Council, 17 May 2007.

Ageing Together Policy statement

The Christchurch City Council values and encourages the contribution of older people to the wider community. It is committed to respecting people as they age, upholding their rights to independence, participation, and access to opportunities and resources.

The Council contributes to fulfilling the New Zealand Positive Ageing Strategy 2001. Involvement in social housing, public transport, community support for - and participation by - older people in its urban and rural communities, and provision of culturally appropriate services contribute to its goals. The Council promotes positive attitudes and understanding of older people. As a community leader the Council strives to improve the wellbeing of its communities by advocating for secure and adequate income, equitable, timely, affordable and accessible health services, elimination of ageism and promotion of flexible work options.

The rights, needs and expectations of ageing people, their families and carers are incorporated into the Council's strategic and operational planning, and provision of community information, services and facilities. They are reflected in the Council's Strategic Directions for our Strong Communities, Liveable City, Healthy Environment and Prosperous Economy.

The Council is an advocate for improved wellbeing of its ageing population and works collaboratively with other community and health providers to achieve the Community Outcomes.

Policy scope

In demographic terms, the ageing population is commonly defined as people aged 65+ years. However, age alone is not a measure of a person's specific abilities and needs. Ageing affects individuals, families, whanau and communities in many different ways and is not exclusive to people of a particular age.

This policy acknowledges and values the opportunities for community contribution and participation that older people can offer and enjoy, often when their lifestyle, work and family responsibilities change. It supports positive ageing where many older people are living and remaining active for longer, and are able to enjoy their so-called 'Third Age'.

The policy recognises also that some older people are more vulnerable and frail in their advancing years - their 'Fourth Age' - and may need additional physical, financial, community and social support. Older people's wellbeing and needs can move between these spectrums at different times.

Policy goals

Older people's life and work skills, time and experiences enrich our wider community as we live - and age - together.

We will all flourish when:

Goal 1 Access to Information

There is easy access by older people to Christchurch City Council and community information that will enhance their personal and community wellbeing and involvement. The Council provides options in formats and dissemination of information that suit the changing needs and preferences of people as they age.

Goal 2 Access to Places and Services

Older people can live in affordable, appropriate and accessible housing. Accessible transportation, facilities and services enable a greater level of involvement by older people in their communities. The Council recognises that the financial needs, costs and ability to afford services can change for people as they age.

Goal 3 Opportunities for Participation

There are increased opportunities for participation and contribution by older people in lifelong learning, recreational and leisure activities, workplaces and in the community.

Goals 1-3 will be achieved by:

Goal 4 Education

The Council advocating locally, regionally and nationally for improving the lives, opportunities, care and wellbeing of ageing people now and in the future.

Goal 5 Understanding and Promoting Positive Ageing

Ensuring the rights, contributions, needs and expectations of older people are understood and respected by Council staff and elected members, and are reflected in Council planning and service delivery.

Goal 6 Advocacy

Encouraging wide community awareness of the needs and expectations of older people, and appreciation of the opportunities that positive ageing offers individuals, families and whanau, workplaces and communities.

Goal 7 Collaboration

The Council working collaboratively and in partnership with Maori, Pacific people, other ethnic groups, social and welfare agencies, and community groups to promote the wellbeing and participation of older people in their communities.