Wanaka Retirement Village is open, occupied and deemed 'outstanding' by founding residents.
Officially opened on 4 December, the 22-home boutique village costing $8.5million is packed with modern eco-friendly features inside and out, and is the life-care complex Wanaka residents have been asking Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO) to provide for many years.
The village is adjacent to PSO's Elmslie House Rest Home & Hospital which was awarded a rare Ministry of Health four-year operating certificate late last year for 'its extraordinary care and attention to those who live there'.
"The Wanaka community has been asking us to provide independent living homes next to Elmslie House for some time, so now they have the continuum of care they have been seeking," PSO Chief Executive Gillian Bremner said.
"The villas and apartments are perfect for people wanting their own space but with the added security of knowing help is nearby if needed.
"The flat terrain of the site, the easy walk to town and exceptional value for money are proving very attractive to residents who see their move as a smart choice," Mrs Bremner added.
Built mainly of Oamaru Stone, clever use of cedar trim by Dunedin architect Sam Smith provides a visual warmth and soft appearance, enhanced by attractive landscaping and ample paving.
"Each of the 14 villas and eight apartments offer spaciousness and privacy, and our commitment to provide residents with top quality, affordable homes, is reflected in a long list of design features – many second to none. We know that residents will be delighted with their new homes," Mrs Bremner said.
Wanaka Retirement Village has been designed to comply with The New Zealand Green Building Council NZGBC Green Star rating scheme criteria. This rating is an international environmental rating that evaluates the environmental attributes and performance of buildings.
Residents will be warm in winter because windows are double-glazed, and roof, wall and floor insulation is of a higher performance levels than usual. Villas have individual solar water heaters while apartment residents draw from two storage tanks pre-heated by solar panels. The attractive Southland beech used on all the doors and window frames is from a sustainably-managed forest.
Village residents share a large common room featuring a kitchen, comfortable lounge chairs and modern audiovisual equipment. It is expected this will be a popular venue for viewing national and international sports events on the large screen.
Covered walkways edge the two-storey apartment complex both at ground level and level one, which is accessed by stairs and an elevator. A large paved area outside the common room is suitable for casual coffees or larger outdoor gatherings, and is linked to Elmslie House by a walkway. Grassed squares add a 'village green' feel to the whole complex.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Mayor, Vanessa van Uden, unveiled a time capsule sealed in the wall of the village common room, and told guests it was hard to believe the site was a bare section just 14 months ago.
"We know that what happens in the past, and the events and experiences that shape our lives, give us a blueprint for our needs in our later years," the Mayor said. "You have managed to create a place where people can live normal lives with good old-fashioned community values. This community will have a great future for the people who have put so much into the town's past," she told PSO officials.
Founding resident Mrs Lesley Paterson, said she was 'hell-bent' on moving in as soon as the village opened.
"Where I lived had a lot of land and now I just want freedom from the responsibility that went with that," she said, adding that several of her friends had also bought in the village and all were singing the praises of the many benefits the complex offered.
Day to day management of the village will be the responsibility of Penny Fisher who is also manager of Elmslie House.
Nine of the homes have been sold under the Occupation Right Agreement procedure and PSO expects the remaining villas and apartments to be sold over the next few months now prospective residents have a completed complex to view.
Sale of the homes is being handled by The Professionals, Wanaka Wide Realty Ltd.