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Volunteers thanked for Year of Older Persons

Senior Citizens Minister, David Carter, will recognise the voluntary contributions of 29 New Zealanders who contributed to International Year of Older Persons (IYOP) at a ceremony at the Beehive tomorrow.

"Twenty nine New Zealanders dedicated themselves to making this year celebrating older people a success. Without their voluntary efforts, New Zealanders wouldn't have had the same opportunity to participate," says Mr Carter.

"Close to 500 events have taken place and there is now a new level of interest in older people's issues and in ageing itself."

The 29 voluntary community co-ordinators helped to encourage communities to organise IYOP activities from Northland to Southland.

"Without their devotion to the spirit of the year, the focus would probably have only been on the main centres. These people helped spread interest and make celebrating older people a national event in 1999," says Mr Carter.

Mr Carter said IYOP had been critically important to promote key messages as New Zealand moved towards an ageing population.

"We need to continue promoting positive ageing and respect between the generations, because population experts predict our older population will double in the next 30 years and we need to have understanding."

The ceremony will take place between 2pm and 3pm in the Beehive Ground Foyer, with a cake commemorating the year being cut and champagne being uncorked.

Dame Margaret Bazley, Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Policy, will help David Carter present certificates of appreciation to the 29 voluntary community co-ordinators.

ENDS

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