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Ryman News

Friday, 03 March 2017


Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village opens in Birkenhead

Party marks opening of Auckland village

Ryman Healthcare’s new Birkenhead village has been officially opened and is filling fast.

More than 250 guests gathered to celebrate as Minister for Seniors Maggie Barry MP opened the Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village on Rangatira Rd on March 2.

The village is named in honour of North Shore local Bert Sutcliffe MBE, a former New Zealand cricket captain who had a stellar career as a batsman, and went on to influence generations of cricketers.

His son Gary Sutcliffe said he was sure his dad would have been proud of the village.

“As a family we thought ‘wow’ when we were asked if the village could be named after Dad. We quickly realised that Dad, in his usual modest way, would have been honoured. And so are we.’’

The village is owned by Ryman Healthcare and offers independent and assisted living apartments as well as a care centre offering resthome, hospital and dementia-level care.

The village also includes resort facilities including a swimming pool, spa, movie theatre, library, beauty and hairdressing salons, and a bowling green.

Maggie Barry MP, Minister for Seniors, said the village was a lovely place where people would be cared for and could live meaningful lives – with a glass of sparkling wine in the afternoon.

“Ryman does it really well,’’ she said. “We are a country that looks after and respects its seniors and that will always be the same.’’

Ryman Healthcare Managing Director Simon Challies said the village was filling fast.

“We realised back in 2012 that there was a shortage of care and retirement living options on the North Shore and in Birkenhead in particular, and we’ve had a great response from the community since we opened our doors.’’

“Over the next couple of years this village will free up more than 400 homes for sale in the area as residents move in. We think the village is good news for the community struggling with a shortage of housing. It will also provide steady long term employment for 150 staff.’’

Mr Challies said the site, which was formerly Fernz Lodge, was ideal because of the way it looked out over Kauri Point.

“The end result has fantastic views across Kauri Point. We designed it to take advantage of the natural contours and maximise the views, without dominating the neighbourhood. Our team has done a great job. As a company we are incredibly proud of Bert Sutcliffe Retirement Village.’’

Dame Malvina Major performed at the opening and former New Zealand cricket captain Stephen Fleming paid tribute to Bert Sutcliffe in a video recorded for the event.

Stephen Fleming said he was 10 years old when he first met Bert and got talking to him after a match at Lancaster Park. Bert gave his time freely and over the years he played a significant role in his development as a cricketer.

“As my cricket career developed he was someone I enjoyed talking to, we had a lot of synergy around batting and as left handers we always look out for each other,’’ Stephen said.

“He was an absolute icon for New Zealand cricket and as a family – and everyone involved with him over the years – you should all be very proud to have this retirement village named after him. Congratulations.’’

About Bert Sutcliffe:

Born in Auckland, Bert went to Takapuna Grammar on the North Shore and showed huge promise as a young cricketer, captaining the school’s first XI and scoring more than 2,700 runs for the college

The talented left-handed batsman’s career blossomed after the war and he set a number of national and international batting records, becoming one of the most successful international cricketers New Zealand has produced.

He is perhaps best known for his courageous innings against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test of 1953. This was the Test in which Bert’s team-mate, Bob Blair, received a telegram in the early hours of the second day, advising of the death of his fiancé in the Tangiwai Rail Disaster. As the team left for the ground later that morning, a stricken Blair remained at the hotel mourning his loss.

On a treacherous wicket - and in the days before helmets - Bert was felled by a bouncer from fast bowler Neil Adcock; collapsed at the ground and at the hospital - but insisted on returning to Ellis Park to help his team-mates, who by this stage, had lost another of their own to hospital and were in dire straits at six down.

His head swathed in bandages, Bert launched a famous counter-attack, hitting the second ball he received for six and continuing to clear the fence as partners arrived and departed all around him. After the ninth wicket fell, and Bert was walking off thinking the innings was over, out of the tunnel came Bob Blair – who’d been listening to the game at the hotel and had rushed to the ground to help.

It was then that the Ellis Park crowd, so raucous a moment earlier, fell silent. As Bert remembered, “you could have heard a pin drop”. He went to Bob, placed an arm around his shoulders and said: “C’mon mate – let’s throw the bat at the ball and get the hell out of here.”

Together the pair did just that, adding a quickfire 33 runs for the final wicket. Bert was left unbeaten on 80 after hitting seven sixes, but in a final gesture of respect, stood back to allow his grieving team-mate to enter the tunnel first and receive the acclaim of the crowd.

After retiring from cricket Bert went on to become a coach and was awarded an MBE for his services to sport. He died in 2001.

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 30 villages and serves 9,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.


Wednesday, 01 March 2017


Deliciously long lunch to feed 5,000

Food revolution under way at Ryman’s retirement villages

More than 5,000 Ryman Healthcare residents sat down to a deliciously long lunch to signal the start of a food revolution across the company’s villages.

The Long Lunch was held to coincide with Shrove Tuesday and the launch of Project Delicious – Ryman’s all-new approach to food.

Residents from Whangarei to Invercargill enjoyed their new Project Delicious menus which are packed with new choices along with old favourites.

The lunch menu entrees included Salmon cakes with aioli, blue cheese apricot and walnut filo, and salt and pepper hoki.

The mains choices were beef cheeks, apricot chicken or an Asian slaw with chickpeas and edamame beans.

There were pancakes for dessert to mark Shrove Tuesday and residents were given a choice of wines to match the food.

Ryman Healthcare Managing Director Simon Challies said Project Delicious was a recognition that food was a huge focus for residents.

“We know that mealtimes are the most important part of the day. By giving residents more choice and new options we hope that they will look forward to meal times even more.’’

Developing menus with more choice introduces more complexity for chefs, and Ryman is investing in redesigning its kitchens and putting in extra resources to make it work. As part of the change, responsibility for plating up the meals has been given back to the kitchens, so the people who create the food have the final say in how it looks.

Ryman Hotel Services Manager Andrew Gibson said Project Delicious was all about delivering the old-fashioned home cooked meals that residents love and appreciate.

“We went through every single comment in our residents’ survey to work out exactly what they wanted. They like the classics, they like fresh seasonal ingredients and they want food that is not bland in any way. I think there’s a misconception about the sort of food you like as you get older – there is no way they just want to eat bland food. Food is really important.’’

One of the surprising discoveries was that fish and chips was a polarising dish –as many people liked the menu choice as disliked it. They also wanted to see less in the way of casseroles.

Tried and tested dishes such as roast chicken rub shoulders with exotic newcomers including Thai beef salad on the new menus.

“We’ve tried to get a good mix of the old favourites – with some much more interesting meals. A good example is osso bucco – cross cut beef shank – and we have developed our own calzone (pizza).

New Scandinavian hot boxes have been introduced to make sure the food is delivered fresh and hot to residents in exactly the way the chef intended.

The test kitchen for Project Delicious is at Essie Summers Retirement Village in Christchurch.

Chef Karen Jenkins has been cooking for 35 years and loves to experiment.

“I don’t think we quite realized what we were getting into and how much work it would be,’’ she laughs.

“But I’ve loved taking part. It was never daunting and I was very pleased to be asked.’’

Rosemary Deane, Village Manager at Essie Summers, has enjoyed being part of the project.

She says you cannot overestimate how important food is to a village’s success.

“For many residents their day revolves around food. Giving them more choice about what they eat is great. They can choose their clothes, they can choose what they do each day but it is the one fixed point for them – and it is really important to them.’’

“It’s not only the residents – it’s the relatives as well. The first thing they want to know is that mum or dad are really enjoying their food. Our food must be top-notch all the time.’’

Chefs at Ryman Healthcare’s 31 villages serve up about 10,000 meals each day.


Monday, 12 December 2016

Media release December 12, 2016

Charles Upham Retirement Village opens in Rangiora

Family open village named in honour of North Canterbury hero

Charles Upham Retirement Village has been officially opened by the war hero’s three daughters.

Amanda Upham, Virginia Mackenzie and Caroline Reynolds joined with more than 200 residents and guests for the opening party at the $100 million Ryman Healthcare village on Oxford Rd on December 9.

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Charitable Trust provided a guard of honour as a tribute to New Zealand’s finest combat soldier, and Dame Malvina Major performed an opening concert for residents.

Born in Christchurch in 1908, Charles Upham volunteered when war broke out and joined the 20th Battalion.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross – the Commonwealth’s highest award for bravery – twice for his supreme skills as a soldier and many acts of courage in Crete and Egypt. No other combat soldier has ever been awarded the Queen’s highest honour twice.

Virginia McKenzie, Charles Upham’s daughter, said the naming was a great honour.

“My father never liked to be singled out for praise. However, we agreed to this because we think he would have liked that the village will benefit families from the Canterbury and Westland regions where the 20th Battalion was drawn from.’’

Ryman Healthcare Deputy Chief Executive and CFO Gordon MacLeod said Charles Upham was a selfless hero, a great leader and a man who always put others first.

“His story is inspirational – Charles Upham was a great New Zealander. Not only did he put his life on the line countless times, he always put the welfare of his men first. As well as our finest soldier he was also an extremely kind man, who was loved by his fellow soldiers. The name Charles Upham means a huge amount to our residents, and this village will ensure his name is remembered and his story is told for generations to come.’’

Alan Burgess, one of the last remaining survivors of the 20th Battalion, said it was great to see the village named after Charles Upham.

“Inspirational is the only word for Charles Upham. The fellas who served with him always said he had no fear. Nothing seemed to bother him. When you talked to him he was he was just a farmer, a typical Kiwi fellow. He had a very good vocabulary!’’

The village’s logo includes a lion motif which is used on the Victoria Cross as a symbol of courage.

About Charles Upham

Charles Hazlett Upham was born in Christchurch in 1908 and worked as a shepherd and musterer before qualifying as a valuer.

When war broke out he volunteered and joined the 20th Battalion, training at Burnham.

Charles Upham became an internationally recognised hero after winning the Commonwealth’s highest honour for bravery – the Victoria Cross – twice. He is the only combat soldier ever to win two of the awards.

His first Victoria Cross was won in May 1941 when he was in charge of a platoon defending Maleme airfield in Crete. He led a number of attacks to protect his men and slow the German advance and fought on after being wounded. The raids he led were later described as “…remarkable exploits, showing outstanding leadership, tactical skill and utter indifference to danger.’’

His second Victoria Cross was awarded for five acts of gallantry in the battles at Minqar Qaim and Ruweisat Ridge in Egypt during July 1942. Once again he led a number of astonishing attacks against the enemy, with complete disregard for his own safety, and was wounded three times.

He was taken prisoner, spending the rest of the war in prisoner of war camps in Italy and Germany including the notorious Colditz Castle. He kept himself busy by becoming a serial escape artist and was a constant irritant to his captors.

His coolness under fire, his ability to take bold but calculated risks and complete indifference to danger won the highest praise. But Charles Upham always remained immensely modest, insisting that it was the work of his men that deserved praise and not anything he had done.

Charles Upham always despaired of the attention he was given. When he learned he had won a second honour he said: “They shouldn’t give it to me. What about all the others? We all did exactly the same things. Why pick on me?’’

After the war he married Molly McTamney, a Red Cross nurse from Dunedin he had become engaged to in 1938, and returned to New Zealand to farm and start a family. Charles and Molly had three daughters – Amanda, Virginia and Caroline. The couple farmed for more than 40 years at Conway Flat.

Charles Upham died in 1994 at the age of 86. The Mark of the Lion, the story of his exploits by Kenneth Sandford, became a bestseller in the 1960s.

About Charles Upham Retirement Village

The village on Oxford Rd is Ryman Healthcare’s 30th village, and will include 173 townhouses, 32 independent apartments, 96 serviced apartments, and care for up to 120 residents in its care centre. The care centre will include resthome, dementia and hospital care as well as assisted living for residents in its serviced apartments.

The village will also include resort facilities including a swimming pool, spa, movie theatre, library, beauty and hairdressing salons, and a bowling green.

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 30 villages and serves 10,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.


Monday, 05 December 2016

MEDIA RELEASE: Opening bash at Pukekohe’s new $120 million village

Ryman Healthcare’s new Possum Bourne Retirement Village has been officially opened in Pukekohe.

The Kiwi rally ace’s family gathered in the town on December 2 to join with residents of the brand-new village at a celebration to mark its opening and thank all the builders and subcontractors who built it.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Peggy Bourne officially opened the village on behalf of Ryman Healthcare at the party for more than 300 guests.

A karakia by Ngati Tamaoho kaumatua Dennis Kirkwood and Hero Potini marked the start of the evening, and three Subaru rally cars stood guard at the entrance as a tribute to Possum.

Peggy Bourne said she was sure her late husband would have been honoured by the naming.

“Possum was born and raised in Pukekohe and he loved the place. Possum was very shy - believe it or not – and he might have been a little bit embarrassed - but very honoured.’’

She welcomed residents to their ‘awesome’ new home.

“I think all you guys are going to love living here. To come here and see how wonderful it is has been incredible.’’

Possum Bourne was Australasia’s most successful rally driver, winning the Australian Rally Championship seven times and the Asia Pacific Championship three times. He died in 2003 after his car was struck by another competitor while he was preparing for a race.

Peggy Bourne and children Taylor, Spencer and Jazlin were joined by other members of the Bourne family – including Possum’s mother Peggy – for a party to celebrate the naming on December 2.

Ryman Healthcare Deputy Chief Executive and CFO Gordon MacLeod thanked the Bourne family for lending their name to the retirement village and the Pukekohe community for taking Possum Bourne village to its heart.

“We have had huge support. Our first residents have done a great job telling all their friends and it has been the fastest-selling village in our 32-year history.’’

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff thanked Ryman Healthcare for the investment in Pukekohe and said everyone he spoke to who lived in retirement villages generally said the same thing: “I wished I had done it years ago.’’
Mr Goff said like most Kiwi men there was a big part of them that wished he was Possum Bourne.
“He loved this town and it is just a great name. He was a legend.’’
The Pukekohe village includes two and three-bedroom independent townhouses, apartments and an aged care centre. The aged care centre includes resthome, specialist dementia as well as hospital-level care.
The resort-style amenities will include a gym, a bowling green, a hairdressing salon, a chapel, a movie theatre, a bar and an indoor swimming pool.
About Ryman: Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 30 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to 10,000 residents, and the company employs 4,500 staff.
Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.


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