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 Ryman Healthcare’s Bruce McLaren village opens

Village named in honour of Kiwi motorsport legend

More than 400 residents and guests were invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Bruce McLaren Retirement Village in Howick.

The $120 million village was officially opened on December 19 by Jan McLaren, Bruce McLaren’s sister.

Bruce McLaren was born in Auckland and went on to become one of the most successful Kiwi motor racers of his generation.

As well as a superb driver – Bruce won his first grand prix in 1959 at the age of 22 – he was also an innovative engineer and team manager. In 1963 he founded the McLaren Racing team, the Formula 1 team that is still a major force in racing today.

Bruce was killed in a testing accident in 1970 at the age of 32. The new village has been named in honour of his contribution to putting New Zealand on the map in the motorsport.

Jan McLaren said Bruce was well recognised internationally, and it was great to see a tribute to him in his home city.

“It’s nice to his name remembered on something permanent outside of the motorsport community. We were pleased to be asked.’’

Chris Amon MBE, who drove for McLaren, said it was great to see his friend remembered.

“He was remarkable man. He was one of those people who never had a bad word to say about anybody, and he achieved an incredible amount at a young age which made him even more remarkable.’’ 

The Bruce McLaren Retirement Village will eventually be home to 400 people and includes independent living apartments as well as hospital-level care. 

Ryman managing director Simon Challies said he was delighted the family agreed to lend the name.

“Bruce McLaren was an incredibly talented New Zealander and an inspiration. He showed what Kiwi ingenuity and a competitive spirit can do. We’re incredibly proud to have been able to name this village in his honour.’’

The motorsport theme runs throughout the village with two of the first apartment complexes named after Chris Amon and the third part of the McLaren racing trio - Denny Hulme.


“There must be something in the name,’’ he said. “It’s been one of our fastest built village, and the fastest selling in our 30-year history.’’




About Bruce McLaren: Bruce McLaren grew up in Remuera, where his dad owned the local petrol station.  He had a passion for cars from an early age, and in 1958 he was selected as New Zealand’s most promising young driver. 

He left for England where he joined the Cooper racing team, and his international racing career soon took off. 

In 1959 the young New Zealander won the United States Grand Prix at the age of 22, and went on to notch up another three Grand Prix wins in his career.

He stayed at Cooper for another seven years, before leaving to set up his own Grand Prix racing enterprise, Team McLaren. 

Bruce McLaren won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in 1968 in his own car, which featured the ‘Speedy Kiwi’ logo. A stylised version of the Speedy Kiwi is still used as McLaren’s logo today. 

His Can Am cars dominated racing in North America in the mid to late 1960s. He was in his prime as a driver, an engineer and a team leader in 1970 when he was killed while testing a new car. 

His legacy lived on in the McLaren team, which has gone on to become one of the most successful teams in Formula One history, winning 20 championships.

Bruce McLaren lived life to the full, and his hard work and competitiveness were an inspiration to those around him.

It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one's ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.’’ – Bruce McLaren

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 over 8,000 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.



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