In the next 25 years, the number of Wairarapa residents aged over 65 years will have increased by 79% to nearly 15,000 - one in four residents, according to the Mayoral foreword in Wairarapa's new Positive Aging Strategy.
The strategy was launched today at Carterton Events Centre, attended by the Minister for Seniors, Hon Tracey Martin, the three mayors and Council Management Teams, as well as representation from the DHB, the health sector and interagency stakeholders.
With the Carterton Community Choir providing the opening entertainment, Auntie Mihi and Mike Kawana leading the ceremony, and formal speeches from Carrie McKenzie (CDC), the Minister, and Cheryl Watson of Age Concern; the strategy was launched with all the respect it deserves. This has been a long time in the making, and well worth the wait.
It is a cross region strategy, developed with wide consultation and funding from the Office for Seniors.
Our older population is growing nationally. In Wairarapa, it is growing at a great rate. Seniors of today want and need different things than their predecessors. It is important we can provide that.
Rather than focus on the costs of this cohort, Hon Tracey Martin reminded us of how much seniors give. "Seniors put back to a community, spending millions of dollars and volunteering millions of hours. This is a demographic of note, and one that deserves serving well."
Congratulations to our three Councils and all involved. A lot of hard work has paid off, and we look forward to seeing this strategy take shape. Well done, team!