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A region-wide strategy addressing how to meet the wellbeing needs of the Wairarapa’s ageing community was launched this morning at an event at the Carterton Events Centre. The Wairarapa Positive Ageing Strategy launch event was attended by Hon Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin, Wairarapa mayors, councillors, council staff and contributors to the Strategy from the Wairarapa community.

The Strategy was developed by the three Wairarapa councils to prepare for the region’s rapidly ageing community.  The aim of the Strategy is to help them achieve positive outcomes through leading valued, connected and fulfilling lives.

In the next 25 years, the number of Wairarapa residents aged over 65 is expected to increase by about 79% to nearly 15,000, or 1 in 4 residents. It is the hope that the Strategy will enhance the lives and experiences of older people in the community. The new Strategy features six strategic goals, which were identified through extensive local research and consultation. These goals, which will be areas of council focus over the medium to long-term are: community support and health services, communication and engagement, transport, cultural diversity, housing, and places, spaces and activities.

South Wairarapa Mayor Viv Napier says, “Our growing ageing population is an integral part of our community and older people have so much to offer. This strategy will go a long way to helping our Kaumatua lead enriched and meaningful lives.”

Carterton Mayor John Booth says, “My hope is that this strategy will help us create a community in Wairarapa where all people can stay connected, and ensure things such as technology don’t become a barrier.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson says, “We have an ageing population alongside strong growth in younger demographics, and it’s important we cater for all. Simple things can make a huge difference, like transport, connection, and accessibility.”

Funded with help from the Office for Seniors, the Strategy is designed for cross-council participation. It is based on the World Health Organisation Age-Friendly cities guidelines, and aligns with Office for Senior’s best practice.

A co-ordinator working across the Wairarapa region is being employed to help with the development and implementation of the strategy’s action plan.

The full strategy is available to view here.

To keep up to date with the latest strategy developments and to view photos from the launch event, click here

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