Within the last decade, New Zealand has had several retirement villages set new standards. Riverdale Retirement Village is no exception. Offering residents a lifestyle that is not only modern but safe, comfortable and convenient; the village is now a prominent community.
Built in 2006 by King Brothers Construction under the watchful eye of founders and business partners Nick Hadley and Roy Fisk, Riverdale Retirement Village was designed to be a small community for senior citizens. Each unit in the village was built to be self-contained, with most having two bedrooms, a lounge, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. The compound’s ground was raised in the early stages of construction, in order to give residents easy access to their cottages and to safeguard the foundations against potential wet areas. The village’s community hall, “McLeod Hall”, was named after Constable Neil McLeod who was murdered by a gunman on the Mangawhare Wharf. McLeod was the first New Zealand police officer to be killed in the line of duty; a stark memory of the area’s history.
Today, the village is comprised of a range of cosy cottages that reflect the ‘Early Settler’ theme of the village. The Victorian-styled cottages are characterized by wide, wrap-around porches and high-pitched gable roofs. All of Riverdale’s cottages have low-maintenance features and have been located to take advantage of the sun, with a lucky few even having a luxurious full river view. Riverdale has also paid special attention to keeping these cottages warm in the winter, cool in the summer and provided spacious loft areas to give residents plenty of storage room. Each cottage is different from the next, with finishing touches such as optional stained glass windows, drapes, carpeting and kitchen units all coloured to the residents’ specifications. To top it all off, each cottage also comes with its own private, fenced garden which residents can choose to maintain themselves or opt for the Village to look after.
In addition to these private gardens, the village also provides a number of communal gardens around the site, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The driveways around the village are lined with magnificent floral displays; including native trees and palms, as well as a number of fruit-bearing trees spread throughout. The communal gardens are well-maintained all year round and add a perfect natural vibrancy to the village scenery and atmosphere.
Looking to expand, Riverdale has upcoming plans to extend a total of 34 cottages within various stages, subject to the necessary consents. With current cottages usually available in two standard designs, the designs can now be negotiated by potential residents. In addition to this, Riverdale is looking to develop the Wairoa riverbank, just opposite the village, to provide residents with a boardwalk and seating area, right next to the Wairoa River.
The Kaipara district has been known to be a breath of fresh air and a wonderful place to go when wanting to escape a busy inner-city life. The village has always held a firm presence in the area with its tightly knit community, blossoming gardens and colonial feel. Life in the village is akin to living out in the country but with amenities such as the Dargaville Shopping Centre, a medical centre and a fast-food store all close by.
Residents will find each cottage to be like a home or apartment and are able choose the level of privacy they want. Residents are more than welcome to have friends and family stay with them, allowing the village to be its own serene social hub where its facilities become available to a wider community. Attendance at community hall events is positively affected by this accessibility.
The McLeod Community Hall offers a fully-equipped kitchen to cater for small events whilst allowing residents to catch up over a warm morning coffee or tea, and take in the picturesque river views outside. Indoor bowls, movie nights, and card games are amongst a few of the activities provided for in the hall for the enjoyment of residents as well as their guests. The hall is also coupled with a library area offering internet-ready computers which residents may use to keep in touch with family and friends. Outside residents will find a large veranda with a sun lounge and barbecue area, so they may get the most out of New Zealand’s beautiful summer months. With these features available to all, residents can easily find companionship within the village without having to venture far from home.
Riverdale truly offers residents peace of mind. Part of that is ensuring all their cottages are built with high quality, low maintenance materials. Residents can enjoy a home that not only looks good, but one which also reduces the hassle of maintenance, saving both time and money. With Riverdale’s handymen looking after all communal maintenance requirements and the village taking care of all building insurance, rates, exterior maintenance and gardening, residents simply enjoy their stay.
The purpose-built community has been designed specifically to cater for the needs and lifestyles of people primarily in their retirement. The village community offers security, independence and companionship; benefits that may not readily be available in a family home. In addition to this, residents and their families also have the reassurance of knowing that assistance is merely a push of a button away with “PERSI”, the community’s easy-to-use Personal Emergency Response and Security Installation system, which is there to watch over the residents 24 hours a day.
For residents looking to venture into town, the local transport service Town’n’Around, is a phone call away. This service is operated by the local Anglican Parish and is available for our residents to easily commute around town or in the case of an emergency. The villages’ services mean residents have access to the surrounding areas and town as well as the beautiful areas within the village itself.
Communal relations are very important within the village. In order for residents to fully enjoy their stay, the aim of the village is to keep relationships with all and any of their partners, suppliers, residents or neighbours in excellent shape. “It is very important for the organization as a whole to maintain the warm and communal atmosphere of the village”, states village owner Abdullah Abayechi.
As time goes by and the average retirement age increases, the industry could see a drop in the number of people looking for retirement accommodation. Whether the village will be affected by this factor is yet to be seen, which is a positive point for Riverdale.
“With all of our children now beyond their high school years, Maha and I were searching for a venture that the whole family could be involved with. We visited the village for the first time and were awestruck by the sheer beauty of the location and the vibrancy of the village itself. Retirement will one day be a reality for Maha and myself, and we seek to maintain Riverdale as the image of what we hope our retirements will be like. The residents and the Village have etched out their places in our hearts and we hope to fulfil their needs in the best possible way. It has been an exciting journey for us and our plans for expansion have only fuelled this.” – Abdullah Abayechi and Maha Al-Ameed(Village Owners).