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Liam Butler interviews Dr Judith Davey

Liam Butler interviews Senior Associate Dr Judith Davey.

23 May 2014

Question One

The Institute for Governance and Policy Studies is a leading research organisation in New Zealand. What topics regarding older people are on your agenda?

The IGPS has no official programmes on ageing. But several of the associates, like me, have an interest in this area. If we do research, it is of our own choosing and in our own time.

My main focus is the policy implications of population ageing and I am currently

working on the ageing of the workforce, its implications and the policy settings which either encourage or discourage older people from prolonging their participation in the paid workforce. This area of interest should be added to those listed in the bio you have seen. There could also be some update on publications, but that may not concern you.

Two other associates - Bob Stephens and Geoff Rashbrooke - are interested in policies around retirement income support (which is another of my interests).

Please bear in mind that I am not an employee of the Institute or the university (VUW). I was previously director of NZiRA but this institute no longer exists.

Question Two

What does the NZ Government need to consider when ensuring that quality research guides the care of older people in New Zealand?

That the research is applicable to the NZ context; that it is well grounded in real-world evidence. That the researchers have good track records, which include close and realistic relationships with end-users of the services and service providers. That the research has a clear applied focus. That the recipients of care services are involved in the research as far as possible, that their views and their dignity is paramount. That the same goes for informal/family carers.

Question Three

Judith, in this election year what policies do you think that Political Parties should explain in more detail that can improve the well being for older people in New Zealand?

They should explain what they are doing/going to do in the policy area to meet the challenges of population ageing in a rounded, holistic way. At present it is the "burden" approach to ageing which seems to be foremost, i.e. concentrating on the cost of retirement income support and of health/care services. What about other policy areas - workforce development, housing, consumer protection, community development, urban planning. There are opportunities and positives in the ageing trend - how will they make the most of these. Specifically, what are they doing to help older people manage their income and assets in later life to improve their wellbeing, for example, guidance about what could be done with Kiwi Saver lump sums when they mature; how workforce participation can be prolonged to be benefit of individuals and business - so that older people can achieve the working conditions which suit them.

About Dr. Judith Davey

Dr. Judith Davey was Director of the New Zealand Institute for Research on Ageing (NZiRA from) 2002 to early 2007 and is now a Senior Associate of the Institute for Governnance and Policy Studies at Victoria University. Prior to 1991 she was the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Planning Council and has been a consultant on social policy and social research since the 1970s.

Judith is a graduate of London University and did her PhD at Durham University. Before coming to New Zealand, she was also a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge.

Judith's personal focus for research is the ageing of the population and its policy implications. She has researched income, transport and housing issues for older people and has published papers and reports on home equity release and intergenerational issues. She has an extensive publication record, including academic papers, books and book chapters and commissioned reports and has provided advice to numerous policy-making bodies in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Judith is currently working on the policy implications of workforce ageing and the situation of older workers.

Three Recent Publications:

Davey, Judith and McKendry, Jane (2011) Financial Abuse of Older People in New Zealand

Working Paper IPS WP11/10. Institute of Policy Studies, Wellington. http://ips.ac.nz/publications/publications/show/324

Davey, Judith (2010) "What Are We Saving For? Using assets in retirement" Chapter 8 in Davey, Judith, Rashbrooke, Geoff and Stephens, Robert (Editors) Retirement Income Policy and Intergenerational Equity- Conference Proceedings. Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington

Davey, J. (2009) The Meaning of Life: New Zealanders talk about spirituality. International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality. The Selwyn Centre for Ageing and Spirituality, Auckland.http://www.selwyncare.org.nz/site_resources/library/PDFs/ConferencePapers/Judith_Davey_Paper.pdf

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