Aged-care village build set to start

An artist’s impression of the Metlifecare aged-care facility being built in Wānaka. Resource...
An artist’s impression of the Metlifecare aged-care facility being built in Wānaka. Resource consent was granted by the QLDC recently. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
Metlifecare is set to begin building Wānaka’s newest premium aged-care facility for up to 150 residents at Three Parks, next to the Wānaka Golf Course.

Queenstown Lakes District Council independent commissioner Wendy Baker granted non-notified consent in December for the $200 million investment by Metlifecare, which operates 32 villages and care homes in the North Island and three in the South Island.

Metlifecare Wānaka will build 93 independent villas and a 30-suite aged-care home on a 5.4ha site between the Wānaka Golf Course and the New World Supermarket.

Metlifecare senior development manager Michelle van Kampen said getting approval was a significant step towards construction.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer the choice of Metlifecare’s premium retirement living to this thriving and rapidly growing community ...

"This milestone marks the beginning of an exciting journey, so we’re eager to start progressing with the detailed design phase. Our vision is to create a unique village that offers the perfect balance of tranquillity, community and outdoor splendour", Ms van Kampen said.

Earthworks for the first 30 two- and three-bedroom villas are due to start later this year and the first residents would be welcomed on site in 2026.

Stage 2 — which includes the main amenities building and care home — would be completed in 2027, she said.

High-end architectural and landscape designers would be engaged to create beautiful buildings and outdoor spaces. There would be expansive views to Mount Iron, the northeast and Cardrona Valley, she said.

Premium facilities included a cafe and dining areas, social spaces, a library and a health and wellness spa with a heated indoor swimming pool, spa and gym facilities.

Metlifecare bought the site from developer Willowridge in April 2022.

The company has an overall five-year growth strategy to expand its geographical footprint across the country and increase its volume of residential aged-care offering.

Since 2022, Metlifecare has bought two premium retirement villages in Christchurch (Merivale Village and The Village Palms), and the Springlands Lifestyle Village in Blenheim.

These villages also have existing on-site care homes.

Wānaka aged-care options

—  Presbyterian Support Otago operates Wānaka’s two existing age-care facilities.

Elmslie House Resthome is in Stone St, Meadowstone.

It caters for up to 31 residents and is next door to PSO’s Wānaka Retirement Village, which provides 27 homes in a mix of villas, cottages and apartments.

The Aspiring Enliven Care Centre in Cardrona Valley Rd is a joint venture between PSO and Aspiring Lifestyle Village. The care centre has 54 aged-care rooms, including dementia care and palliative care. The neighbouring lifestyle village has 180 residents living in a mix of villas and apartments.

—  Developer Winton is planning to complete stage 1 of its consented Northbrook Village next year. When completed, there will be 96 luxury units for older people and a 32-suite care home. Northbrook is accessed from Outlet Rd and Malvern St.

—  A 73-unit consented aged-care proposal in Meadowstone by developer Roy’s Bay Estate Ltd is no longer going ahead. The company was liquidated last year, and the land was sold in a mortgagee sale. The new landowner is planning to build luxury apartments instead.