facilities and finally by the rest home and hospital.”

He says the Trust will in due course be seeking donations and grants to help fund rest home and hospital equipment and facilities that are not supported by government aged care funding.

“These extras make a huge difference to the lives of patients and those who care for them. When we built Glenwood Masonic Hospital in Masterton in 2010, public support enabled us to build the sort of state-of-the-art facility that we envisage for Wainuiomata.”

Dunn says that with 227 aged care beds and 450 retirement villas and apartments, the Trust is one of the largest charitable aged care providers in the lower North Island.

“We believe we perform an important social role by providing quality accommodation and care to older people with a wide range of interests, lifestyles and budgets.

“Our villages tend to be smaller than would be economic for commercial operators. This enables us to support residents of suburbs and provincial towns who wish to retire in a village where they are close to friends and family.

“Residents enjoy our great community facilities and spacious modern homes, while maintaining their individual identity and local connections. They also benefit from the Trust’s non-profit, charitable ethic that sees any financial surpluses — along with donations and bequests — invested in facilities and services that benefit current and future residents.”

The Trust was established by the Freemasons in the 1960s to benefit the whole community. It has villages in Taranaki, Manawatu, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and Lower Hutt. Its most recent development was Woburn Apartments, a boutique retirement community in Lower Hutt, completed late last year.

News from HCC
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace and local councillors are delighted with today’s announcement by the Masonic Village Trust for a $50 million retirement village development in Wainuiomata.

Mayor Wallace has been vocal in his support for a retirement village in Wainuiomata for many years and says that today’s announcement is great news for the suburb, particularly its elderly residents.

“Wainuiomata is a close-knit community and in the past, elderly residents have had to relocate to other parts of the Hutt Valley to enjoy their retirement. These are often people who have lived their whole lives in Wainuiomata and have contributed to building the strong community that it is today.

“A local retirement village will give the community the option to be able to enjoy their retirement in familiar surroundings, close to their whānau and established network of friends.

“The development will create local jobs and bring economic benefits to the suburb. It’s great news for the whole community. I would like to thank The Masonic Villages Trust for their commitment – this is a huge vote of confidence in Wainuiomata.”

Local Wainuiomata Ward Councillor Campbell Barry says that the announcement is good news for local families and is an acknowledgement of the hard work put in by various community groups and individuals.

“A retirement village has long been needed in Wainuiomata. Families will now be able to stay together. I’m grateful for the advocates in the Wainuiomata community who have been pushing for this, especially groups like Greypower Wainuiomata,” says Cr Barry.

Fellow Wainuiomata Ward Councillor Josh Briggs agrees, saying that a retirement village in the suburb has been a long time coming.

“I would like to thank the Masonic Villages Trust for exploring the idea and for the decision to develop this facility, as well as the huge community support over the years. All residents will be excited by this, not only those who are at retirement age but also those who will now have this option available to them in the future,” says Cr Briggs.

Mayor Wallace said that Council is looking forward to seeing the development progress.

“The local councillors and I are looking forward to working alongside the Masonic Villages Trust and the community as this exciting project is brought to life,” said Mayor Wallace.