Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Government of New Zealand New Zealand
The Office for Seniors provides information to seniors and to the Government about the issues and concerns of older people. We support the Minister for Seniors’ advocacy across key government portfolios, work with other central government agencies, local government and community organisations. We want a country where seniors’ views are valued, and their aspirations are integrated into the development of the communities they live in. We will work with communities to develop resources and processes that reflect New Zealand’s bi-cultural status.
New Zealand’s involvement with the Age-friendly Cities and Communities movement began with Tauranga City Council’s launch of its Age-Friendly City Strategy in 2012. In 2015 the Office began supporting three pilot communities (Hamilton, Kāpiti Coast District, and New Plymouth) to implement the WHO model in their local areas. An evaluation of the pilots highlights critical success factors and is available to help inform others. In May 2018 Hamilton became the 600th affiliate of the WHO Global Network, and several other cities have indicated they wish to work towards affiliation.
In 2015, the Government established the Community Connects Grant, which helps support communities to either start developing an age-friendly plan or to implement projects that are part of a plan or work programme. The Community Connects Grant emphasises the partnership between local government and communities. The Grant programme is based on models in operation in Australia and Canada.
The Office has established relationships with academics working in New Zealand. Through these connections we have hosted visiting academics to promote and discuss age-friendly communities, social isolation and other matters concerning older people. The Office held the first national forum in 2018, hosted by the Minister for Seniors in our Parliament buildings.