Retirement Villages Act 2003

The Retirement Villages Act 2003 strengthens consumer protection for residents and intending residents. The Act provides a regime to control and monitor retirement village operators.

The Act provides a legal definition of ‘retirement villages’ that covers a range of operations. For a detailed description, see section 6 of the Retirement Villages Act at the New Zealand Legislation website.

The definition focuses on the substance of the village, rather than the form, documentation or the title granted to a resident. The Act specifically states under section 6(5) that in determining whether a property is a ‘retirement village’, regard should be given to the nature, substance and economic effect of the operation of the property, independent of its form or description in any document.

The Act provides rights for people who live in or are considering entering such a village. It contains detailed provisions about residents’ rights in the period before an intending resident enters a retirement village, during their occupation, and after they leave.

The Act places responsibilities on all retirement village operators and are detailed under the Financial Markets Supervisors Act 2011.

The requirements mean that every retirement village operator must:

  • register each village with the Registrar of Retirement Villages. To register operators must lodge the following documents with the Registrar of Retirement Villages:
    • application form
    • disclosure statement
    • title documents
    • deed of supervision
    • an occupation right agreement
    • any other relevant documents.
  • provide the Registrar of Retirement Villages with annual returns, including audited financial statements
  • appoint a statutory supervisor (unless exempted from doing so)
  • comply with the Code of Residents' Rights
  • provide a complaints facility and dispute resolution process for residents
  • comply with a Code of Practice for Retirement Villages when it is in force.


All Regulations that accompany the Act are in force. Copies of these regulations can be found at the New Zealand Legislation website.

[icon] FAQ. Any questions?

If you have any questions about retirement villages please contact the Commission for Financial Capability.