Ryman secures North Shore land from Ngati Whatua Orakei

Rob Hutchinson, Whai Rawa chief executive
Ryman chief executive Simon Challies
David Kerr, Ryman Healthcare chairman
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Ryman Healthcare [NZX: RYM], the retirement village operator and builder, has entered into a long-term lease with Auckland iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei to develop a new 300-resident development on former navy land valued at $6.8 million on Auckland's North Shore.

The 4.2 hectare Devonport site was secured for an undisclosed sum from Ngati Whatua Orakei, which the iwi bought from the Defence Force during its treaty settlement. Ryman didn't give a timeframe or cost for the development saying it still needs to go through the consents process, but said there were no other retirement villages in Devonport currently. It expected the development to be a mixture of rest homes, dementia care and hospital care.

Whai Rawa, the commercial arm of Ngati Whatua Orakei, purchased 28 hectares of North Shore land in 2013 as part of its treaty claim. Whai Rawa also owns Quay Park in Auckland, which includes Vector Arena, Countdown and apartment block ground leases, the Eastcliffe on Orakei retirement village and the Kainga housing development.

"Ngati Whatua Orakei wanted to ensure there was a long-term development at Wakakura," Whai Rawa chief executive Rob Hutchinson said. "We are really pleased to be working with a major player such as Ryman and we look forward to seeing what is planned for the site."

Ryman has recorded considerable growth in its retirement village operations, expanding its footprint at a current rate of 700 units a year, as well as branching across the Tasman last year to build its first Melbourne village. The NZX-listed shares now trade at more than five times their value of five years ago and the company has a 12-year record of double-digit earnings growth.

The stock rose 1.5 percent to $8.89 and has gained 41 percent over the past year.


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