Foreword from the Minister for Seniors

He Kupu Whakataki nā te Minita mō te Hunga Kaumātua

E ngā mātāwaka o te motu, tēnā koutou katoa. Kei aku rangatira, koutou aku kaumātua kia whakapuaki nei au i ēnei mihi itiiti āku i tō koutou manawanui ki te tuku i ō tātai whakapapa, ō whare kōrero ki ngā whakatipuranga e kitea aihe rangatira mō rātou. Nā koutou i iri ai ngā kohinga kōrero ki ngā pakitara o ngā whare tīpuna.

E āhukahukangia ana i konei tēnei mahi tahi a tātou ki te whakawhanake mai he rautaki e whai hua ai ki te katoa.

I am very pleased to present the Better Later Life Action Plan. This sets out the Government’s priorities and commitments to deliver the Better Later Life – He Oranga Kaumātua strategy over the next three years.

The Better Later Life strategy launched in 2019 and work to deliver initial actions began immediately. However, last year the Government paused this work as we turned our attention to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and managing New Zealand’s economic recovery.

When the pandemic began, we acted swiftly to keep COVID-19 out and protect the health of older people. As a result few older New Zealanders have contracted the disease and far fewer have died. But nevertheless, COVID-19 has had a profound and lasting impact on our older population – including many who lost their jobs, struggled with the increased cost of renting a home, or faced the challenge of social isolation.

As we returned to the Action Plan, we recognised the need to focus more on actions that would contribute to New Zealand’s recovery:

  • supporting older workers to use their skills and experience and enabling
    employers to build a resilient, multigenerational workforce
  • ensuring there are a wide range of safe, secure and affordable options that meet older peoples’ needs
  • enabling older people to embrace technology as the world moves increasingly online - and ensuring those not online can still access the services they need day-to-day.

A major collaborative effort has gone into this plan and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to its development.

We have taken extraordinary steps to protect New Zealanders from COVID-19, particularly older New Zealanders. Together our team of five million has worked to keep each other safe. Our challenge now is to ensure every New Zealander is part of our recovery, and that we maintain support for the whole community.

My ministerial colleagues and I have committed to rise to this challenge. Working together we will ensure every New Zealander has a better later life.


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