New Zealanders pride themselves on being members of a diverse society, a wholly inclusive society which is unique from any other. However, one way in which we are not particularly unique is in the composition of our population by age. We, like much of the developed world, have an ageing population and as a nation we are getting older. As the population continues to age, facilities for older New Zealanders are going to become more visible and more important. This thesis focuses on the role of one of these facilities, retirement villages, in our society. This introductory chapter firstly outlines the aims of the thesis before briefly discussing the methodology used to achieve these aims. I then provide some definitions of what a retirement village is and what constitutes an older New Zealander. This chapter concludes with an outline of the thesis organisation.
This thesis has three main aims. Firstly, I intend to analyse the role of retirement villages in providing accommodation to older New Zealanders. Secondly, I will investigate issues of accessibility relating to retirement villages and analyse whether or not retirement villages need to be made more accessible spaces. Thirdly I will scrutinise the regulatory issues affecting retirement villages and evaluate the impact of these issues on the residents and operators of the retirement villages.