Silver tsunami or golden years: innovative solutions for ageing communities Event as iCalendar

(Retirement Policy and Research Centre)

30 October 2017

9am - 12pm

Venue: The University of Auckland Business School, Room 325, Level 3, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland, 1010


As with most other Western countries, markedly reduced fertility and increased longevity mean that New Zealand’s population is ageing. The change is profound, permanent and rapid, as the baby boomers move into the 65+ age group (between 2011 and 2037). Statistics New Zealand’s latest projections show that by 2039 the numbers aged 65+ will reach around 1.3 million, 22-25% of the population (Statistics New Zealand 2014).

Increasing longevity is exacerbating the demographic change. In 1950, New Zealanders reaching age 65 lived, on average, another 14 years. Those reaching age 65 in 2013 can expect to live, on average, another 22 years. By 2061, about one in four people aged over 65 will be 85+, compared with one in eight in 2012 (Statistics New Zealand 2014), and the requirement for long term care to assist with declining health, particularly mental health and dementia, rises sharply for those living past 85 years of age (Ministry of Health 2015).

The incorporation of new technologies into the fields of health and social care is already a worldwide phenomenon, with great potential to contribute to in-home and institutional care for the elderly. There are also exciting possibilities for specialist care and provision of support in purpose-built environments ranging from self-contained dementia villages like Rotorua’s Whare Aroha Care (based on Netherlands’ Hogeweyk), to Abbeyfield models of supported living, retirement villages, and resthomes.

But the vast majority of those aged 65+ live independently, and for more than ten years, in most of the rest of the world, developing environments responsive to the aspirations of older people has been a major concern for social and public policy. In 2007, the World Health Organization, in collaboration with partners in 35 cities from developed and developing countries, prepared the Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide to engage cities to become more age-friendly, and to tap the potential that older people represent for humanity. Physical accessibility, service proximity, security, affordability, and inclusiveness were recognised as important characteristics.

The Business School is uniquely placed to spearhead discussion around innovations in aged care, social policy, use of big data, and facilitating an environment better suited to an older population. The workshop will explore opportunities for the Business School to partner with other Faculties as well as develop our own initiatives around these areas.

This workshop is seeking expressions of interest and will first hear briefly from people in the Business School with an interest in this field, and then have a brainstorming session with the aim of a conference/day seminar in 2018.

Organising committee:

  • Associate Professor Susan St John, Department of Economics, Retirement Policy and Research Centre
  • Dr Claire Dale, Department of Economics, Retirement Policy and Research Centre
  • Professor David Sundaram, Department of Information Systems and Operations Management
  • Professor Paul Rouse, Department of Accounting and Finance


Please RSVP to Claire Dale at