Skip to content

Latest News and Reports

Minister for Seniors Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall Announces Appointment of

Inaugural Aged Care Commissioner

It was my pleasure to announce last month the appointment of the inaugural Aged Care Commissioner, Carolyn Cooper. Carolyn has over four decades of experience across health systems in both New Zealand and Australia – starting her career as a registered general and obstetric nurse. Over the years she’s held many leadership roles, including in aged care. I know that Carolyn will be a strong advocate for older people and their whānau, along with providing critical oversight across the aged care sector as a whole. This will also include home and community health services. This is a role that Grey Power and many other others in the senior sector have lobbied hard to establish. I look forward to working alongside her to progress issues facing our older population.

For more information go to Seniors Newsletter April 2022


Living with Covid in the Community –

Age Concern Wellington Region 2022 Survey of Seniors

Since the reporting of New Zealand’s first Covid-19 case on February 28, 2020, Covid-19 has forced New Zealanders to change the way they live. For many seniors, this disruption to normal life has been exhausting and stressful.

When the Omicron wave began to impact New Zealand in early 2022, we heard stories of many seniors staying home and isolating. We also heard of some seniors still keen to get out and about. We wanted to discover more about what was happening for seniors as large numbers of the population began to be impacted by Omicron. This survey represents a snapshot of the wellbeing of seniors in early March 2022.              2022 Seniors Survey – Living With Covid in the Community (2)


Still Alone Together

How loneliness changed in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2020 and what it means for public policy.

A research paper by Holly Walker produced in partnership with WSP New Zealand

13 April 2021


Ageism – not part of our future!

Age Concern New Zealand (ACNZ)  Media Release – 23 September 2021


Learning from Seniors’ Experiences of Housing and Home during the COVID-19 pandemic

This report by Bev James presents two sets of views into the experiences of seniors living independently in their communities about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, on their housing and sense of home. One view is from seniors themselves. Overall, 48 interviews and one focus group were conducted with seniors. The other view is from interviews conducted with 20 community organisations and housing providers that support seniors in their homes and communities.

While coming from different perspectives, both seniors and organisations shared common ideas about how to maintain seniors’ independence and wellbeing during a pandemic. Seniors’ housing situations were critical to keeping them safe and secure. Also important were seniors’ ability to receive essential goods and services in their home base, and to maintain important social connections.
Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities, Affordable Housing for Generations, June 2021.


World Health Organisation

Social isolation and loneliness among older people: advocacy brief | World Health organisation

This advocacy brief on social isolation and loneliness among older people highlights the growing public health and policy concern about these issues, which have been made more salient by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brief summarizes the scale, impact, and harms of social isolation and loneliness among older people, and outlines what can be done to reduce them. This brief also describes several policy windows that offer opportunities for addressing social isolation and loneliness among older people and proposes a three-point global strategy for tackling these issues.

Click here to read more:


World Health Organisation Fact Sheet

Ageing and Health

Key facts

  • Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%.
  • By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years.
  • In 2050, 80% of older people will be living in low- and middle-income countries.
  • The pace of population ageing is much faster than in the past.
  • All countries face major challenges to ensure that their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift.

Click here to read more



Research commissioned by the Office for Seniors

New Zealanders’ attitudes to ageing and older people have a major influence on our efforts to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of our ageing population.

For this report the Office for Seniors commissioned Nielsen Ltd to undertake research to understand New Zealanders’ attitudes towards older people and to ageing. Until now, no all-ages research has been undertaken on this topic in New Zealand.

Overall the report shows New Zealanders have high levels of respect for seniors and acknowledge the value of their contribution to society. These findings complement a forecasted rapid growth in the economic contribution of seniors as consumers, workers, volunteers and taxpayers as highlighted by the Office for Seniors in 2015.

But there is room for improvement. A number of older people in the research report feeling lonely, socially isolated and/or invisible. In addition, our reported actions and behaviours point towards areas for improvement in our businesses, workplaces, communities and homes. With an almost doubling of the ageing population in the next 20 years, it is essential seniors are connected to their communities, feel valued and respected, and are able to contribute to society.

Click here to see the full report – attitudes-toward-ageing-summary-report-2016





“This year’s election occurred in the midst of a pandemic. Covid-19 will impact New Zealand and the rest of the world for several years to come influencing hugely government policy decisions. Age Concern New Zealand asks the government to be mindful of the rights and wellbeing of older people in making those decisions, while also balancing the needs of the whole population. Managing the pandemic has presented particular challenges for older people. They are more likely than others to have underlying conditions making some more vulnerable to the disease. Most deaths in New Zealand from Covid-19 have been people aged in their 60s and older. This has created anxiety and isolation for some older New Zealanders. We ask that government listens to the views and experiences of older people in making decisions that impact on them, including about Covid-19 messaging. New Zealanders have also just had their say on the End of Life Choice Referendum and the Cannabis Legislation and Control Referendum. Whatever the decisions made by voters, we ask that government ensure that older people are not coerced into making life choices because they do not want to be a burden.”

“Age Concern New Zealand looks forward to working with Government to achieve wellbeing, respect, rights, and dignity for older New Zealanders”

To view the full briefing document, go to



Coalition Launches “Let’s End Loneliness” Website 

The ‘Let’s End Loneliness’ website has been launched as a resource for anyone experiencing or concerned about loneliness.

Age Concern New Zealand Chief Executive Stephanie Clare says the website is designed as a source of information which also links people to support services. “Everyone can feel loneliness at some time, but it can be addressed and solved, and together we can end loneliness for New Zealanders who feel isolated.”

For more information 




Telephone or Tech? Stay Connected with Older People

New research carried out by the Universities of Auckland, Swansea and Bangor looks at the influence of phone calls, texts, emails and video-calling on the loneliness and isolation experienced by some older people.

For more information




‘Alone Together’

The risks of loneliness in Aotearoa New Zealand following Covid-19 and how public policy can help.

A research paper by Holly Walker, published by the Helen Clark Foundation June 2020