United call for action on the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing
New collaboration to focus on creating a uniquely ageless society for NZ
As the General Election approaches, key organisations involved in promoting healthy and respectful ageing and the wellbeing of older people in Aotearoa New Zealand are calling on all political parties to commit to the principles of the United Nation’s Decade of Healthy Ageing and to work collaboratively towards a society where all people can live long and healthy lives.
In the week which began with the UN International Day of Older Persons (1 October) and closes with Ageism Awareness Day (7 October), registered charity The Selwyn Foundation has hosted an inaugural hui in association with Age Concern New Zealand. This brought together many of the influential organisations, including the Grey Power NZ Federation, from across the sector, with a view to collaborating to bring about transformational change, combat ageism and enable New Zealand to become a better place for all of us to grow older.
Drawing together government agencies, charitable trusts, academics and providers of housing, healthcare and social services for older people, the think-tank focussed on how it might promote, develop, and deliver on an Aotearoa New Zealand Decade of Healthy Ageing Action Plan for the long-term benefit of individuals and communities.
The UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) encourages all parts of the system (including governments, businesses, the community and voluntary sector, universities, philanthropy, and the media) to join together to contribute to ten years of concerted action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and their communities. Its four main areas for action over the decade are to change how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing, to foster the abilities of older people, to deliver integrated care and primary health services responsive to the needs of older people and to provide access to long-term care for older people who need it. The Federation president, Jan Pentecost, said that:
“These action areas are very high on Grey Power’s advocacy agenda and are incorporated in the Federation’s election strategy which asks politicians what their policies are on many of these issues.”
Cutting across these action areas is the need to reduce social isolation and loneliness and to prevent the abuse of older people. To achieve the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing vision, the collaboration wants to work with others. As the Selwyn Foundation’s Chief Executive, Denise Cosgrove says: “New Zealand’s yet to fully embrace this global opportunity. Therefore, we’re calling for a collaborative, integrated approach to improving the experience of ageing so that all older New Zealanders are respected, their needs prioritised and their ongoing contributions to society valued.
“While the ageing of our population – where one in five of us are going to be older than 65 in the next five years – presents challenges in how Government should best respond in providing funding and services, this longevity also represents huge potential. Our current employment practices, infrastructure, public transport and housing policies can make it hard for us to stay involved and engaged as we age. We can, however, create innovative solutions which would allow us to harness the energy of an ageing population through older people’s contributions as entrepreneurs, workers, carers and volunteers. In addition, this creates real opportunity for economic growth through innovation in the design of products, services and support catering to the needs of people as they age.
“As we work together and advocate on this issue on behalf of our kaumātua kuia/older people, we urge all political parties and the incoming Government to commit to doing more to achieve the vision of the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing. The current focus on the age of eligibility for superannuation misses the huge opportunities for New Zealand to be world leaders in creating an ageless society. As a collaboration of organisations known for our focus on older people, we’ve agreed to begin work on developing an integrated strategy for New Zealand – which will look at all aspects of how we live, work and stay healthy as we age and bring a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand perspective. We invite others with an interest to join us in this.”
Grey Power advocates strenuously on the issues in the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing action plan and the opportunity to be part of the collaboration to strengthen this advocacy is warmly welcomed.
The Plan of Action on the UN Decade of Health Ageing Plan of Action 2021-2030 is available HERE.
Grey Power NZ Federation Inc
The outing took us to the Rotorua Curtainbank located by the racecourse. After a warm welcome, administrator Judy detailed the history of the organisation from its formation as a charitable trust in 2015 to today. She told the group that its Mission Statement was “to receive good used curtains, repair and reline them when necessary, and then donate them to people in the Rotorua district living in cold, damp and mouldy homes”. The organisation receives referrals for families in need from all health and medical facilities and social organisations for those with a community services card. There has been a decrease in hospital admissions of children with breathing diseases and fewer cases of rheumatic fever since the inception of Curtainbank.
Volunteer Val told the visitors that there were regular volunteers working at the workshop at the race course. All are over 70 years and one is even already 93 years old. The public, together with local hotels and motels, have been very generous with the donations of their used curtains. Curtainbank is very appreciative of their generosity.
Curtains are chosen to suit the homes of the families and are all thermal lined. More than 150 homes are fitted with these curtains every year. If you have suitable curtains which you don’t need anymore, get in touch with the Curtainbank. Be assured your old curtains will get a second life and help a family in need. - Judy Gregor
General Election 2023
The 'Meet the Candidates' meeting was held at Arawa Bowling Club on the 25 September 2023. Both sessions were well attended. The whole meeting was well run and all enjoyed the opportunity to network with the Candidates over a cup of tea or coffee.
Thank you to the candidates that arrived to represent:
General Electorate: Ben Stanford - Labour, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait - Te Pati Māori, Marten Rozeboom - ACT, Apologies from Todd McClay - National
Waiariki Electorate: Toni Boynton - Labour, Charles Tiki Hunia - Vision NZ
Make your voice heard
Still unsure who's going to get your vote this election day? You're not alone, but Vote Compass may be able to point you in the right direction. The tool, which has been around since the 2014 election and used by over 1 million Kiwis since then, asks you to agree or disagree with 30 different questions on a variety of issues. It'll then analyse your answers and plot them on a chart to show you the political parties and policies that most closely align with your views. Created by TVNZ, NZ political scientists and Vox Pop Labs, and backed by the Electoral Commission, it's a handy tool if you're currently on the fence and want to get a gauge on where your views sit.
Get prepped to have your say come election day!
16, Mon, 10.30am, Arts Village, Outing: Health & Disability Advocacy Service
6, Mon, 1pm, Linton Park Community Centre, Forum: Dr Roger Vail, GP, Paramedic & much more
25, Sat, CT Club Rotorua, Year End Lunch: Details to be confirmed