Big retirement businesses are being asked to help about 100 elderly people find new homes because a Remuera rest home is closing.
Ryman Healthcare chief executive Gordon McLeod and Generus Living Group director Graham Wilkinson said their businesses had been asked to help Caughey Preston residents, due to leave in October.
MacLeod says Ryman can help.
"We have been working with Caughey Preston and the Auckland District Health Board to take as many residents as we can. So far we have found places for about 20 and we expect to find places for more," he said.
Read also: Caughey Preston rest home to close
"We were fortunate in that we have a new care centre at our Bert Sutcliffe village in Birkenhead and we are taking 10 residents there," he said of rest home, hospital and dementia-level care patients.
Caughey Preston staff had also contacted Ryman "and we have offered to find jobs for them wherever we can. We sympathise with residents and staff. This is a very unsettling time for them.
"It is also a significant loss in capacity at a time when demand for aged care is set to escalate. There is a shortage of care, especially dementia care, in Auckland," MacLeod said.
Wilkinson said he knew of a number of businesses asked to take residents and although he wanted to, his company's Ranfurly Village at Three Kings was full.
"We're building about 100 new places at Ranfurly but we're 100 per cent full," Wilkinson said.
Generus also has two Christchurch villages and one at Papamoa.
Wilkinson is worried about the shortage of specialist elderly care, backing comments from Aged Care Association chief executive Simon Wallace who said this week that up to 100 rest homes were under financial pressure because of a new wage settlement that gave carers on the minimum wage a pay rise of between 15 and 49 per cent, depending on their qualifications.
"This is just the start," Wilkinson said of Caughey Preston's closure. "Wage increases will have the effect of closing other aged-care facilities."
Accounts of the Marianne Caughey Smith-Preston Memorial Rest Homes Trust Board showed the entity running the rest home had already sold property and laid off staff.
"During the current financial year, Upland Home was closed," the trust said of part of the property, sold during the September 30, 2016 financial year.
"Redundancy payments to staff included in employee benefits expense totalled $618,104," the trust said, noting the 2015 provision for such expenses was nil.
The cash flow statement revealed a grim financial picture, showing $13m coming in for the year but $16m paid to suppliers and employees.
But the trust itself is wealthy, having significant assets. Its accounts showed it had $65,873,403 in current assets. Those include a 48 per cent stake in Smith & Caughey Holdings - associated with the Queen St department store - valued at $40,473,613.
The business is also land-rich: "The latest valuation of land conducted by Auckland City Council dated 1 July 2014 values land at $24m," the accounts said.
The property alone could now be worth far more than $30m because that valuation is outdated.
However, the trust also recorded a loss of $1,176,526 for the latest period, up from losing $623,778 the previous year. That is mainly due to expenses of $18,700,386 including $10,401,624 paid to employees.
Because it is a trust, the entity running the rest home pays no tax and the accounts note that.