by Geoffrey Churchman
This announcement comes less than two weeks after the announcement by the central government Environment Protection Authority that Summerset has been granted fast track approval for its planned village on the east side of the Kapiti Expressway, a.k.a. the ‘Ewy’. This land, more or less on the other side of the ‘Ewy’ from Summerset’s plans, has been marketed by the Maypole company (ngarara.nz) for several months and now the purchase of 9 hectares of it has been announced by Arvida Group.
This company was registered in 2014 and has five directors and 10 main shareholders, one of which (with 4%) is the ACC. It is listed on the stock exchange with the ticker ARV. According to the company website, it now has 32 retirement communities throughout New Zealand/Nu Tirani.
The intended Waikanae village “would comprise 180 villas, 40 apartments and 60 care suites which would provide hospital and dementia-level care on-site.”
The company’s media release by Auckland-based chief executive Jeremy Nicoll states that China virus delays “had affected the ability to fully engage with the main stakeholders but we are planning, as soon as we can, to commence this engagement and work closely with Kapiti Coast District Council and the wider community”.
The company says investment will be about $130 million over a period of years and about 200 jobs would be created during peak construction. Once completed and operational, the facility will employ about 60 people full-time.
The company already owns Waikanae Lodge in Te Moana Road.
All this won’t happen fast, of course. Detailed plans will have to be completed, and the KCDC will necessarily have some involvement, before it goes off to the EPA for fast-tracking.
Will local people have any opportunity for input through a notified RMA consent? Probably not. Does Waikanae need a 5th such village operated on the highly profitable “licence to occupy” scheme as well as the Bupa (Winara), Parkwood, Rymans and Summerset property businesses? Readers will have their own opinions on that.