Media Release

Metlifecare to move into the South Island with premium retirement offering

22 April 2022

Birds eye view of Wānaka site

Metlifecare Limited today announced the purchase of a 5.42-hectare site in central Wānaka where it will build a premium retirement village in this popular region of the South Island.

Metlifecare’s Chief Executive Officer, Earl Gasparich, said it was a milestone day for the company which intends to invest around $200 million in the property, which will be part of the Three Parks development at Lake Wānaka.

“We are on an exciting journey of growth and transformation, and this move back into the South Island is a significant step forward to increasing our geographical footprint. We’re looking forward to engaging extensively with the local community through the design and development process. We are committed to ensuring our village will be a valuable and proud part of the Wānaka community.

“We’ve secured a fantastic site which boasts 360-degree mountain views, along with a very central location that’s handy to all the town’s amenities. It ticks all the boxes for a premium retirement living destination.”

Mr Gasparich added the new village would help meet the needs of senior New Zealanders in one of the country’s fastest-growing regions.

“Wānaka is a highly desirable area to retire due to its picture-perfect scenery and access to some of the best outdoor and alpine activities that New Zealand has to offer. We know this will appeal to both local retirees, and those from the wider Otago region, who enjoy an active lifestyle and the great outdoors.”

Metlifecare’s Head of Development, Matt Wickham, says crucially the design of the village will reflect Wānaka’s natural landscape and incorporate key amenities and features that epitomise Wānaka’s local community and lifestyle.

“We know that our future residents are accustomed to high-end architecture and appreciate outstanding urban design, so we’ll be bringing together award-winning architects and landscape designers to create a community they will be proud to call home.

“Reducing our environmental footprint through new village developments is a fundamental part of Metlifecare’s sustainability focus. Around 120 independent villas and 17 apartments will be built to a Homestar 7 rating, and a premium care centre to 6 Green Star – currently the highest Green Star certification rating for a commercial building,” says Mr Wickham.

Mr Wickham added the proposed development and village could create up to 140 construction jobs in the local community.

“With large-scale development projects comes multiple opportunities for local businesses and workers. Once underway, we’ll be looking to engage workforces from right across the development sector. Once complete and fully operational, the village and care home will employ around 50 people, from village managers and nurses, to kitchen staff and gardeners.”

The village will be in close walking distance to Wānaka Golf Club, New World supermarket, the Wānaka Recreation Centre and other planned retail and commercial amenities under construction within Three Parks.

Three Parks developer, Allan Dippie, who sold the site to Metlifecare, said he’s delighted with the outcome.

“It’s actually the first residential development for Three Parks which until now has been focusing on commercial, retail, recreational and educational initiatives.

“It’s a very exciting project for Wānaka and this announcement will be followed by more significant projects within Three Parks to be announced over the next few months.

“Metlifecare wants to get started on the project as soon as possible, so from our end we are swinging straight into action with the earthworks to prepare the site together with roading and the extensive underground infrastructure to service such a large development.

“We’re really pleased to welcome Metlifecare to Wānaka. We know they have an outstanding reputation for designing bespoke villages for the communities in which they are located. A new Wanaka retirement village and care home will be a great asset for both the local community and the Three Parks precinct,” says Mr Dippie.

The proposed village will include a residential care facility.

“Residents will be able to live completely independently in their own apartment or villa, with all of the services and amenities you’d expect in a premium retirement village, but with the added comfort of knowing that premium aged care services and accommodation will be available, should there be a time when it is needed,” says Mr Wickham.

Subject to resource consent, construction is expected to commence in late 2023 and the first stage of the development is anticipated to be open for the first residents in 2025.

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