'Horrendous': Christchurch retirement village residents given six weeks to find new housing

The Government is promising to investigate stronger protection for the elderly after some people were given just six weeks to vacate a Christchurch retirement village.

Many residents of Merivale Retirement Village have been forced to find new housing if they couldn't fit into a more expensive replacement facility.

The earthquake-damaged building will soon face the wrecking ball, but its elderly residents were left distressed a fortnight ago. They were told some would have to move out by April 1 if they couldn't transfer to a pricier new facility being built next door.

The saga prompted Ali Jones to start a Parliamentary petition, calling for an urgent inquiry and a "security of tenure" for residents.

"I think it's really important that elderly who do have a fair expectation of living out their days in a place, in their home, are able to do that," Ms Jones said.

Managers weren't available for comment at the village on Sunday.

Long-time resident Jim McCarron told RNZ's Checkpoint recently he felt badly let down.

"The new facility doesn't cater for enough beds - there's 102 people for 47 beds," he said.

Ms Jones says it's not just about this one case, but about a duty of care across the entire sector, particularly given the country's aging population.

She's heard similar stories from around the country.

"A chap in Wellington said that he had a similar situation with a 99-year-old aunt. That's just horrendous."

Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa is concerned about the situation.

"I'm seeking advice from a policy perspective as to what my options are to address this issue, because I would not like to have to address these sorts of issues in the future."

Newshub understands two of the current residents are still trying to find alternative accommodation.