The Anglican Church has sold two Western Bay rest homes and villages providing care beds for 129 elderly people.
Wellington-based Heritage Lifecare paid an undisclosed sum to buy Hodgson House in Tauranga's avenues and Te Puke's Carter House.
The announcement by John Palairet, the chairman of Anglican Care Waiapu, followed an extensive round of consultation with residents and staff of their care facilities earlier this month. It ends the Waiapu Diocese's 60-year involvement with providing rest home and village facilities for the elderly.
The church also sold Opotiki's Peria House, Gisborne's Te Wiremu House and Havelock North's Waiapu House to Heritage Lifecare.
Heritage currently manages downtown Tauranga's Aspen Rest Home and the Athenree Rest Home on behalf of their owners.
Mr Palairet said a number of people were concerned about not being owned by a church. "People understandably don't like change."
They were assured that Heritage Lifecare was more focused on care than properties and he expected the new owner would provide the same standard of care.
He said the decision to sell was driven by Anglican Care Waiapu's concerns with the financial sustainability of their rest homes and villages, given their sizes and configurations.
"The long-term sustainability of the facilities is now assured."
Mr Palairet said the acquisition represented a 35 to 40 per cent boost in the Heritage group's holdings, with the church's funds from the sale to be invested. Income from the investment would expand the diocese's social service work.
Heritage Lifecare general manager Paul Renwick assured residents that their intention was to provide the same high quality of care as the church. ''We will do everything we can to keep the transition as smooth as possible for residents and staff.''
The settlement date was January 25.
Mr Renwick has been involved in the rest home business for 10 years, while his father David's involvement stretched back to the early 1990s. David Renwick was the chairman of the board.
Mr Renwick said their background was primarily in running aged care facilities. He described the purchase as a major acquisition that would improve the group's economies of scale.
The property report prepared for the purchase identified a number of improvements that could be carried out over time. Heritage Lifecare would evaluate options to extend Hodgson House, which was on really good land, he said.
Heritage Lifecare was in the top 10 of New Zealand's rest home elder care providers, with the latest purchase boosting their ownership of combined rest homes and villages from eight to 13.
Rest homes and villages changing hands
Hodgson House: 64 care beds and 24 village units
Carter House: 65 care beds and 26 village units
Settlement date: January 25, 2017