Carers' Strategy Action Paln cover

The New Zealand Carers' Strategy

Are you caring for or looking after someone? We want to hear from you

In July and August 2019 we will be engaging with the public on the draft of the New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2019 – 2023.

We want to hear from anyone who is supporting a friend, family, whānau or aiga member with a disability, health condition or illness who needs help with everyday living.

We want to make sure this new Action Plan reflects what matters to you. Click on the link below for more information:

Who are carers?

Carers are people who support family or friends with a disability, health condition or illness who need help with everyday living.

Carers are crucial to New Zealand society:

  • They enable people to live and participate in their communities.
  • They also help reduce dependence on health and aged care systems.

One in ten New Zealanders are a carer.

The 2013 Census identified 430,000 people who were in a care role. This is an increase of 13% from the 2001 Census.

However, this number may not represent the true number of carers.

The care role is often hidden in families and communities, in part because many consider it to be just “what families do”.

Demand for carers is growing due to:

  • more people are living longer,
  • more people experiencing multiple long-term health conditions, and
  • more people are living at home (rather than going into institutional care).

A cross-government strategy to better support carers

The New Zealand Carers’ Strategy was launched in 2008 by then Minister for Senior Citizens, the Hon Ruth Dyson.

This Strategy was developed in partnership by government agencies and the New Zealand Carers Alliance (which represents a network of over 45 not-for-profit organisations).

The Strategy acknowledges the real difference carers can make in people’s lives.

Improving support for carers is important for:

  • developing strong healthy families
  • meeting future challenges of providing care.

The Carer’s Strategy gives the Government’s vision for carers in New Zealand:

“New Zealand is a society that values individuals, families, whānau and aiga who support others who need help with their everyday living.”

This will be achieved when:

  • carers have choices and opportunities to participate in family life, social activities, employment and education
  • carers’ voices are heard in decision-making that affects them.

Where can you get support now?

  • A Guide for Carers: this guide provides information on supports, financial and non-financial available to carers and how to access them
  • CarersNZ website: provides a hub for ideas, guidance, learning and support. This includes things like “Find Services and Support” tool, and a Time Out Guide
  • CareMatters: provides a National Carer Learning and Wellbeing Resource Service with online resources, face-to-face workshop information, and care planning.
  • MyCare: Online matching service that aims to find carers access to respite carers

How to find out more

The following documents are available for download:

Draft New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan for 2019 to 2023

New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan for 2014 to 2018

A Guide for Carers – He Aratou mā ngā Kaitiaki