Kaumatua needs a role in city planning

Photo: Radio Waatea Image Database.

Tuwhenuaroa Natanahira

Diane Turner: Kaumatua needs a role in city planning

The Office for Elders wants city planners to make their spaces suitable for everyone, including kuia and kaumātua.

According to director Diane Turner, New Zealand is reaching the point where one in five people will be over 65.

She says older people often feel left out of conversations about development.

The office’s new urban planning report offers advice on improving streets and public spaces, accessibility and ease of movement, housing, and how best to connect older people to their community through design.

“It’s about having a sense of place and belonging and kaumātua and kuia will often have a deep knowledge of the local landscape, its history and a desire to share those stories, and it’s important to provide a sense of ownership that these stories are shared in our urban development and urban design,” says Ms. Turner.