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Phone: 03 525 8099
Fax: 03 525 8051



Living Well in Golden Bay

  • About the Project
  • Progress
  • Information

About the Project

History       ¦       Aim       ¦       Process

History of the Project

In 2011 the Golden Bay Work Centre Trust commissioned a research project to look at the ageing population in Golden Bay and the things people need if they want to remain in Golden Bay as they grow older. The results of the "Ageing in Place in Golden Bay" research project were reported back to the community in February 2012.

The research found that the main issues contributing to peoples' ability to Age in Place (or not) in Golden Bay are:

  • the quality of their accommodation
  • the quality of their social networks
  • their financial situation; and
  • their health

In addition, there are other issues which need to be addressed to prepare for the expected increase in the number of older residents in Golden Bay. They are:

  • Transport - The lack of public transport means that Golden Bay residents can’t take advantage of the transport subsidies available in urban areas. We need some alternatives to private cars that allow our older people to access transport subsidies.
  • Home Support - This service is essential to enable people to keep living at home as their health and physical abilities decline. The low rate of pay and often long travel distances between clients is affecting the number of care workers available to provide home support.
  • Volunteers - A large number of services for older people rely on volunteers. Volunteer organisations report increasing difficulties recruiting new volunteers, particularly for executive positions.

The "Ageing in Place in Golden Bay" research provided valuable information which the Work Centre Trust wanted to use as a springboard for action. In June 2012 they applied successfully for funding through the Lottery Grants Board for a two year community development project "Living Well in Golden Bay". back to top

Aim of the project

The project is looking at two of the key issues identified in the research, and relevant to all ages:

  • the lack of a range of suitable housing options that enable people to live in environments and ways of their own choosing as they retire and grow older and their housing needs change.
  • the fragility of social networks - the future of people's social networks and the community fabric depend on having a good pool of younger, energetic people. At present more younger people are leaving the Bay than moving into it. A lack of affordable housing is one of the main reasons for this.

The aim is to develop, by June 2014, an Action Plan to implement positive, practical, achievable strategies and outcomes to increase suitable housing options, and strengthen the social fabric. The Action Plan will include a range of possible solutions for housing which could be put in place, taking into account issues such as location, sector responsibility, financing, and the impact of local and central government legislation and policies. back to top


The project is designed to be positive, constructive and inclusive to enable the community to address the issues and plan for action. It will use the collective skills and experience available to bring about positive action outcomes, and will be free, open and transparent. It will involve people in the community who are interested in the development and design of a range of housing options to meet the needs of the people in the Bay who find current housing options either inappropriate or unaffordable.

Involvement in this community development project will contribute to the strengthening of social and community networks. However, as this is a community development project, it’s not possible to predict the directions that the community will take, or the decisions that will be made. back to top


Survey       ¦       Consultation       ¦       Interviews and E-Update Archive

e-updates with information about progress on the project are sent out to a contacts list of interested people approximately every 4-6 weeks. If you would like to receive e-updates please contact


A survey was sent out in the Golden Bay Weekly at the beginning of February to all 2500 householders in Golden Bay. It was also available at the Library, Heartlands, and on-line, and was advertised through e-updates and on Fresh FM. The aim of the survey was to raise community awareness of the project, find out people's priorities, and collect ideas and comments.

126 responses were received, 56 of these on-line. Two thirds of the respondents ranked "more flexible Council planning regulations to enable multiple dwellings on suitable properties" as the number 1 priority. People commented that this would then enable eco villages, co-housing or retirement villages (which were ranked second, third and fourth respectively) to happen more easily. More rest home beds in the future, a small, secure dementia unit and more small houses, flats or units dotted around present residential areas were also suggested in the comments submitted. Some people mentioned the high costs of these developments, as well as problems with the NZ Transport Agency over access onto State Highway 60.

Consultation meetings

Public meetings were held in Takaka, and Collingwood, and the project was discussed at meetings run by Lions, Probus, Pohara Women, Rural Women, Abbeyfield, and Senior Citizens. Presentations were also made to the Manawhenua Ki Mohua komiti and Tasman District Council Environment and Planning Committee, and updates were presented to the GB Community Board. Meetings were also held with a wide variety of people interested in the project.

The results of the consultation are in the Findings from meetings and survey.

Evaluation and endorsement of next steps

Feedback received showed that people thought the consultation process was good, and accurately recorded their input. They were supportive of the next steps proposed which are to:

  1. Explore the possibility of working in partnership with Golden Bay and Nelson Tasman Housing Trusts to find land to build a small cluster development in Takaka
  2. Work with TDC to make policies and regulations more flexible in their review of Rural Land Use, to allow a variety of different housing options for people
  3. Encourage community members to think seriously about their own personal strategies for accommodation as they age

The Work Centre Trustees endorsed the next steps, as did the GB Community Board.

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Fresh FM Interviews

Fresh FM has broadcast two interviews about the project - you can listen to those interviews:

E-Update Archive

e-update 1: 19 December 2012

e-update 2: 7 February 2013

e-update 3: 16 April 2013

e-update 4: 3 May 2013

e-update 5: 8 July 2013

e-update 6: 29 July 2013


From time immemorial people have been grappling with the issue of affordable housing around the world - including in Golden Bay. What makes the present time interesting and challenging is the changing demographic situation. University of Waikato demographer, Professor Natalie Jackson, said at a Local Government conference that over the next 2 decades all growth in 56 of the 78 territorial authorities will be in the 65 plus age bracket, and by 2013 91% of authorities will have more elderly than children. According to Statistics NZ, Golden Bay has experienced a higher increase in older people than many other rural areas of New Zealand, rising from 12.6% in 2006 to an estimated 16.4% in 2011.

  1. People have done research, and there are various initiatives which relate to the accommodation needs of the ageing population, including:
    1. Research by Judith Davey on Accommodation Options for Older People in Aotearoa/New Zealand. (PDF document)
    2. The Ministry of Social Development offers a number of different resources and services for seniors, including the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy. Two of the ten goals of The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy are:
      • affordable and appropriate housing options for older people; and
      • older people living in rural communities are not disadvantaged when accessing services
    3. The Productivity Commission report on Housing Affordability has two recommendations about the costs of planning processes which impact on the affordability of housing:
      • Recommendation 7.4 - Councils review regulatory processes with the aim of providing simplified, speedier and less costly consenting processes and formalities
      • Recommendation 7.5 - Government consider the case for a review of planning-related legislation to reduce the costs, complexity and uncertainty associated with the interaction of planning processes under the Local Government Act, the Resource Management Act and the Land Transport Management Act.
  2. The issue of housing options for people as they age is being addressed world-wide. Some initiatives from elsewhere include:
    1. Retirement Villages which people can move into as a first step towards more supported accommodation are proliferating in New Zealand as the population ages. Many of these are run by commercial operators, for example Rymans. Some are run by community trusts including:
      • Parkwood Retirement Village - I had the opportunity to visit Parkwood with the chairman of the Board, Chris Lee. Parkwood is set in beautiful grounds, and now has over 200 villas. It is much bigger than anything that might be considered for Golden Bay, but there are points about its success which would be relevant for a similar development in Golden Bay- see Notes from Parkwood visit (PDF document)
      Another interesting example of a care facility is Moreh, a family-style charity home for the elderly in Fairlie. You can read about it here or listen to an interview broadcast in November last year on National Radio's "This Way Up" programme.
    2. Communities - there are various types of intentional communities - urban, suburban or rural based - set up to share some aspects of land/property ownership and living arrangements.

      They come broadly under the definition of cohousing. Some cohousing communities have the specific goal of becoming more socially, economically and ecologically sustainable and are known as eco villages, or eco neighbourhoods.

      I visited three cohousing communities:
      • Earthsong - an eco neighbourhood in Ranui, a suburb in West Auckland
      • Braemar - an eco village in its early stages on the site of the old Braemar hospital, opposite Nelson hospital
      • Atamai – an eco village up the Motueka river

      All of these communities had dealt with, or were dealing with, council and government regulations. All wanted to be inter generational communities, and were grappling with how to make membership affordable enough to attract younger families. See my Notes from cohousing visits (PDF document).

      There are several communities already existing in Golden Bay, including Tui and Rainbow Valley communities which were set up in the seventies and eighties under the Golden Bay County Council.

      Some people have more land than they want to look after as they grow older, and would like to share their land with a family member, or another family. A Land Share seminar was held at the Mussel Inn in July 2010 which looked at different ways of shared ownership of land, and the Tasman District Council regulations on multiple dwellings on a property. You can listen a recording of the seminar here.