Resthaven development opens


Cambridge Resthaven chief executive David Hall, left, with other Resthaven representatives and those from some of the businesses involved in the project. They are, from left, Mia Sonntag (OCTA Project Management); Ash Burkhart, Josh Reynolds and Samantha Blanken (all Livingstone Building); Jason Russell (Resthaven property development manager); Greg Liddy (Resthaven Trust Board chairman); Scott McVicar-Lukey (OCTA); Glen Larsen and Neville Davy (both Livingstone); and Wade Kobus (OCTA). Photo: Michael Jeans

The sleek first stage of Cambridge Resthaven’s multi-million-dollar development project was opened in the town last month.

Stage 1, which was started in April 2022, comprises 33 apartments, made up of studio units and one- and two-bedroom apartments.  Of those, 25 are in the new Hanlin Building and eight in the adjacent courtyard wing of an existing building.

One of the studio units has been funded by the Waipā District Council.

Additional apartments are planned for Stages 2 and 3 of the development which will take place over the next few years.

Stage 1 has cost around $16 million.  Estimates for the full multi-stage development were initially put at around $36 million, but that figure is expected to change as it will depend on building costs at the time each stage proceeds.

Stage 1 also includes a café and a soon-to-be opened village shop.  There are also several ‘pool’ electric vehicles available for residents.

Taupo MP Louis Upston cutting the ribbon with Cambridge Resthaven Trust Board past chairman Kevin Monks, flanked by Cambridge Resthaven chief executive David Hall, left, and Cambridge Resthaven Trust Board chairman Greg Liddy. Photo: Viv Posselt

Speaking at last month’s opening, Taupo MP Louise Upston commended Resthaven for further adding to what she described as the ‘unique’ facility it had created in Cambridge.  She said she hadn’t seen anything like it elsewhere and its ‘by the community for the community’ nature was an impressive point of difference in the provision of retirement facilities.

Describing Cambridge as a magnet for retirees, she added: “At the moment 20 percent of our population is aged over 65.  In nine years, that figure will be 25 percent.  It is fantastic to see the forethought that has gone into providing for our own.”

Resthaven’s roots are deeply embedded in the local community.  The Cambridge Resthaven Trust Board was established in 1966 involving six community groups who helped raise funds for a local rest home.

Cambridge Resthaven chief executive David Hall, left, and Taupo MP Louise Upston with Dominic Buckell, design director of the architects involved in the development, Chibnall Buckell Team Architects. Photo: Viv Posselt

Cambridge Resthaven chief executive David Hall acknowledged representatives of those six organisations, naming them as the Fencourt Country Women’s Institute, Lions, Rotary, RSA, Federated Farmers, and the then Cambridge Borough Council.

He also said: “We have named the Hanlin Building in recognition of the Hanlin sisters whose generous contribution in the 1960s helped establish Resthaven.”

The first residents have been moving into their new homes over the past two months.

Cambridge Resthaven Trust Board chairman Greg Liddy described the project’s gestation period as longer than that of an elephant, explaining that the concept for further development was first floated in 2016.

“Apparently we are one of the longest projects on Livingstone’s books … but we do acknowledge that Covid got in the way,” he said.  “We needed to ensure that we remain relevant for the future … that our facilities align with the population as it ages.”

The new Hanlin Building at Cambridge Resthaven after its official opening last week. Photo: Michael Jeans


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Viv Posselt

Viv Posselt began life in Edinburgh, soon after moved to Rhodesia (as it was called then), followed her father into journalism, covered the war in Zimbabwe and its aftermath, moved to South Africa where she ran a bureau for several large dailies, and eventually came to New Zealand for a quieter and safer life in Cambridge.

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