Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Hamilton adopts plan for the ages

Hamilton City Council has signed off on a plan to improve facilities, support and services for its over 65s.

The three-year Age Friendly Plan was endorsed by Hamilton City Council at a Community Committee Meeting on Tuesday.

Community Committee Chair, Councillor Mark Bunting said the new plan showed Hamilton wasn’t slowing down on its vision to become the best place in New Zealand for older people to live.

“We often brag about being the youngest city by age, which screams to me that we need to move the needle and make Hamilton a far more attractive place for people to spend their later years with their family, rather than heading over the hill to the beach,” Cr Bunting said.

“We want to become a city where people set their hearts on retiring. None of us are getting any younger, so the actions and aspirations of this plan will benefit us all.”

He said Hamilton was the country’s first city to join the World Health Organisations Age Friendly Network of Cities and Communities in 2018, led and championed by the Age Friendly Hamilton Steering Group.

Council’s first 2018-21 Age Friendly Plan focused on age-related research, combatting social isolation, supporting intergenerational connections, bringing community groups together.

The new plan has more than 40 actions to be progressed over the next three years, involving dozens of local groups and organisations.

It was developed using nine age-friendly themes, including:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings;
  • transport and mobility;
  • respect and social inclusion;
  • social participation;
  • civic participation and enjoyment;
  • communication and information;
  • housing;
  • community support and health services;
  • safety.

The Steering Group’s Chair, Dame Peggy Koopman-Boyden said the newest version of the Age Friendly Plan showed a continued commitment to the increasing number of older people in Hamilton.

“We know a growing number of Hamilton’s residents will be older people over the coming decades. This Plan will continue to bring together many groups, who all want to shape a city that helps older people to enjoy a happy life,” she said.

“Hamilton is already a great place for older people to live, but we want it to become one of the very best places.”

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