Minister for Seniors Dr Ayesha Verrall has today launched the Better Later Life Action Plan at the virtual Vision for Ageing in Aotearoa conference, setting out a pathway for a better future for older New Zealanders.
“Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua is our strategy for ensuring New Zealanders can lead valued, connected and fulfilling lives as they age,” Ayesha Verrall said.
“Soon after work began on an Action Plan for He Oranga Kaumātua, COVID-19 struck. The pandemic has shaped our plan, because we know the significant impact COVID-19 has had on our older population, and the need to focus on actions that will help us to build back better, while contributing to New Zealand’s recovery.
“This strategy is also about planning for the opportunities and challenges that come with an ageing population. By 2034 we expect there will be around 1.2 million people aged 65 and over in New Zealand; just over a fifth of our population.
“The Better Later Life Action Plan is a major step in delivering our vision. It sets the Government’s commitments for implementing the strategy over the next three years – with a particular focus on employment, housing and digital inclusion.
“Older workers deserve to be supported to use their skills and experience, and we want to see suitable housing that meets the diverse needs of older people. The plan also aims to empower older people to embrace technology, while ensuring those who aren’t online are still able to access essential services.
“This work has already begun, including a pilot for older entrepreneurs, research on shared living arrangements, support for Māori to manage and develop housing for whānau as they age, and the successful Digital Literacy Training for Seniors programme.
“This plan is a collaborative effort, bringing together agencies across central government to deliver better outcomes for older people and contribute to the Covid-19 recovery,” Ayesha Verrall said.
The Action Plan was launched at the Vision for Ageing in Aotearoa conference, which moved online because of COVID-19.
The Action Plan can be found on the Office for Seniors website.
Funding of $1.965 million over four years was allocated in Budget 2021 for the implementation of the Better Later Life strategy, which was launched in 2019.