Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Auckland adopts age-friendly action plan

Auckland Council has committed to supporting older residents to participate fully in their communities with the adoption of a new age-friendly action plan.

The Tāmaki tauawhi kaumātua – Age-friendly Tāmaki Makaurau Action Plan was approved and adopted by Auckland Council’s Parks, Arts, Community and Events Committee, delivered in partnership with the Seniors Advisory Panel.

The plan enables Auckland to seek membership in the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

Mayor Phil Goff has welcomed the adoption of the plan.

“We know older people experience barriers to participation across all areas of life,” he said.

“Our age-friendly action plan shows that we’re committed to making our city an accessible and enjoyable place for people of all ages. It helps ensure that older Aucklanders stay connected to others and have access to public spaces, transport, building and housing.”

Councillor Tracy Mulholland, Liaison Councillor for the Seniors Advisory Panel, says she’s supportive of the plan and excited to see Auckland on the world stage.

“This is really great work done by the Seniors Advisory Panel and our staff,” she said.

“Back in 2018, the Environment and Community Committee resolved to seek membership to the World Health Organisation Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

“This has been three years of planning and hard work, spanning three separate panel terms with each contributing to the plan and keeping progress moving. It would be great to see this work recognised internationally, and Auckland viewed as an age-friendly champion.”

Co-chair of the Seniors Advisory Panel, Gayle Marshall says the Tāmaki tauawhi kaumātua – Age-friendly Tāmaki Makaurau Action Plan has been an achievement for the panel.

“This brings us in line with a lot of cities around the world who have joined the World Health Organisation Network.

“It’s taken the work of a lot of dedicated volunteers, council staff, organisations and previous panels to have the foresight to see what Auckland needs for the future of our aging community. I’m thankful to all I’ve worked with for us to be able to take this next step.”

Auckland Council General Manager Community and Social Policy, Kataraina Maki says this is more than just improving accessibility in the city centre.

“It is a region-wide, cross-sector plan that commits the council, council-controlled organisations (CCOs) and sector partners to improve outcomes for older Aucklanders through the delivery of tangible and meaningful actions.

“The Framework aims to be inclusive of all peoples, combining the World Health Organisation domains with te ao Māori concepts to reflect the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa and the diversity of Tāmaki Makaurau.

“Our community engagement showed the demand for an age-friendly plan, with over 3,000 Aucklanders providing feedback.

“I’m really proud of the way we worked together with the Seniors Advisory Panel and other age-friendly organisations, especially during challenging times. Connecting with our senior communities can be tough during a lockdown, as barriers to technology can pose a real challenge.”

Chief Executive Officer of Age Concern Auckland, Kevin Lamb says this plan will make a positive difference and help us to look at our city differently.

“Auckland being labelled as a liveable city and the best city in the world to travel to is only for those who are able to participate.”

“Age-friendly has to focus on more than making it a slightly better place for those who are already okay. It’s about making it a great place for everyone, regardless of your background, ethnicity, gender or age, including those who are marginalised in society, and this plan does that,” he said.

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