Ryman Healthcare has entered into a long-term lease with iwi Ngati Whatua Orakei for a 300-resident development on former navy land valued at $6.8 million on Auckland's North Shore.

The retirement village operator and builder secured the 4.2 hectare Devonport site for an undisclosed sum, which the iwi bought from the Defence Force during its treaty settlement.

Ryman didn’t give a timeframe or cost for the development saying it still needs to go through the consents process, but said there were no other retirement villages in Devonport.

It expected the development to be a mixture of rest homes, dementia care and hospital care.

Whai Rawa, the commercial arm of Ngati Whatua Orakei, purchased 28 hectares of North Shore land in 2013 as part of its treaty settlement.

Whai Rawa also owns Quay Park in Auckland, which includes Vector Arena, Countdown and apartment block ground leases, the Eastcliffe retirement village and the Kainga housing development.

“Ngati Whatua Orakei wanted to ensure there was a long-term development at Wakakura,” Whai Rawa chief executive Rob Hutchinson said.

Ryman has recorded considerable growth in its retirement village operations, expanding its footprint at a current rate of 700 units a year, as well as branching across the Tasman last year to build its first Melbourne village.

The NZX-listed shares trade at more than five times their value of five years ago.

The stock rose 1.5 per cent to $8.89 and has gained 41 per cent over the past year.


By Suze Metherell