‘Get a f**king life’: Rest home owner’s verbal tirade at pensioners

Video: Ashleigh Monk

A prominent rest home owner and businessman verbally abused his tenants yesterday after they put up sign at the complex complaining about noisy trucks.

John Tooby.

John Tooby, owner of the $80 million Lady Wigram Retirement Village in Wigram, delivered a tirade at four elderly residents, using the f-word frequently and calling the them a pack of “bloody kids”.

The incident was recorded by a Star journalist who was at the rest home to photograph tenants about their ongoing issues of noisy trucks on Lodestar Ave.

The elderly residents were clearly shaken and tried to reason with Mr Tooby, saying they were his tenants, but his abuse continued.

Mr Tooby told the pensioners he was “f…ing pissed off” they had contacted The Star about the campaign to stop the trucks.

“Yes, I’m not happy, I’m not putting up with that sh*t.”

He told them the rest home fence they put the sign up on was his property and it had to be taken down.

The Lady Wigram protesting sign is removed from a fence by a resident.

Mr Tooby has been involved with building projects since the 1970s, and set up Golden Healthcare Group, which owns the Lady Wigram Retirement Village.

Mr Tooby and Golden Health Care was nominated as a finalist for the 2016 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

The company’s website ironically features one of the elderly tenants that he abused yesterday on promotion material.

Mr Tooby later apologised to Bob Prescott, one of the pensioners he abused.

Said Mr Prescott: “I had a verbal apology sort of and we did end by shaking hands and I suppose that means something but it’s best I say nothing.

“I’m in a difficult situation now and it’s better I say nothing.”

The Star attempted unsuccessfully to talk to Mr Tooby after his tirade.

But in a brief interview by phone earlier in the afternoon he said: “If I worried about heavy trucks driving past, I wouldn’t be in business so I would go and find some real news.”

Mr Prescott and other residents at the retirement village have been trying to get authorities to stop trucks using Lodestar Ave since earlier this year.

The trucks rattle everything in their units and he can’t open doors and windows because of the noise, he said.

Residents have been to the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board, the police and Wigram MP Megan Woods about the problem.


JOHN TOOBY: You’ll not take it down in a minute, you’ll take it down right now. I’m being rung up by the bloody press [The Star] and I’m not standing for that bloody bit, that bulls**t. Alright?

FEMALE RESIDENT: I’m sorry but we just…

MALE RESIDENT: Are you alright?

Lady Wigram residents before the altercations with owner John Tooby. 

JOHN TOOBY: Do you think you’re going to re-train the bloody truckies down here? It’s none of your business, it’s none of my business. If you’ve got a problem you ring the council up and do it privately.

MALE RESIDENT: We’ve done that.


JOHN TOOBY: Well take the bloody sign off my fence.

FEMALE RESIDENT: Well you go and drive around and take it off now.

MALE RESIDENT: No, I’ll go and do it now . . . (inaudible)

JOHN TOOBY: Who said…what a bloody cheek. If you’ve got a problem, ring me up.

FEMALE RESIDENT: I think we already rang you.

MALE RESIDENT: The manager was involved.

JOHN TOOBY: If you’ve got a problem, you ring me up but you do not go sticking signs on my fence. I’m not being rung up by the bloody press, I’ve got more things to do than put up with that bullsh*t.

MALE RESIDENT: We had your manageress here when we first were interviewed.

JOHN TOOBY: I’m the bloody boss round here, alright?

MALE RESIDENT: I’m sorry, I thought she was allowed to be here.

JOHN TOOBY: You’re just like a pack of bloody kids.

MALE RESIDENT: Oh, come on John.

JOHN TOOBY: Like a pack of bloody kids. Grow up. Get a f**king life.

MALE RESIDENT: I think you should the way you’re talking.

JOHN TOOBY: Get a life. If you’ve got a problem…

MALE RESIDENT: We’re your clients. Why are you talking to us like this?

JOHN TOOBY: What’s it got to do with you what speed they drive down here?

MALE RESIDENT: You sleep at night.

JOHN TOOBY: Ring up the bloody cops.


JOHN TOOBY: Well ring them up again. That’s life, isn’t it?

MALE RESIDENT: No it’s not. If you sat in one of these villas at 4.30-5 o’clock.

JOHN TOOBY: You do not go around putting signs up on my fence and have the bloody press [The Star] ringing me up. They want to interview me and all this f**king crap. Grow up. Get a life, get on the phone, do it from inside your house. (inaudible) Get this bloody sign down.

MALE RESIDENT: Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You’re in a foul mood, John.

JOHN TOOBY: I’m f**king pissed off, yes.

MALE RESIDENT: Just because the press [The Star] rang you up.

JOHN TOOBY: Yes, I’m not happy, I’m not putting up with that sh*t.

MALE RESIDENT: Well don’t.

JOHN TOOBY: You’re like a pack of kids.

MALE RESIDENT: Can we quote you for the way you have spoken to us?

JOHN TOOBY: Yes, you can quote me and you can get that bloody sign down.

FEMALE RESIDENT: He’s going around to do it now. He’s unscrewing it.

MALE RESIDENT: We’re only trying to help.

JOHN TOOBY: Right (inaudible)

JOHN TOOBY: How old are you? Standing outside bloody, standing out on the street with a bloody sign.

MALE RESIDENT: What do you mean, how old am I?

JOHN TOOBY: Jesus Christ.

MALE RESIDENT: I’m one of your bloody tenants, one of your clients.

JOHN TOOBY: Yes, right, well grow up. Grow up.

MALE RESIDENT: You grow up. You should treat us with a far better attitude than you are.

JOHN TOOBY: Well I’m sick of that sort of behaviour.

MALE RESIDENT: Well how often does it happen? If you’re sick of it, it must happen a lot, doesn’t it?

JOHN TOOBY: From certain quarters, yes.

MALE RESIDENT: Well we’ve not been involved. Your manageress was here the day we were interviewed by The Star. So we went through the right channels.

JOHN TOOBY: Interviewed by The Star.

MALE RESIDENT: Yeah, so what?

JOHN TOOBY: Get yourself a life.

MALE RESIDENT: Take his photo.

JOHN TOOBY: I beg your pardon.

MALE RESIDENT: He’s the photographer.

JOHN TOOBY: I know. Have you got nothing better to do either?

MALE RESIDENT: Bloody hell.

THE STAR PHOTOGRAPHER: I’m just doing my job.

JOHN TOOBY: Yeah, well, go and report some decent news, would you? Round here, trucks drive around here a bit fast, this is not the way to solve it, is it?

MALE RESIDENT: Are we all silly little buggers, is that what you’re saying to us?

JOHN TOOBY: The way you’re carrying on, yes.

MALE RESIDENT: What are we doing?

JOHN TOOBY: Look, you do this sort of stuff when you’re students.

MALE RESIDENT: Oh, come on.

THE STAR PHOTOGRAPHER: You alright there, Anne?


  1. He’s obviously only interested in how much money he can make out of pensioners – not looking after them or providing them with quality of life. He sees them as just a commodity to be exploited.

    • Totally agree. I’ve shared the article on facebook so now more people will read and hear what happened . Truckies are nice people and I’m sure they’d respond by slowing down once they knew.

  2. Perhaps the pensioners should have done a bit of due diligence. Their resthome is right beside a very large industrial estate. Loadstar Ave is one of the main roads through it

  3. Well, John Tooby can be summed up in one word. Pathetic. Clearly he has never had to deal with noise, it can be extremely intrusive and disturbing. It seems like he’s just worried about bad publicity, and how it might impact his bottom line. The only kid around here is him.

  4. The increase in trucks driving along and through residential zones in Auckland is becoming a real problem. Noise and vibrations and driving up and down from quarries like Winstone Quarry in Hunua keeps near by residents stressed and unable to sleep. Every minute there is a truck engine breaking around the corners. It starts at 4am in the morning until 10pm at night. Councils can’t do anything because the quarry owners have more rights under the law than residents. Bloody ridiculous. Really feel for these retired people. It’s stressful as it is for anyone fighting the system let alone get hassled by the landlord! I hope these lovely elderly people have moved, if not for the trucks then for the a-hole of a landlord that rants on with his potty mouth!

  5. Isn’t it a disgrace that the media always appears to be in the right. I am a resident in this retirement village and there is all this adverse media because of three people, while the rest of the residents are more than happy to be living here. Ok John did lose his cool and came out with a few expletives that maybe he shouldn’t have. But really he had just cause. Come on people until you know the full story you should not be commenting. Chris Rush

  6. And John is certainly not worthy of any of the names that he has been called. Please until you know the facts keep,your comments to yourselves.

  7. Shameful! Absolute shameful behavior on Mr Tooby’s part. You can guarantee that people will be reluctant to send their parents here after hearing about this. Good on you, residents!

  8. stop building bloody retirement complexes in busy built up areas. we want a bit of peace and quiet in our retirement years, not be subject to high volumes of noisy traffic. your turn will come you developers….

  9. They need to take this crook on, absolute criminal behaviour, trying to silence people, it’s a free country, take this idiot to court.