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Wise Society Auckland group meeting

Westpac offices, 3 May 2011


Blair Logan
Jean de Bruyne
John Turney
Roberta Budvietas
Juanita Theron
Janis Grummitt
Robin McDowall

We gathered information and views about our submission to Auckland
Council. This must be submitted by the end of May. It is our
opportunity to influence the content of the future plan for the largest
City in NZ. We used the proposal document ‘Auckland Unleashed’ as
our guide.

General conclusions
We were surprised and disturbed that there was no reference in the
document to the impact of the aging population. The focus is firmly on
young people. We believe that it is dangerous to think that it will be
possible to support youth successfully in isolation. The largest portion
of the population will be over 50 and will need to work for the good of
the young community. At present, we don’t believe that there is
sufficient confidence or capability to do this within our senior

Our Focus
We intend developing practical targets for inclusion within the existing
format and focus. These targets will focus on:
‘creating opportunities to unleash the potential of our seniors
to help build Auckland’s future’.

Background Information and statistics

We based our discussion on the following relevant factors:

• One in four of the poulation is over 50 today; in 40 years time,

one in four will be over 65
• Very few employees work for large organisationss; we have a
disproportionate number of smaller employers. In NZ (even
• Auckland) many people work for small privately owned
companies under 20 employees or for themselves. 90% of our
businesses employ under 20 people and businesses employing
under 20 people employe about 30% of employees. Large
employers are often owned offshore or government run. Local
employment opportunities for young or old will probably continue
to rely on small business start-ups.

• In the next 30 years, demographics show that employment will

be overwhelmed by seniors and there will be a shortage of
young people. In Italy, seniors occupying top jobs and blocking
new talent has already resulted in riots; in NZ it is more likely to
result in young people leaving the country. Young people are
already struggling to get their first jobs in the most recent
employment statistics – that generation may move offshore
unless supported into jobs by seniors.

The proposal

• There have been a huge number of submissions so far – long

submissions will not gain traction.

• The council has spent a lot of time developing this proposal – we

should build on this, not reject it.

• We assume the council has extremely intelligent strategists who

have researched the topic by examining overseas examples

• We love the Singapore example which was planned in the 1980s

and has clearly worked. However, we think that it may have
been discounted because there are significant cultural and
governmental differences between Singapore and NZ.

• We want to influence the long term application in day to day

policy development, so should simply add in small targets under
each section; this will raise questions at each subsequent
planning event.

• We could submit two versions – one basic and simple additions

and the other including some background to our ideas.
In the meantime, we should all use other forums to present these
ideas – such as commenting on Len Browns Face book page.

Ideas for targets

Specific targets should include statistics and measures. They should
be based on our question:

‘How can we create opportunities that unleash the potential of

our seniors to help build Auckland’s future’.

We intend doing this by supporting two areas:

1. enabling seniors to contribute more fully to society and

2. encouraging the generations to work together for the good of
the community.

So we also need to ask:

1 How can we measure the contribution of seniors?

2 How can we measure the effects of intergenerational effort?

The following ideas that were suggested by the group need to be

worked on and quantified:

• Within the next 10 years, X% of seniors will have the

opportunity to participate in up skilling activities.

• Within the next X years, we can more fully utilize the up-
skilled aging population through developing a resource pool of
willing contributors.

• X% of the built environment will be integrated through multi

generational living.

• Community intimacy will be strengthened by… within….

Conclusion and Action

There is still work to be done to submit this document. We agreed on

the following action:

1. Janis will compile the ideas from this meeting and have them
peer reviewed by Leigh Auton and Candis Craven.

2. Members of the meeting and other members of Wise Society are

encouraged to contribute with ideas.

3. Janis will communicate the final submission to the group for final

4. Janis will submit to council.

5. We will discuss at the June meeting.

Thank you to all of you who have been working on this. Thanks to
Juanita again for the room.

Watch this space!