Weekend Sun   

The green, futuristic village

Pacific Lakes Village manager Mark Vincent sits amongst hay harvested from the property.

Plans to set up worm farms and green waste composting has seen a new Mount Maunganui retirement village receive a $10,873 grant from the Tauranga City Council’s Resource Wise Community Fund.

Pacific Lakes Village is one of the newest Generus Living Group retirement villages and is the first to be built with a sustainable approach to design.

The company says its goal is to introduce good waste practices that can be used across the retirement village sector.

Generus director Graham Wilkinson says sustainability is important to the business and to its iwi partner Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Incorporation.

“We are committed to embedding sustainability into our organisational culture, through a shared vision for a sustainable future and our role as kaitiaki."

"The first step is developing the necessary infrastructure to support behavioural change," Graham says. 

Central to the village is the creation of its own ecosystem via a series of waterways, fed from rainwater and natural aquifers to support regeneration of plant and birdlife.

The village community centre, The Lake House, is designed to operate off the grid with its own solar and rainwater recycling systems.

The project will include the establishment of worm farms for residential kitchen waste and large-scale green waste composting trials on-site.

This is complemented by ongoing education and workshops for residents.

Other eco-features include homes pre-wired for solar generation, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, community gardens and greenhouses.

Sustainable irrigation solutions are also being explored.

“Through this project, we want to empower our senior communities by providing meaningful support and tools," says Graham.

"Sustainable awareness is rapidly increasing, but there is still a lot we must do, both as individuals and as businesses.”

Pacific Lakes Village is sited on land leased from iwi group Mangatawa Block Incorporated and is the second village Generus Living Group has developed in partnership with MBI.

The council grant is part of an annual $50,000 contestable fund put aside to support waste minimisation initiatives in Tauranga.

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