Government consulting on draft ageing strategy

Image: Huy Phan on Unsplash

The Government is inviting feedback on a draft new ageing strategy.

The deadline to submit feedback is 3 June 2019.

The strategy, Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034, includes safety and elder abuse.

One of the five key principles outlined in the strategy is "Te noho haumaru - Keeping people safe: Older people should feel and be safe, living free from abuse and neglect."

The strategy includes five key areas for action. The action area Enhancing opportunities for social connection and participation includes a focus on safety and elder abuse:

"Numbers of people suffering elder abuse and neglect could increase as numbers of older people increase. As abuse is usually at the hands of a family member or a person of trust, the impact on victims is significant.

What we want to achieve

    • Older people feel and are safe.
    • The prevalence of elder abuse is reduced and victims are well supported. 

What needs to happen

    • Communities work to identify and address safety concerns for older people.
    • Create a co-ordinated, system-wide approach to preventing, identifying and reducing elder abuse.
    • Raise awareness of the risk factors and occurrence of elder abuse.
    • Victims of elder abuse access the support they need."

In the foreword, Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin says: "This draft strategy recognises that we need to take a fresh look at what we have to do to make sure New Zealand has the right policies in place for our ageing population."

The previous Positive Ageing Strategy was created in 2001. This new strategy takes into account changes and predicted future changes in the ageing population. The media release notes it is estimated within the next 10 years there will be one million seniors and by 2034, an estimated 1.2 million New Zealanders will be aged 65+. The senior population is also "increasingly diverse" with the number of Māori, Pacific and Asian people aged 65+ predicted to more than double by 2034.

An action plan will be developed over the following two years to implement this work, but it is noted in the strategy that initial priorities could be agreed and progressed now, including a focus on addressing elder abuse. The strategy is expected to be finalised this year.

Read the complete strategy Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034. Also see the brief summary of the strategy.

For more information see MSD's Super Seniors website on the ageing strategy.

To give feedback you can:

Update: The consultation has been completed. A Summary of Submissions report is available from Super Seniors. The final strategy is exected to be released in 2019.

Background information

In 2018, the Government began work to develop a new strategy including an initial consultation. The Ministry of Social Development's Office for Seniors - Te Tari Kaumātua published a report summarising feedback from this initial consultation. The Office for Seniors have also published a series of short snapshots on key topics and articles from ageing experts.