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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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