Help shape future of health for older people

  • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga

Associate Health Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is urging people to make their views known on the Health of Older People (HOP) Strategy which is now released for consultation.

“We are living longer than ever, which is a blessing.  We can add quality to life through a focus on healthy ageing and empowering people to live well,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

“The first HOP Strategy was released in 2002. We now have this important opportunity to set a better direction for the health of older people.  I envisage older people ageing well, and being healthy, connected, and respected.” 

“It is important that we are doing the best we can for vulnerable older people, especially those with complex needs and those at the end of their lives.”

“The health system needs to be co-ordinated and responsive to older people’s wishes.  They need to feel safe and supported to openly discuss and plan their end of life care,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The Strategy follows on from the New Zealand Health Strategy which aims to ensure all New Zealanders live well, stay well and get well.

“The Strategy was developed through targeted engagement with older people, their families and communities. Professionals across the health and social sectors also worked closely with the Ministry and provided valuable content for the Strategy.”

“The Ministry of Health will host a series of regional meetings in major centres and provide resources for people to hold workshops in smaller communities,” Mr Lotu-Iiga says. 

“People may also voice their opinions on an online forum. I hope we will see close interest and engagement on the Strategy over the next eight weeks.”

Background information:

  • The consultation opens Wednesday, 13 July and closes 7 September, 2016.
  • Heart disease, cancers, arthritis and respiratory diseases remain the main causes of poor health among older people.
  • Within New Zealand, the 65-plus population nearly doubled between 1981 and 2013 from around 310,000 to 607,000. By 2038 people 65-plus will number 1,286,000.
  • The consultation document can be viewed and downloaded here:
  • The online forum can be accessed here:
  • The New Zealand Health Strategy can be viewed here: