Changes to retirement village funding

Funding for a new multimillion-dollar retirement village in Oamaru could be two-thirds complete, if Waitaki ratepayers approve a financial structure which differs from what they have previously been consulted on.

In September, the Waitaki District Council gave unanimous approval for its wholly-owned company, Waitaki District Health Services (WDHS), to set up two council-controlled organisations (CCOs) to build and operate the $15 million village on ''Hospital Hill''.

But after considering a report from WDHS, the council yesterday agreed CCOs would not be needed.

Instead, two charitable companies - Waitaki Healthcare Ltd and Waitaki Lifecare Ltd - would be set up under a new independent trust - Waitaki Healthcare Trust.

WDHS chairman George Berry said it was the ''most effective structure'' to run the venture, which was expected to be a ''profitable'' one for investors.

He admitted it was ''a rather different prospect'' from what the council had consulted publicly on, but the village should be in a position to proceed.

''Certainly support for the project is very, very strong. So we're confident in that respect that the community wants this to go ahead.''

The council yesterday decided to notify its intention to create a $5 million loan facility in its 2014-2015 annual plan to help finance the proposed village.

Mr Berry said the $5 million loan from the council would be matched by a $5 million investment from the Waitaki District Health Services Trust, which was part of the Waitaki health group.

Council finance manager Paul Hope stated the new structure meant the project could go ahead without any council involvement if another backer was sought.

Add a Comment