Community & Environment

Friendlier future for older Hamiltonians

Hamilton is a step closer to becoming one of the best places for older people to live.

A three-year Age Friendly Plan was endorsed by Hamilton City Council at a Community Committee Meeting on Tuesday (31 August).

Future-proofing the city’s facilities, support, and services for Hamilton’s older people is more important than ever. New Zealanders aged 65 and older are expected to double to between 1.3 and 1.5 million by 2046.

The new plan shows Hamilton isn’t slowing down on its vision to become the best place for older people to live, Community Committee Chair Councillor Mark Bunting said.

“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”.

“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.”

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 shows 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.

“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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