Press Release – Masonic Villages
The Masonic Villages Trust, a Lower Hutt-based charity, is planning a $30 million retirement village on former reserve land in the heart of Wainuiomata. Current plans are for it to include a 48-bed rest home and hospital as well as 72 villas.
The Trust is one of the largest charitable aged care providers in the southern North Island, with villages in Palmerston North, Foxton, Levin, Masterton and Woburn. All except the Foxton village include a rest home and hospital.
For nearly 20 years the Wainuiomata community has been calling for a rest home and retirement village to be established in the suburb.
“We are keen to help but need to be confident that a village will be financially viable. So after two years of investigation, we have made an offer for 3.9 hectares in Hugh Sinclair Park,” says Trust chief executive officer Warick Dunn.
“If the Hutt City Council accepts this offer there is a very good chance the village will become a reality. We still have to complete detailed costings, but strong community support and the central location of the proposed site – near the shops, medical centre and other amenities – are positives. We will make a final decision in the next 12 months.”
The Trust’s $275,000 offer, which is below valuation, reflects the estimated $1.6 million cost of remediating the peat soils underlying the site to create a sound building platform.
“Initial plans are for 72 retirement villas, as well as a state-of-the-art rest home and hospital with 48 care beds, as well as a community centre, all located in beautifully landscaped grounds. It will be a wonderful place to retire and a great asset for Wainuiomata,” Mr Dunn says.
The Trust, which was set up by the Freemasons for the benefit of the wider community, has a mission of providing “great care and great communities” for older New Zealanders.
“We believe charities still have a very important role to play in the aged care sector. We cater for people from all income levels and walks of life. We are one of the few providers who offer both rental and owner-occupier accommodation to the over-65s,” Mr Dunn says.
The Trust is currently redeveloping its retirement community in Woburn, with the first stage of Woburn Apartments due to be completed late this year. It is also in merger discussions with another charity in the Wairarapa with a view to merging the Carter Court retirement village into the Trust’s operations.
NB: This matter will be considered by the Hutt City Council at its meeting on 2 September. See the Hutt City Council’s report on this matter at http://infocouncil.huttcity.govt.nz/Open/2014/09/HCC_02092014_AGN_AT.PDF (p48)