Project Info

This research seeks to optimise outcomes for communities and older people in the context of adverse, natual events by integrating models of Positive Ageing with models of Community Resilience.

It addresses two unavoidable realities: NZ’s ageing population and its unique exposure to seismic and extreme weather events. In less than two generations NZ will have 1.35 million people aged 65 years or more. Their wellbeing will be critical to the economies of local communities. But older people are physiologically vulnerable and ten to live in areas exposed to adverse, natural events. Around two thirds of NZ communities are at risk of severe adverse natural events. By 2051, one million over 65s will live in vulnerable communities.

When dwellings fail to protect in adverse events and are costly and difficult to restore, older people can end up in costly, high dependency care and often never regain independence. Their communities lose people who make a critical social and economic contribution.

This research seeks to optimise both community resilience and good ageing by testing how public, private and community services and institutions can foster older people to help themselves and their communities to manage and recover from adverse events. Its objectives are to:
(a) Enhance outcomes for older people living in communities affected by disasters;
(b) Ensure that in adverse events people, plans and technologies are used smartly and optimise response and recovery by communities and the older people living in them; and
(c) Improve older people’s futures by ensuring their dwelings protect them and they can make choices prior to events that protect their financial and living security.

This multi-method research involves:

  • regional, place based case studies in Wellington, Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough, and the Bay of Plenty;
  • case studies centred on different types of housing – ulti unit social housing, community housing, and private sector retirement villages; and
  • Maori and iwi based case studies centred on marae-based kaumatua housing and kaumatua living elsewhere in the community.

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