Planning for over-65s
They say the older generation holds years of wisdom.
And if that is the case, Matamata-Piako is about to become the wisest district in the Waikato.
Over the next three decades the number of retirement-aged people is set to soar.
Currently, 18 per cent of the district’s 31,5000 population is over 65 but by 2033 that figure will be 28 per cent of the population.
During that time there will be more people leaving the workforce than entering, but voter turnout is set to increase to 45 per cent, possibly the highest in the Waikato.
Details of the forecast formed part of the Vital Signs 2016 report by Momentum Waikato, delivered to the Matamata-Piako District Council recently.
The report presents 10 priorities for each community. It does not offer solutions - that’s for the community to decide - but it is seen as a conversation starter.
Those gathering information for the report held community meetings in Morrinsville and Matamata in May, 2016. Hamilton city and Waikato district were also canvassed for the report.
Out of the three, Matamata- Piako is set to record the biggest increase in population of people over the age of 65.
About 17 per cent of Hamilton’s population and 21 per cent of Waikato district’s population will be over 65 by 2033.
Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes said the increase would have implications for services which the council was accounting for in its long-term plan.
‘‘As well as providing the facilities and services, we also need to think about quality of life that residents experience.
‘‘How do we engage with people to provide meaningful experiences, whether that is through visitor attractions, further education, connection with their family and the wider community?
‘‘Council doesn’t have all the answers but we are involved in promoting and facilitating a healthier, happier way of life for our residents.
‘‘Having the basic data thanks to Momentum will help advance this discussion.’’
The increase in older people may be connected to a projected increase in voter turnout for local government elections.
Data showed an increase to 45 per cent for Matamata-Piako.