Celebrating International Day of Older People

  • John Carter
Senior Citizens

International Day of Older People on 1 October is a time to acknowledge the contributions older people make to communities throughout New Zealand, Senior Citizens Minister John Carter says.

"Mentoring, volunteering, looking out for the neighbourhood, caring for children, sharing wisdom and experience and of course, being in paid work and leading businesses are some of the many ways New Zealanders aged 65 and older contribute," Mr Carter said.

International Day of Older People is a United Nations initiative celebrated around the world on 1 October each year.

"This is a day to say thank you and to acknowledge senior citizens. I encourage New Zealanders to honour and respect older people," Mr Carter said.

"One of my goals as Minister is to change attitudes about ageing and I believe intergenerational activities are a good start. Young people can learn from their elders and vice-versa. With this day falling in the school holidays, it is an ideal time for young and older family members or neighbours to enjoy time together.

"One in eight New Zealanders is aged over 65 and this is projected to increase to one in four by 2050. As our population ages, it becomes more apparent that with good health and active lifestyles, people are certainly not ‘old' at 65. The 65-plus group has much to contribute both socially and economically.

"New Zealand is a great country to grow older in. We have one of the best and fairest superannuation systems in the world and no compulsory retirement age. The National-led Government is committed to maintaining Superannuation payments for a couple linked to 66 percent of the after-tax average wage, and from the age of 65 onwards and to giving senior citizens lifestyle choices."