Residents' Views

Residents' Views

Hear from some of our residents talking about how moving to Summerset has been the right choice for them

In August 2013, Pieter and Maria left their Wellington home of 43 years to move to Summerset on the Coast at Paraparaumu. They say it's the best move they ever made. Here's why.

Pieter and Maria - Summerset on the Coast, Paraparaumu.

Peg and George knew they wanted to live at Summerset Aotea before their villa was even built. It is everything they hoped for; security, freedom and future care if they need it. Here's what they said.

George & Peg - Summerset at Aotea, Porirua.

Cora is known as the Queen of the Village at Summerset on the Coast at Paraparaumu. Moving here in April 2007 with her husband, she's found new friends, family and the space to live the way she wants. Here's her story.

Cora - Summerset on the Coast, Paraparaumu.

"To know that each stage of life is catered for was an important part of our purchase decision"

"To know that each stage of life is catered for was an important part of our purchase decision"

Lloyd & Jocye Armstrong - Summerset by the Park, Manukau

Lloyd and Joyce Armstrong moved from their home in Howick to live in a two-storey, three-bedroom villa at Summerset by the Park two-and-a-half years ago. "We hadn't really considered moving into a village, but had looked at a few to get an idea of what was on offer. We looked around the villas at Summerset and two days later purchased ours," says Mrs Armstrong, a retired teacher.

Mr Armstrong, who was a teacher at Howick College in the 70s and 80s and is Chairman of the Summerset Residents' Committee, says that it is the three stages of accommodation on offer at Summerset by the Park that appealed to him: "To know that each stage of life is catered for was an important part of our purchase decision.

At the moment we enjoy our independence and space for family to stay, but we are also aware that one day we may need additional support. It's reassuring to know that we can stay part of the community here when that happens."

Mr and Mrs Armstrong enjoy the social aspect of village life. "We use the cafe and communal areas regularly. We don't live on each other's doorsteps, but we see more people in a day here than we did in a month at our home in Howick," says Mrs Armstrong.
Mr Armstrong says that living at Summerset by the Park has changed his opinion of retirement villages. "Not everyone here is retired, we have lots of residents in their 60's, many of whom still work," he says

"It was important that we stay in the same community"

"It was important that we stay in the same community"

Joan Keals - Summerset by the Park, Manukau

Joan Keals is a retiree and resident at Summerset by the Park. She moved from her family home in Papatoetoe into a two-bedroom apartment in the village's main building. "My late husband and I lived in Papatoetoe for over 50 years and our family is nearby, so it was important that we stay in the same community," says Mrs Keals.

Mrs Keals also keeps a motor home at the village. "I love the fact that I can just close the front door and head away on holiday without any worries about security or who is going to keep an eye on things," says Mrs Keals.

The Keals were one of the first to put their names down for an apartment in the new $55 million building. "We looked at a couple of villages in the area, but we chose to live here because everything is all under one roof. If it's cold and raining outside, I'm not stuck in my apartment. I can just pop downstairs for a cup of tea at the cafe or play cards with one of the other residents in the communal area."

Joan is making full use of the facilities on hand at Summerset by the Park, which include a cafe, library, hairdresser, bowling green and petanque court. "It's like a five star hotel," says Mrs Keals.

"We know when we come home that everything will be as we left it"

"We know when we come home that everything will be as we left it"

Lynne & Rex de la Haye - Summerset in the River City, Wanganui

After a weekend away at Takapau for the country music weekend, we thought we would share our wonderful lifestyle with fellow movanners.

We got talking with friends who had been away on the road for weeks who found when they got home they faced a mammoth job of getting the gardens back in order and getting rid of endless bags of rubbish.

In 2003 we had three and a half months in the South Island and thought we would come back to our home in Ashhurst as we had left it. We had a house sitter, someone we knew who paid no rent, just their own power and telephone, and agreed to keep the grounds tidy. But, alas, we came home two days early to find our lawns about two foot tall and you couldn't see the driveway for weeds. Shocked by this we decided there must be a better way of looking after our home while we are away on the road.

At the Easter Rally 2006, there was a couple who addressed us about setting up a village for our motorhomes in Katikati. That jogged our memories that we had had a letter through head office in 1998 about the motorhome friendly Summerset villages. We started exploring the advantages of living in a village and put our names down at Summerset Wanganui in mid 2006.

Several of our motorhome friends were already living in other Summerset Villages by now, and they raved about the advantages. The main benefit was that they were able to go and stay in Summerset Villages in other areas and were made to feel they belonged while they stayed a night or two.

We moved into Summerset in the River City in Wanganui in February 2007. We love it, there is such a lot to do – films on Saturday afternoons, Happy Hours, Friday evening fish and chip nights. We play twilight bowls during the summer. There are indoor and outdoor bowls afternoons, table tennis, and cards afternoons just to name a few activities. There are also many other social gatherings that we can join in on.

Rex and I have been able to use the Summerset van to take some of the other residents out for day trips to see some of the exciting things around Wanganui and to some of the spots we have found while out and about in our motorhome. They are all amazed about some of the places we have taken them – it seems that it is mainly motorhomers who get off the main roads and explore.

We are now amongst the other motorhomers that rave about the welcome we get when we drive into another village, especially the Taupo and Napier villages; It's like having a base in many towns. In all the new Summerset villages there are special parking areas for motorhomes with power points and a dump station (Wanganui has recently put in a lovely new refurbished apartment block as well as a cafe).

In November when we head back to the South Island for several months, we know when we come home that everything will be as we left it. There are day and night patrols, and our great gardeners John and Mark look after everything while we are away. We wish we had made the move sooner.

"Summerset is a business with a heart"

"Summerset is a business with a heart"

Mavis Stevenson - Summerset by the Park, Manukau

Mavis and her family would like to thank Summerset Retirement Village for coming to her aid after losing her home of nearly 12 years (her Villa at Kate Sheppard Retirement Village) to the Christchurch earthquake. We would especially like to thank Tony Allardyce who worked so hard convincing the family that it was possible for Mavis to have deferred payment and move into a lovely apartment immediately and Trudi Andersen for her assistance, patience and understanding to ensure Mavis was happy with the apartment.

This is when we found out Summerset is a business with a heart as they completely eliminated the stress of waiting for a payout to come through from Kate Sheppard and the worry of not knowing whether she could ever afford to have her own home again.

Staff have made her extremely welcome, and the residents are an amazingly warm and friendly group of people. She feels guilty because the suffering goes on for so many still in Christchurch and she has been so fortunate, but at her age there is nothing she can do for them and thanks to Summerset, Mavis is happy and can live her remaining years away from the stress of the earthquake reminders and close to her family.

Summerset Wellington Office and Manukau staff have far exceeded any expectations we could have had to assist our mother into this wonderful village, for which her family will be eternally grateful.

Kindest regards, Bev Telfer (on behalf of all Mavis’s family)