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Opportunity and security for older New Zealanders

The Government is working to secure a place for older New Zealanders in the mainstream of our society Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey opened the Retirement Villages Association conference in Auckland this morning. Within thirty years the number of New Zealanders aged 65 years and over will more than double to almost one million people. The Government recognises its responsibility in ensuring older New Zealanders are seen as an essential part of our communities and that social policy supports positive ageing initiatives.

"Labour and the Alliance accept that providing security for our older population is one of our most fundamental responsibilities. As a Government we are also committed to providing real opportunities for the elderly to remain active in society and to share the experiences of their lifetimes to help the younger generation coming through.

"As a nation we must learnt to value the contribution that older New Zealanders make to our society. The Government is doing its part through the development of a positive aging strategy which includes:

 restoring the value of New Zealand Superannuation to older people financial security in retirement;
 work on new health and disabilities strategies to improve health service delivery and the development of priority areas and targets for age-related disability to enable full participation in society;
 better home care and family support to enable older people to live independently at home;
 new standards for residential care facilities; and
 promoting mentoring programmes to employ the tremendous knowledge and experience of older workers," Steve Maharey said.


ends

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