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Progress on positive ageing

29 September 2006

Progress on positive ageing for International Older Person's Day

Minister for Senior Citizens, Ruth Dyson, today welcomed the progress many councils and agencies are making in taking the needs of older people into consideration as she opened the Senior Citizens Expo in Kawerau.

“Good progress is being achieved by government agencies and local councils in implementing New Zealand’s Positive Ageing Strategy, which is particularly pleasing as we celebrate International Day of Older Persons on Sunday 1 October,” said Ruth Dyson.

The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy was launched in 2001, and sets out the Labour-led government’s vision for a society where people can age positively, where older people are highly valued, and where they have continuing opportunities for participation.

"The positive ageing goals were developed through nationwide consultation with older people. They reflect the priority issues that were identified to improve opportunities for older people so they are able to participate in their communities in ways that they choose."

The Office for Senior Citizens in the Ministry of Social Development co-ordinates and publishes an annual report and action plan for the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that five new local councils, and more central and local government agencies are becoming involved in the Strategy each year. This can only improve positive outcomes for older people and add value to the community,” said Ms Dyson.

This year, for the first time, the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy annual report and action plan has been published as one document. The New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy has been widely distributed to local councils, libraries and community organisations, it is also available to the public from the Office for Senior Citizens and from the website

Highlights of planned key actions 2006 – 2007

The highlights of the planned key actions for implementing the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy in 2006-2007 by local councils and agencies are summarised below.

North Island
Northland Work and Income - will hold a networking meeting with community groups in Kerikeri October 2006 to discuss local older people's service issues

Manukau City Council is supporting the Kiwi Life and Shanti Niwas programmes to enable older new settlers to have opportunities for educational, social and leisure activities

East Coast Work and Income is delivering home visits to older rural clients, and hold forums in Kaiti/Ruatoria and Wairoa, to deliver information about entitlements and services

Rotorua District Council will conduct an annual safety audit of transport and pedestrian infrastructure to inform the Council’s Older People’s Policy

Taranaki, King Country and Wanganui Work and Income is organising meetings with the Chamber of Commerce, employers and Grey Power to promote the benefits of employing older workers

New Plymouth District Council and New Plymouth Positive Ageing Trust is holding a Treasured Relationships Exhibition to mark the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October

Stratford District Council will hold quarterly seminars to inform older people about community issues affecting their wellbeing.

South Taranaki District Council plans to hold a Financial Health Forum for older people covering budget advice, looking after investments, Work and Income entitlements and looking out for scams

Palmerston North City Council is engaging with the Pacific Island community to find the most effective ways of supporting their community development. The Council is also reviewing and monitoring its employment practices to identify wellbeing initiatives for older workers

Tararua District Council, in partnership with Sport Manawatu, will deliver weekly Tai Chi and Aerobics classes for older people

Kapiti Coast District Council, with the Kapiti Positive Ageing Group, will conduct a survey on the living standards of older people to gain a better understanding of the cost of living in the area, and will produce a report on the findings by December 2006.

Wellington City Council will hold a concert dedicated to seniors to coincide with the International Day of Older Persons on 1 October

South Island
Nelson City Council’s “Clean Heat-Warm Homes” project will fit clean heat appliances in approximately 40% of older people’s homes by June 2007

Tasman District Council will provide opportunities for older people to participate in physical activities by ensuring contracts with recreational co-ordinators include programmes for older people

Christchurch City Council staff will hold networking meetings to develop policy to support older people living in rural areas, particularly Banks Peninsula

Dunedin City Council will upgrade seven housing units by April 2007 and finalise the design for the upgrade of five further housing units for older people.


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