Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson has changed the code of practice covering retirement villages so that retirees are not left short-changed following natural disasters such as earthquakes.
A number of retirement village operators in Christchurch have failed to return the full investment made by residents whose units were deemed too badly damaged to repair following the Canterbury quakes.
This is because the operators were able to deduct from the sum returned to owners the amount of maintenance they were contracted to provide.
The change means the entire amount invested in a unit will be returned to the owner and will take effect from October next year.
However, it comes too late for those affected by the Christchurch earthquakes.