Retirement Living FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Tens of thousands of people just like you have already made the move to retirement villages all across New Zealand, and many of the questions that are asked by prospective residents all across the country are very similar.

In the course of our research, we have learned the answers to many of the questions that people have asked. For this reason we have put together the following information to help answer those commonly asked questions.

If there is anything you do not understand, or is not covered below, please do not hesitate to contact:
Judy Armour (Village Manager – Independent Living) on 09 575 4164 or

Here is a copy of our full “Disclosure statement”

What does an “Occupation Right Agreement (ORA)” mean?
It is important for intending residents of independent living units to be fully aware of the nature of their occupation and ownership of their Villa / apartment.

An ORA is the most common form of entry agreement in retirement villages in New Zealand.

An ORA gives residents the exclusive right to live in their Villa or apartment for as long as they are able to and to also enjoy and use the Village facilities according to the terms of the ORA.

While residents occupy their Villa / apartment under an ORA, the title to the land and building remains with St Andrew’s Village, and the ORA does not carry an entitlement to capital gain on termination of the agreement.

All Villages are governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2003 and its regulations. The Act requires the appointment of a Statutory Supervisor whose role it is to protect the rights of the Village residents, particularly so in the event of the Village operator failing to honour its obligations under the Act.

We recommend you get your solicitor to review both the Disclosure Statement and the ORA documentation and explain it to you if you have any queries – most solicitors are familiar with this type of contract as it is typical in the retirement village industry.

What payment do I make when I leave the village?
Payments to make on termination of the ORA are:

The Deferred Management Fee (DMF): This finances the village capital expenditure and costs not covered by the village levy. It is deducted on termination as a percentage of your original purchase price. It is calculated on a daily basis up to a maximum of 30%.

Any other amounts owed to the Village, for example the monthly village levy or accrued charges incurred in the restaurant etc.

A transfer fee (if applicable)

When will the balance of the ORA be repaid?
Within five working days of the Villa / apartment being re-licensed.

Can I bequeath my ORA to another family member or friend?
No. The ORA is not transferable.

Can a Family Trust purchase an ORA?
The ORA can only be issued in the names of the (maximum of 2) residents occupying the dwelling. However, the funds used to purchase the ORA can come from a Family Trust.

In this case it is recommended that you have a separate Deed drawn up between parties involved, to legally identify where the funds came from and where they are later to be distributed on termination of the agreement.

Will my independence and privacy be respected?
Your independence is encouraged. However, assistance is available if needed via both the Village Nurses and Concierge team. You will live in a community of like-minded people, of similar age with lots of different personal situations and personalities.

A wide range of activities and social opportunities are available within the Village – which you can choose to be involved in if you wish. If however, you simply wish to choose the quiet privacy of your own Villa or apartment; that is fine too. The choice is yours.

Am I able to have my pets living with me?
With the consent of St Andrew’s Village management suitable pets will probably be welcome. The only limitation to this is the possibility that your pet could become a nuisance to others in the Village and it may have to be removed.

Pets are not usually able to be replaced unless it is an assistance animal such as a blind or hearing dog etc.

What happens if I have an accident or get sick?
If you have an accident and need immediate attention, simply press one of the strategically placed emergency call buttons in your Villa/apartment. This will be received by a dedicated call centre and an ambulance will be despatched if necessary.

Where an illness is of a temporary nature – nursing, housekeeping and meals can be arranged to make your situation easier whilst you recover. These services are on a “user pays” basis and can be an enormous relief to your family if they are unable to be with you.

If your health deteriorates significantly, the Village Management team will work with you and your family to help you gain access to community services.

If at some point, you are assessed as needing full time clinical care (i.e. rest home, dementia or hospital care), then St Andrew’s has a full continuum of residential care options on our site. These encompass both a traditional care bed option, whereby the room and care services are paid for on a daily basis, and we are also just commencing the construction of a new care suite development which will incorporate 21 care apartments. These care suites will operate under a hybrid model, whereby the apartment is purchased under a new ORA, but the care component is paid for on a daily basis similar to a traditional care bed.

As a resident of the Retirement Village, you will have priority entry to into our residential care centres should you be assessed as requiring those services.

Who is responsible for insurance?
St Andrew’s Village insure the buildings (including carpets and floor coverings, drapes and fixed chattels). You are responsible for insuring your own contents and personal effects, as well as your private motor vehicle. You will also be responsible for the repair costs or excess on any insurance claim arising out of any damage done by yourself or your guests to the dwelling or Village buildings.

Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?
St Andrew’s Village will be responsible for the costs of maintaining the interior and exterior of your Villa / apartment and the chattels which were provided by us when you first moved in.

What if I want to redecorate my Villa / apartment?
This can only be done in consultation with the Village Management and would be at your own cost.

Under the ORA what payments will I need to make?
The payment you make when you move in:

  • Licence fee – This is the full amount you pay for your Villa as agreed in the ORA with St Andrew’s Village.
  • Payments you will have to make while living in the Village:
  • Village Levy – this fee is charged monthly on a per dwelling basis and contributes to all costs, expenses and other outgoings incurred in operating the Village. (detailed below)
  • Service charges (as used) – This can include a variety of items such as meals and drinks from our restaurants, hairdressing salon, some social events, specific clinical services such as wound dressings, injections etc.
  • Your normal living expenses e.g. food, electricity, phone and internet, contents insurance.

What is the Village Levy and what does it cover?
The Village Levy (monthly fee) contributes towards the cost of providing the following types of services and charges:

  • Exterior and interior building maintenance on your Villa
  • Rates
  • Utility costs not separately charged (e.g. water)
  • Building insurance for your Villa / apartment
  • Lighting to common areas, both inside and outside
  • 24 hour security coverage
  • 24 hour emergency call bell systems
  • Maintenance of gardens and lawns of all units
  • External maintenance of the Village’s walls and security fencing
  • Rubbish removal
  • Administration and management
  • Use and enjoyment of all Village amenities
  • Access to the Village nurse team for general assistance
  • General maintenance to the exterior and interior of your Villa / apartment, including any chattels supplied by St Andrew’s Village upon entry.

It does not include items such as:

  • Insurance on your furniture, clothes, appliances and personal belongings
  • Utility costs (electricity, phone and internet)
  • Pay per view TV such as Sky or other streaming services
  • Purchase of personal pendants for use in conjunction with our emergency call system

Can the Monthly Fee change?
The Monthly Fee is a fixed amount advised to the Resident prior to entry into the ORA, and will not change during the term of the agreement (unless additional taxes become payable on that amount).

Who looks after the interests of the residents?
Under the terms of the Retirement Villages Act, a Statutory Supervisor is appointed who represents the interests of the residents.

At St. Andrew’s Village, the statutory supervisor is Covenant Trustees Services Limited.

St Andrew’s Village is registered under the Retirement Villages Act and is required to comply with the statutory Code of Practice designed to protect the needs/rights of residents.

St Andrew’s is also a member of the Retirement Villages Association (RVA) and is formally audited by external auditors to ensure continued compliance with both the Retirement Village Act and Code of Practice.

Can my family and friends come to stay?
Of course, this is your home. However, for Health and Safety reasons, we recommend notifying the concierge team if guests are staying with you.

You may have up to two guests stay with you for up to four weeks in any 12 month period. If you get our consent, you may have guests stay for longer or have a larger number of guests. We may require any guest to leave if we consider other residents’ enjoyment of the Village is negatively affected by their stay.

Is the Village safe and secure?
Your personal and general security is imperative to us. Our services include strategically placed emergency call buttons provided in each Villa / apartment and monitored 24 hours a day. A mobile security patrol visits every night, a Night Manager is on duty based in the Terraces development, and there are numerous CCTV cameras situated at strategic locations around the Village.

Do I have to maintain my lawns and gardens?
No. The grounds are beautifully landscaped to harmonise with the environment of the Village. There is no requirement that you participate in gardening unless you wish to do so.

What happens when I go on Holiday?
One of the great advantages of a Retirement Village is that there are always people to look after your Villa / apartment. Again, for Health and Safety reasons, we recommend advising the concierge if you are away.

Whether you go away for a week or a few months the Village Management team will care for your Villa and grounds and will securely hold your mail until your return.

Can I transfer to another unit within the Village?
Yes. Residents can transfer to another unit within the village if they so wish. Typically, such requests are received from residents who now wish to downsize to a smaller unit. In the event of a transfer, a ‘transfer fee’ will apply which is based on a flat rate of 5% of the original licence fee. This transfer fee will be deducted from the final exit payment that you receive when you eventually vacate the village and terminate your ORA agreement.

All other aspects of your original agreement with us, will remain the same.

Can I transfer to a care suite in the future?
Residents living independently within St Andrew’s will receive priority for Aged Residential care services such i.e. Rest Home, Dementia and Hospital care, following a formal assessment that 24/7 care is required.

In the event of a resident wishing to transfer from the Independent Village into a care suite (once construction is complete in late 2022), they will need to terminate their original ORA agreement for independent living and enter into a brand new ORA agreement for residential care.