Walking the dog bush

Positive Ageing Goals and Key Actions

Office for Senior Citizens.

1. Income


Secure and adequate income for older people


1.1 Enactment of legislation that increases the security of publicly provided retirement income into the future.

1.2 Review income support provisions to ensure they provide an adequate standard of living.

1.3 Monitor changes in living standards for all people.

2. Health


Equitable, timely, affordable and accessible health services for older people


2.1 Promotion of holistic-based wellness throughout the life cycle.

2.2 Develop health service options that allow integrated planning, funding and delivery of primary, secondary, residential care and community support services.

2.3 Ensure the availability of multi-disciplinary comprehensive geriatric needs assessment throughout New Zealand.

3. Housing


Affordable and appropriate housing options for older people


3.1 Maintain income-related rents policy for state housing.

3.2 Provide adequate assistance towards the cost of local authority rates.

3.3 Strengthen legal protection for retirement village residents.

3.4 Work with local government to increase the supply of universal design and energy-efficient low-rental housing, including supported pensioner housing complexes.

3.5 Investigate options for government assistance to enable low-income families to purchase homes.

4. Transport


Affordable and accessible transport options for older people


4.1 Review public transport options so that they are user-friendly in terms of routes, egress, timetables and affordability, and are safe for all ages.

4.2 Review driver re-licensing provisions for older drivers to ensure they are based on ability, not age.

4.3 Ensure lack of transport is not a barrier to accessing health services.

5. Ageing in Place


Older people feel safe and secure and can age in place


5.1 Promote and implement safety awareness programmes for older people.

5.2 Develop a wide range of services that support ageing in place.

5.3 Develop policy options that facilitate ageing in place.

5.4 Improve delivery of information about provisions and services that enable older people to age in place.

6. Cultural Diversity


A range of culturally appropriate services allows choices for older people


6.1 Increase the number of quality services provided by and for Māori.

6.2 Increase the number of quality services provided by and for Pacific peoples.

6.3 Identify issues of specific concern to older people from ethnic communities and develop options for addressing these.

7. Rural


Older people livng in rural commuinities are not disadvantaged when accessing services


7.1 Promote and support policies that encourage opportunities for growth and development for older people living in rural communities.

7.2 Improve service delivery to rural areas.

7.3 Ensure policies address the additional costs associated with providing services to sparsely populated and rural communities.

7.4 Ensure equity of access to health services for people in rural areas.

7.5 Develop options to address the transport needs of rural older people accessing services and activities in urban areas.

8. Attitudes


People of all ages have positive attitudes to ageing and older people


8.1 Ensure government agency advertising and publicity campaigns portray positive images of older people.

8.2 Promote intergenerational programmes in schools and communities.

8.3 Foster collaborative relationships between central and local government, business, non-government and community sectors that promote positive ageing.

9. Employment


Elimination of ageism and the promotion of flexible work options


9.1 Implement human resources policies in the government sector that support employment of older workers; provide family-friendly workplaces by recognising those with caring responsibilities and allowing flexible and reduced hours of work; and ensure entitlements for training are provided to all workers, including older workers.

9.2 Ensure those providing services to older people have an understanding and awareness of older people's issues.

9.3 Work with local government and the business sector to promote mentoring programmes that harness the skills and experience of older people.

10. Opportunities


Increasing opportunities for personal growth and community participation


10.1 Improve opportunities for education for all.

10.2 Implement adult education and retraining initiatives.

10.3 Encourage utilisation of the experience and skills of older people.

10.4 Promote and support volunteer organisations.

Policy Stocktake and Action Plan

Policies with implications for older people will be developed and delivered by a range of government agencies. A comprehensive and integrated Positive Ageing Strategy therefore needs to incorporate action from all of these agencies.

The inter-departmental action plan is the most important part of the Positive Ageing Strategy because it provides the mechanism for achieving the positive ageing goals and for Government to work towards creating a society in which people can age positively.

Each year, Chief Executives of government agencies will identify and discuss with their Ministers proposed work items that will form their department's contribution to the Positive Ageing Action Plan. The action plan identifies the individual work items to be undertaken and co-ordinated by many government departments, developed in response to issues raised during public consultations. It also includes work items identified by departments in their assessments of the changing social environment and the ability of current policies to meet the needs and challenges of an ageing population.

The first Positive Ageing Action Plan is for the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002.

Monitoring and Review

Another important component of the Positive Ageing Strategy is the monitoring and reporting mechanisms that support the co-ordinated approach to positive ageing policies and ensure continued assessment of policies and services in terms of the Positive Ageing Principles. A two-tier monitoring, review and reporting process will be implemented.

The first tier involves monitoring and reporting on progress achieved in the work items included in the annual Positive Ageing Action Plan. Reporting will occur in July each year, to coincide with regular departmental reporting processes. This level of reporting is focused on the achievement of the specific work items identified by various departments as part of their contribution to the Positive Ageing Strategy.

In addition to monitoring progress on specific work items, a report will be published regularly, at approximately three-yearly intervals, on the situation of older people and on positive ageing in New Zealand. This report will be compiled from information available through New Zealand sources, such as the Census, the Time Use Survey, and other recent research. International data from the United Nations, the OECD and other significant sources will also be analysed to allow international comparisons.

This "status" report will not only provide a valuable summary of the situation of older people in New Zealand, but will also help to identify issues requiring government action as part of an ongoing Positive Ageing Strategy. The publication of the first "baseline" report is planned for September 2001.

Looking Forward

Creating a society in which people can age positively requires more than government action. Achieving this vision depends on the involvement of central and local government, business, nongovernment and community sectors. Everyone has a part to play.

The success of the Positive Ageing Strategy will depend on everyone working together.

People need to think about where they are now and the choices they will want to make to have a positive older age. Most people want to continue to contribute to society. There is a role for central and local government to work with communities to enable this to happen. There is much debate to take place on how this will best be achieved, and this debate needs to take place at the local level.

The Positive Ageing Strategy has been developed in partnership with a wide range of people and organisations. It is a living document. Continuing and building on these relationships is essential in order to achieve its goals.