Kaumātua concerns highlighted in new report

By Regan Paranihi

The North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, Te Pou Matakana, has commissioned a study into the needs and wellbeing of Kaumātua.

It is expected that the number of people 85 and over will triple in the next thirty years and by 2021 one in eight Māori will be over 65.

Te Pou Matakana Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says, "With the unprecedented growth in our Kaumātua numbers we, as the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency, are listening to our elders to understand what they need and what their concerns are - to inform our approach to future services."

The report outlines that housing, transport, using technology as well as managing daily health needs are some of the vulnerabilities Kaumātua face every day and Raukawa-Tait believes discussions around multi-sectoral strategies to help the elderly should begin now.

"Everything is interlinked and interdependent. Government departments still believe it's a "one size fits all" approach to ageing. Our elders should not be overlooked now at this stage of their lives their voices are rarely heard."

Kaumātuatanga – the Needs and Wellbeing of Older Māori aims to create a platform for a discussion and cross-sectoral engagement around finding solutions that are co-designed and appropriate for Māori.