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Age Concern salutes older worker

Age Concern salutes older worker

Age Concern New Zealand statement - 21 December 2006

Age Concern New Zealand is acknowledging a famous older worker’s important contribution to the community.

“Santa and Mrs Claus are great examples of positive ageing,” says Age Concern New Zealand’s national president Jill Williams. “Although both are clearly well over retirement age, they are continuing their high-flying international work.”

The most recent Census found that 437,000 New Zealanders do voluntary work in groups, clubs and marae. Many community initiatives and organisations rely on the contribution of older volunteers. Like them, Mr and Mrs Claus are using their senior years to serve the community in a voluntary role.

Although not many older workers have such complex and time-critical jobs as procuring and delivering several billion gifts overnight, older workers are also an increasingly important part of the workforce.

In the last five years, the number of over-65-year-olds in jobs has increased 109 per cent and 60 to 64 year-olds in the workforce have increased 67 per cent, Statistics New Zealand says.

Age Concern is also praising Santa for keeping active. Although his weight may exceed guidelines, the ease with which he scales chimneys and lifts heavy loads shows he’s well aware of men’s health issues.

“Santa is just one of millions of older people worldwide who fill vital roles in their families, workplaces and communities,” Jill Williams says.

ENDS

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