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New Zealanders Urged To Spread Festive Cheer

New Zealanders can help spread some holiday season cheer this year by remembering older neighbours who may be celebrating the occasion on their own, Senior Citizens Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

"We already know from the 1999 research report Factors Affecting the Ability of Older People to Live Independently that neighbours and friends play a crucial role in supporting older people living independently.

"One in three older New Zealanders live on their own – that's 121,000 people who are aged 65 or more.

"While Christmas is a wonderful time for family gatherings, gifts, and a chance to recharge the batteries after a hectic Year 2000, we should also remember that there are some members of our community who may not have many people to celebrate the festive season with," Lianne Dalziel said.

"We can all help make Christmas a positive time for neighbours, young and old, by checking to see what help we can offer. Older neighbours may need help with transport to do shopping, someone to look after pets or watering the garden if they are going away or it might be that all they want is for someone to remember them on Christmas Day.

"This is a good time of year to ask your older neighbours and friends if they need help mowing lawns, with small repair jobs around the house, or to help with transport to visit people over the holiday season."

The Christchurch East MP is taking up some of her own advice and has already made plans to visit her older neighbours over the Christmas holiday.

Ends

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