Former Kerikeri RSA land will be used for a 40-bed aged care centre and potentially another 40 homes for the Oakridge Villas retirement village.

The Kerikeri RSA closed its doors on April 26 due to falling patronage and escalating costs from a building far bigger than its members needed.

The land and buildings — a bar, restaurant, function centre and a five-bedroom house — were sold to aged-care firm Metlifecare last month for an undisclosed sum.

Auckland-based Metlifecare bought the former carpark between the RSA and Cobham Rd several years ago and had already earmarked that land for a 40-bed care home.


Marketing manager Julie Garlick said plans for the newly purchased RSA land were still in the early design phase, but the company's vision was for an integrated extension to Oakridge Villas. The extension could add another 40 villas to the current 103, she said.

Metlifecare also had a conditional contract on the house, which is located immediately behind the RSA, but that purchase was subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval.

Metlifecare was a New Zealand company but, because just over 25 per cent was owned by Australian bank ANZ's Kiwisaver fund, OIO approval was needed before it could buy residential property.

If the sale was approved the house would be removed to make way for more villas.

The rest of the site was not subject to OIO approval because it was commercial rather than residential.

Garlick said the existing Oakridge Villas village was now complete with strong interest in the handful of homes which had yet to be sold. That had given the company confidence to buy the RSA land, she said.

The site has been fenced off with preparations for demolition under way. The RSA signs were taken down on Friday last week.

Kerikeri RSA members now meet three days a week at the Homestead Tavern.


Earlier this week the Whangārei District Council confirmed it would build a $38 million civic centre on former Whangārei RSA land.

The council bought the Whangārei RSA land and buildings in 2017 for $3.4m.