Saturday, July 20, 2024

Embracing a great privilege

By the Minister for Seniors, Hon. Casey Costello

Being appointed as Minister for Seniors is a great privilege. I am looking forward to ensuring that all older New Zealanders have a voice and are represented on the wide range of issues that affect them.

It is important to me that our country both acknowledges and values the contributions of older people and ensures that we can all live well as we age.

Not all of us plan for our later life, but as a nation we definitely need to. Our population is ageing. We know that in 10 years’ time, one in five New Zealanders will be aged 65 and over.

New Zealand will also be proportionately older, with a greater number of people over 80.
Our increasing longevity is something to celebrate, but our services and society have to be able to support older New Zealanders to lead connected and fulfilling lives.

This means planning, and one of my jobs is ensuring government agencies think about seniors and the services you will need. More immediately, I also want to make sure that we address the range of issues that will help older New Zealanders now.

Improvements in access to health services, more innovative and responsive housing options, and maximising the benefits of the SuperGold card are all areas I am keen to develop. I am looking forward to engaging with the sector, including Grey Power, and discussing how we can make these things happen.

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