Sunday, April 21, 2024

Auckland gets age-friendly tick of approval

Auckland has been accepted into the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC).

“Auckland Council is committed to ensuring that older Aucklanders stay connected to others and have good access to public spaces, transport, building and housing,” said Mayor, Phil Goff.

“It’s great to see our work to make Auckland an accessible and enjoyable place for people of all ages recognised by the World Health Organisation.”

Liaison Councillor for the Seniors Advisory Panel, Councillor Tracy Mulholland said she was proud of the work done by staff and the Seniors Advisory Panel, which helped achieve Auckland’s acceptance into the Global Network.

“When the Parks, Arts Community and Events Committee approved and adopted the Tāmaki Makaurau Tauawhi Kaumātua – Age-friendly Auckland Action Plan in November last year, our next step was to have our years of effort internationally recognised by seeking entry into the Global Network,” she said.

“It’s great to see this work recognised internationally, and Auckland viewed as an age-friendly champion.

“I’d like to acknowledge all of the partners who collaborated with us on the Tāmaki Makaurau Tauawhi Kaumātua – Age-friendly Auckland Action Plan. They are critical to the ongoing delivery of the plan and to supporting the wellbeing of older Aucklanders, and we wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without them.”

Co-chair of the Seniors Advisory Panel, Gayle Marshall says joining the Global Network was an important milestone for Auckland, especially as the city’s population ages.

“We know older people experience barriers to participation across all areas of life, and if we want to be a world class city, we need to commit to better access for everyone,” she said.

“The Global Network brings together like-minded cities and communities committed to becoming more age-friendly. It’s great to see Auckland recognised in this space and we’re looking forward to sharing ideas with other members.”

The WHO Global Age-friendly Cities Guide identifies core characteristics of an age-friendly city in eight areas of urban life: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; and community support and health services.

Auckland Council General Manager Community and Social Policy, Kataraina Maki says the Tāmaki Makaurau Tauawhi Kaumātua includes two additional domains and an expansion of another.

“When developing the plan, it was important to reflect our bi-cultural foundations and diversity, so we added the Kaumātua and Culture and Diversity domains,” she said.

“We also expanded the Outdoor Spaces and Buildings characteristic to become Te Taiao – the Natural and Built Environment.”

Chief Executive Officer of Age Concern Auckland, Kevin Lamb says Auckland is right on track to becoming a world-class city for the aging.

“With access to the Global Network, we’ll be able to share ideas and resources that help us look at our city differently and make positive changes.”

“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 background, ethnicity, gender or age,” he said.

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