Seniors need voice in future
Anne-Marie Coury is hoping to use the debate on Auckland’s future to improve the advocacy of older people.
The Auckland Grey Power president says the Auckland Council’s Draft Unitary Plan process has highlighted the difficulties elder citizens face, in both connecting with the proposed plan and their treatment within it.
Ms Coury says plans for intensification could see elders come under pressure from developers keen to build apartments or several houses on adjoining properties.
‘‘We have a lot of elderly people struggling with rates, being forced out, they just can’t cope,’’ she says.
‘‘If they get made an offer and they are in that situation they may well take it.
‘‘A developer only needs two properties and they can do a nonnotified development.’’
Ms Coury says she also has other concerns about seniors in general.
‘‘The thing we are really interested in is getting a better deal with the council generally,’’ she says.
‘‘There are too many issues cropping up where seniors’ voices aren’t being heard.’’
She says things like access, disability and mobility issues need to be given greater attention when it comes to planning the future city.
‘‘I guess what we’re trying to do now is get an advisory group set up.
‘‘The youth have one but the seniors don’t. We want the council to take more notice of what seniors are going through.’’
Mrs Coury says many elderly people have found engaging with the Unitary Plan consulting process difficult.
Meetings are often held at night and are not catered for people who might have poor hearing or eyesight.
‘‘People just don’t realise if they get it right for people with disabilities and seniors they get it right for everybody.’’
However, she is happy the council has started to recognise ‘‘the largest group in the population, the over 50s’’ in its planning.