They share the same professional values, they even dress alike, and now two optometrists at Wanganui Eyecare Centre are having something of a switch in roles.

Founding partner Ross Hardey is stepping back but will continue consulting in the practice and John Boyle has become a full partner, joining existing directors John Mellsop and Kerry Bennett.

Hardey and Michael Webber formed the partnership in 1977 and since then the practice has grown to five optometrists over three locations (Wanganui Eyecare in Wicksteed St, Eyes on Victoria and Hawera Eyecare).

"The growth is very rewarding," Hardey said.

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"We offer unique services that a lot of other optometrists don't offer. John is a great, fresh addition to the practice. We like to be at the leading edge of services and changes going on in the profession."

Boyle moved to Whanganui in 2016 to take up a job with Wanganui Eyecare, relocating from Auckland where he had lived all his life.

"What really attracted me to Whanganui and the job was when I met with the partners they had enthusiasm for optometry which I have. We share those values and I wanted to be part of it.

"I was pleasantly surprised when I moved. There are good people here and it's a great place to live and build relationships with people. I like it here and will stay.

"We will continue to grow the practice and provide new services."

Wanganui Eyecare Centre prides itself on its focus on relationships and tailoring the optometrists' expertise to the patients' needs.

They are building closer relationships with local health practitioners to provide medical examinations. Hardey says the practice has "a fairly unique take" on treatment to slow down myopia (short-sightedness) and specialist technology and expertise for treating dry-eye syndrome.

Hardey will carry on consulting in the practice "for another few years".

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