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Kia ora from the Positive Ageing Strategy Advisory Group

Under the guidance of the Co-Chairs, this Group will develop an action plan and guide implementation of the Positive Ageing Strategy for Napier city.

Napier Positive Ageing CommitteeOne of the first tasks of the Positive Ageing Strategy Advisory Group is to develop an Action Plan for the Strategy.

This Plan will identify actions under each of the seven priority areas that will be rolled out incrementally over the next few years.

Once the Action Plan is in place, the Group will itself implement projects in the “Community Spirit” priority area and will monitor progress towards achieving the Strategy across all of the priority areas. They will report regularly and as required to Council on how things are tracking.

The Advisory Group is keen to hear your ideas and feedback.

A message from the Co-Chairs

PeterPeter Grant

The Positive Ageing Strategy Action Plan is important for today’s older people living in Napier, but it should be much more than that. It is about making our beautiful city an even better place to live than it is now, not just for those of us who are already of advanced years, but for all the people of Napier, because all of us are ‘ageing’ and are a day older each morning when we wake.

A little about me: I am a 73 year old Pākehā and I am married to Jackie. We have a ‘melded’ family with six grown ‘children’ between us and 20 grandchildren! I grew up in Hastings and joined the Military straight from school in 1966. I served for 26 years in the Army; I am a Returned Serviceman with active service in Vietnam and The Sinai. I retired from the Army in 1992 as a Lieutenant Colonel as my first wife was dying following a major stroke and we had four school aged children at the time. After two years as Civil Defence Manager for Napier City Council I moved into managing the then Mangaroa Prison. I ran prisons, both public and private, in New Zealand and Australia, over the next 15 years. I retired from Corrections just before my 60th birthday but was asked to go back and work for Council as the Parks and Reserves Manager a couple of years later, principally to oversee the building of the new grandstand at McLean Park. Once that was done I retired again and like all retired people I am flat out working on a mix of ‘other things’.

I was a member of the Taradale RSA for 45 years and President and/or Treasurer of the RSA for about five years. However, a group of mainly Veterans, including myself, left the RSA and have established the Taradale Club Services Association at the Club in Wharerangi Road. The Association undertakes all sorts of remembrance and legacy activities in the community particularly with schools in the wider Taradale District.

I am also Chair of the Association’s Trust Fund, which provides support and welfare assistance to Veterans and their whānau, members of the Club, and also into the wider Taradale community.

I am also a Board Member and Advisor to an organisation called Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust, which is based in Rotorua and works to reduce reoffending by Māori prisoners, so I am still a regular visitor to prisons. I work with Community Corrections mentoring offenders on community based sentences, and I mentor offenders struggling to adapt to life when back in the community.

I am very much looking forward to working with the Advisory Group to develop positive, pro-active and practical actions to assist those of all cultures, backgrounds and groups in our community in their ageing both ‘positively’ and ‘gracefully’.

Lexia PunaLexia Puna

Ko Tuhirangi te Maunga

Ko Tutaekurī te Awa

Ko Timi Kara, Ko Moteo, Ko Wharerangi ōku Marae

Ko Ngāti Hinepare, Ngāti Maahu, Ngai Taiwhao ōku Hapū

Ko Takitimu te Waka

Ko Ngāti Kahungunu te Iwi

Ko Paora Kurupo tōku Rangatira

Ko Lexia Puna ahau

Ka nui taku mihi ki a koutou katoa, nō reira

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.


I lived in Moteo with both my great-grandfather and his daughter, my grandmother. I was brought up in a strong self-sufficient cultural community. As a young girl I started playing in sports tournaments and participating in the Kapa Haka competitions against other marae whānau. Later in life I played for Napier High School Old Girls hockey team and became a Hawke’s Bay representative.

My grandmother cared for her father and other elderly kaumātua. Through this experience I felt an affinity towards caring for older people.

Growing up I went to school at Puketapu, walking two and a half miles each day with my brother and cousins. Some children, including myself, spent our intermediate learning at Taradale Primary and from there I became a boarder at Saint Joseph’s Māori Girls’ College. During my time at college I cared for one of the oldest nuns and during the school holidays I worked at Saint Mary’s nursing home on Mataruahou. At the end of my college education, I attended nursing training at Waikato Hospital. Although I and other students wanted to apply to train at Christchurch Hospital, we were informed that they did not take Māori girls as trainees. On completion of my training, I returned to Hawke’s Bay.

I got married and built our home in Napier where we had four daughters. Tragically my husband passed away after battling with cancer. My life changed immensely as I became a sole parent.

Some years later, I moved to Australia with my family and worked in a geriatric rest home before working in the communications industry, in Sydney. I managed and trained staff, working in a multi-cultural environment which I found interesting and educational. I joined the Sydney Māori Women’s Welfare League. We engaged with other community groups and assisted with their projects.

Many years later I returned to New Zealand as my mother had passed away and the new millennium was upon us. I lived in Wellington with my daughter and granddaughters. I worked with Telecom until I returned to Hawke’s Bay.

I continued to support our marae as a committee member, assisting with many tasks and representative roles. I became a manager at Te Kupenga Hauora – Ahuriri working with registered nurses and later I managed the establishment of the mental health service at Napier Taiwhenua.

I currently reside at the Napier City Council Centennial Village, in Taradale. I appreciate the friendships I have here. I spend time with my great-granddaughter and my whānau whānui as they live nearby.

I have worked in a voluntary capacity with many organisations. I was the President of the local Kiwanis Club, a global organization of volunteers who support activities that improve the lives of children, young people and the elderly.

I am happy and honored to be Co-Chair of the Positive Ageing Strategy Advisory Group alongside Peter Grant. I believe it is important to recognise and acknowledge the skills, life experiences and stories of our kaumātua, older people living in Ahuriri, Napier. I am looking forward to the mahi ahead of us, improving the health and well-being opportunities that support people living within our community.

Ngā mihi nui


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