Age-Friendly Communities


A major workstream of the Kāpiti Coast  Older Persons' Council is to encourage the development of Age Friendly communities along the Kāpiti coast.


Business Awards to Recognise Age Friendly Businesses


Launched in 2013, the Customer Choice category has become a popular addition to the Electra Kapiti Horowhenua Business Awards. And this year a new Award has been added to recognise businesses that are catering to the needs of older people.


The new Age Friendly Customer Choice Award, sponsored by Kapiti Retirement Trust, will give the public the chance to vote on this important business attribute.

Electra Kapiti Horowhenua Business Awards Chairman, Mark Ternent says that one of the reasons behind their success has been the fact the Awards have evolved over time to reflect changing economic and demographic conditions.


"We are very conscious that the Awards need to reflect and recognise the things that are important to local business success. Our region is continuing to grow and evolve and establish its own unique identity, and the Awards need to recognise and celebrate excellence in the areas that are making a significant contribution to this growth."


"The fact is that our region is an attractive location for older people, and they form a high proportion of our population as a result. In the Kapiti Coast District the proportion of people over 65 years (approximately 25%) far exceeds the national average (of around 13%), while residents also have a longer life expectancy than the national average."


Mr Ternent says that Awards organisers understand the importance of the older demographics to the region, and believe this should be a focus for many businesses.


"The new Age Friendly Customer Choice Award will give recognition to the many businesses that do a great job in this area. Hopefully it will encourage all businesses to do even better - we want businesses that are set up for serving people who are older, and who have special needs."


"Voters will be evaluating businesses on whether they welcome and value older people, and if they cater for their physical needs and comfort."


Kapiti Retirement Trust CEO, Wendy Huston says they are excited to support such an important Award. "As Kapiti’s oldest (coming up to 60 years) and largest purpose-built retirement facility, we understand that it makes good business sense to acknowledge the importance of the aged sector in our region, and to recognise those businesses that are best catering to the needs of this important market."


"It's well known that New Zealand has an ageing population and that New Zealanders are living longer, healthier, more active lives. They are also significant contributors to the economy through taxation, spending and saving. In fact, it is estimated that consumer spending in the over 65 market will increase from $14bn (2011) to $65bn by 2051."


"Older New Zealanders are becoming an important market for the providers of goods and services, so it makes sense for businesses to focus on meeting their specific needs - not just in terms of products, but also in terms of service and delivery."


"What's more, what works for the older person will also be good for other groups within our community. For example, providing easier access to your business will also be great for people such as the disabled, pregnant women and families with young children."


"So if there's a business you feel is doing great things in these areas, please encourage them to enter the Awards."


Entries for the Customer Choice Awards close on 1 July, with voting opening to the public on 18 July (details will be made available in the Horowhenua Chronicle and the Kapiti Observer, and on BeachFM).


Customer choice voting options will be expanded this year to encourage even more voters to have their say. As well as the usual online (www.bkh.org.nz) and in-store voting, customers will also be able to vote at specially marked boxes in all Kapiti and Horowhenua district libraries, and at the Coastlands information booth.

More information about the Awards are available at www.bkh.org.nz, or by calling Helene Judge on 027 244 9585.


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This is a World Health Organization initiative, with details here.


The Kāpiti initiative was launched at a forum on 13th April, opened by Minister Maggie Barry.


Keynote speakers were: 

  • Dr. Kathleen Brasher
  • and Sarah Clark from Office of Senior Citizens


A Steering Committee for Age Friendly Kāpiti has been established:


  • Jill Stansfield (Chair)
  • Trevor Daniell (Grey Power)
  • Dermot Whelan  (Age concern)
  • Barry Bailey (SeniorNet)
  • John Hayes (KCOPC)
  • Sue Emirali (Kāpiti Accessibility Advisory Group)
  • Ron Tustin (Revive and Thrive Coaching)
  • Phillipa Townsend (Office for Seniors
  • Ron Mullen (Probus)
  • Claire Rewi (Kāpiti Coast District Council)


Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Brasher