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Answering Your Questions

Things to consider

  • When should I start thinking about moving into a retirement village?

    When the time is right for you, it is best to start thinking about this move while you are still fit and well. Inspect the Selwyn village you are interested in, but we also encourage you to look at other villages. You do not have to make your decision straight away, but you should register your interest so we can keep you informed..

  • When should I put my house on the market?

    We advise that you fulfil our conditions of acceptability into the Village before listing your property for sale.  These consist of an approved medical assessment for independent living and a meeting with our Village Manager.

  • In the unlikely event I need care, what assistance is available to me?

    If you have an accident or suddenly become ill and need immediate attention, simply press one of the emergency call buttons in your villa or apartment to receive immediate emergency care from our first responder. If you are registered with the onsite medical centre/ wellness centre (where available), they may also be available for less urgent issues. If you have influenza or some other illness, or are recuperating after time in hospital, at some villages you may request care to be provided to you in your villa or apartment (including assistance with dressing, bathing, medication and housekeeping). You may also stay in the “recuperation suite” (subject to availability), which is a suite set aside for this purpose in the on-site hospital. There is a variety of optional services available to you to meet your individual needs, including help with your laundry, housework or with provision of meals (there are limitations at some sites and costs may be applicable).

    St Andrews Only: If you have an accident or suddenly become ill and need immediate attention, simply press your Bupa alarm. Depending on the protocol you have established with Bupa they will contact either the person on call or family member and ambulance if required.

  • What is the minimum age for entry into a Selwyn retirement village?

    The minimum age of entry is 65 years for each person.

  • What sort of independent living arrangements are available to me through The Selwyn Foundation?

    The Selwyn Foundation offers accommodation in both villas and apartments under an Occupation Right Agreement (subject to availability).

Your Application and Costs

  • What is an Occupation Right Agreement?

    An Occupation Right Agreement (ORA) is the agreement between you and The Selwyn Foundation. It gives you the right to occupy your villa or apartment in one of The Selwyn Foundation’s villages. The type of ORA that The Selwyn Foundation uses is an occupation licence. This is a common form of ORA used by retirement villages in New Zealand. Under the ORA, you do not own your villa or apartment or the land on which it is located. Title to the land and buildings remains with The Selwyn Foundation. You do gain a right to live in your villa or apartment and to enjoy the right to use the village facilities according to the terms recorded in the ORA. When you terminate the ORA, you are not entitled to any capital gain, even if the retirement village or your villa or apartment has increased in value. All ORAs for villas or apartments at Selwyn villages are secured by first ranking encumbrances over the village land in favour of the Statutory Supervisor. The operation of retirement villages is governed by the Retirement Villages Act 2003 (RV Act). All Selwyn retirement villages are registered with the Registrar of Retirement Villages. The RV Act, its regulations, the Code of Residents’ Rights and the Code of Practice set out the rights available to retirement village residents. Your solicitor must explain these rights to you and you should ask your solicitor to take you through the ORA and its attendant documents. You must sign the ORA in the presence of your solicitor.

  • What will it cost me to enter a Selwyn village?

    The entry fees vary from village to village and unit by unit. They are based upon the market value of the unit. The Foundation has these units valued by an independent valuer at regular intervals. Pricing is reviewed every six months and approved by The Selwyn Foundation Trust Board.

  • Can a Family Trust purchase an ORA?

    No. As an ORA can only be issued in the name(s) of the resident(s) occupying the villa or apartment. Funds used to acquire an ORA may be paid from a Family Trust or with a simple ‘Trust Direction Certificate or Minute’. You can also request that your Exit Payment be paid to a Family Trust. You should talk with your solicitor, if you wish to use funds from a Family Trust.

  • Can I bequeath my Occupation Right Agreement to a family member?

    No. The ORA is not transferable and automatically terminates when you pass away.

  • Who is the Statutory Supervisor and what is their role?

    The Statutory Supervisor for all Selwyn villages is Covenant Trustee Services Limited (Covenant). Covenant’s role is to monitor the villages’ financial position, to act as an independent stakeholder for all deposits or progress payments made by residents for an ORA, and to secure the interests of the residents through a first registered encumbrance over the village land. The Selwyn Foundation is required to consult with and inform Covenant on matters which may affect residents.

  • What do you mean by the “cooling off” period?

    Under the RV Act, you have a 15 working day “cooling off” period after you have signed your ORA in the presence of your solicitor. This means that, at any time in the 15 working days after you have signed your ORA, you may cancel the ORA without penalty. If you do cancel, the deposit you paid will be returned to you with interest. Note, however, that your solicitor may still charge you a fee for the services they have provided. The Selwyn Foundation has a policy that does not allow you to move in until the ‘cooling off period’ has passed.


  • What rules apply in Selwyn villages?

    We have a code of conduct for residents to follow, a copy of which is included as a schedule to your ORA. Residents also have obligations under the Code of Residents’ Rights.

  • Who manages the village?

    Each Selwyn village has a Village Manager who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the village. He or she is supported by staff dedicated to meeting the needs of residents, and who subscribe to the values of The Selwyn Foundation. The Village Manager, in turn, reports to a General Manager who is a member of The Selwyn Foundation Executive team. Village Managers meet regularly with residents to share information and to discuss matters of interest. In larger villages, there is a “Residents’ Committee” who meet regularly with the Village Manager. The Committee is made up of representatives of each area of the village.

  • Will I always be treated with courtesy? Will my rights be respected?

    The Selwyn Foundation wishes you to think of your villa or apartment as your home in a friendly and neighbourly community. You should expect to be treated with courtesy and respect, and you should complain through our compliments and complaints process if you are not. The Selwyn Foundation has obligations under the Code of Residents’ Rights in this respect. Residents are surveyed on a regular basis to gain their honest feedback. This helps us improve our service.

  • Will my independence and privacy be respected?

    Your independence is encouraged and support is available, but only when you want it. We respect your privacy and encourage you to maintain your interests outside the village. You will live in a community of people with different personalities, personal circumstances and varying degrees of wellness. A range of activities and outings will be available to you. Many of our residents also gain a great deal of satisfaction from being volunteers in the village, actively leading resident programmes or becoming members of the Residents’ Committee.hts.

  • What happens when I go on holiday?

    You simply need to advise the Resident Services in advance if you intend to be absent from the village. This ensures we can account for all residents in an emergency..

  • May I bring my pet with me?

    Pets are welcome, however in order to protect all residents you must seek the Village Manager’s approval in writing first. Approval is more likely to be granted if you live in a villa or a ground floor apartment. We will want to reach agreement upfront over who will care for your pet when you cannot. We will also want to agree what will happen if your neighbours subsequently complain about your pet. We will agree all this with you in writing. The Village Manager has discretion to either accept or refuse a pet. Once a pet passes away, it is unable to be replaced.

  • Can I change the decor in my villa or apartment - for example, floor and wall coverings?

    Yes. You must seek our approval in writing first and use The Selwyn Foundation’s approved contractors. When you vacate your villa or apartment, you may be required to reinstate the villa or apartment to its original condition.

  • Can I rent my villa or apartment to someone else?

    No. The villa or apartment is solely for use by the persons named in the ORA.

  • If I have a concern or a complaint, who do I raise issues with?

    In the first instance, you can talk with your Village Manager. If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, you can lodge a formal complaint. The Retirement Villages Act and the Code of Practice have defined processes for handling formal complaints and give you the right to escalate the complaint. A copy of The Selwyn Foundation’s complaints process is available upon request. The Residents’ Committee is another very useful forum to raise issues independently of the operator.

Family and friends

  • Can I invite my family or friends for a meal?

    Of course – this is your home. You can also invite family and friends over for a drink and a meal at any of our village cafés or restaurants. Children and grandchildren are very welcome too. For catered functions, it is necessary to book in advance with reception. Function rooms are available, and most villages can cater for family birthdays, gatherings and funerals.ts.

  • Can my family and friends come to stay?

    Absolutely. Your family and friends are very welcome to stay with you for short periods (up to three weeks), provided you register them with us before they arrive. If you would like someone to stay for longer than three weeks, please see your Village Manager first. This is in the interest of overall village security and safety.

End of Life Choice Act 2019

  • What is Selwyn's position in relation to the End of Life Choice Act 2019?

    On November 7th 2021, it will be legal for people in New Zealand with a terminal illness to ask for medical assistance to end their life – if they meet the strict criteria in The End of Life Choice Act 2019 (the Act). 

    The Selwyn Foundation (Selwyn) is a New Zealand registered charity and is an independent and Christian faith-based organisation providing services to older people and their families. The Selwyn Board and Management are committed to ensuring that the right care is provided, in the right way, at the right time. 

    The scope of this policy relates to all areas where The Selwyn Foundation provides a service and has a “duty of care”.  The policy applies to all Selwyn Foundation employed and contracted staff, volunteers, students and contracted clinical services (staff).

    This policy outlines the position that Selwyn has taken about the Act and the impact it will have on people living within The Selwyn Foundation’s premises or receiving services.

    Our position in relation to the End of Life Choice Act 2019 is that all life is precious and that life is a gift to be experienced and supported until human life is exhausted.  Therefore, The Selwyn Foundation does not support a person using our premises for the purposes of assisted dying, (this stance is known as Conscientious Objection under the Act). However as a person making this choice accesses appropriate care under the Act, we will do all within our power to support them.

    There may be a situation when a person living on Selwyn premises has no other support options outside Selwyn. In this exceptional circumstance, a request for an exemption can be made to The Selwyn Foundation Board. Because we understand that our role is to offer care and compassion in supporting the lawful decisions of the most vulnerable.

    The Act is clear that a person must raise the topic of assisted dying themselves. Staff must not directly or indirectly encourage a person to ask about, or access assisted dying services. We continue to provide excellence of care no matter the choices of any individual.

    Legally, if a person’s whānau or family member asks about assisted dying, staff will inform them that only the person wanting to access assisted dying services can make that request. However the whanau or family member can be directed to the Ministry of Health website. More information regarding the Act can be found here https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/regulation-health-and-disability-system/end-life-choice-act-implementation

    The Selwyn Foundation expects all our staff to practise the Selwyn Way at all times, to be fully trained to understand the Act, Selwyn Policy, Standard Operating Procedures and to understand the position of conscientious objection.