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New Direction In Government Welcomed

New Direction In Government Welcomed

“Age Concern is encouraged by the new policy direction of the Government,” says Claire Austin, Chief Executive.

“We are especially pleased with: ·
1) The raising of New Zealand Superannuation and the reinstatement of its linkages to the average wage. ·
2) The proposed restoration of income-related rents for state housing.
3) The introduction of reductions in the costs of tertiary education.”

“These important policy changes have a major impact upon the well-being of all New Zealanders, both now and into the future. A healthy and productive population will have the capacity to age well and continue to contribute to society in many ways. Conversely, disadvantage will impact into older age,” Ms Austin said.

In March last year, when in Opposition, the Government signalled its commitment to a genuine partnership between itself and the voluntary sector in the future development of social policy and services. Age Concern strongly welcomes such a commitment.

“The voluntary sector is a valuable strategic partner for Government. Open, collaborative policy making processes are likely to be much more effective, achieving results that truly reflect the needs and realities facing ordinary New Zealanders.”

One such opportunity to work together is preparing for an ageing population.

Age Concern recently contributed to the development of in the United Nations Macau Plan of Action on Ageing for Asia and the Pacific. The Macau Plan sets targets in key policy areas such as health, income security, housing and employment, in the context of preparing for an ageing population. It takes a broad, integrated, inter-generational approach to developing social and economic policy.

“Many governments have already set up collaborative national co-ordinating groups, made up from all sectors. The direction of the present Government is most encouraging. However, we need to take the debate about the ageing of the baby-boomers beyond discussions about New Zealand Superannuation, and work together openly to seek solutions and set the direction for the future,” Ms Austin said.

ENDS

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