Draft social wellbeing strategy

The happiness, quality of life and welfare of Dunedin residents are the focus of a new strategic document from the city council on how the city can manage the significant social issues facing it in the future.

A draft social wellbeing strategy has been developed by the council over the past year to help it deal with challenges such as the ageing population, low income levels, poor-quality housing stock, less healthy lifestyles and a gradual depletion of government services and funding.

Releasing a report to councillors yesterday, council events and community development manager Rebecca Williams said the high-level strategy would sit alongside the council's spatial plan, economic development and arts and culture strategies as an overarching document, steering policy and decision making in the city.

The council's community development committee will next week be asked to approve the draft strategy for eight weeks' public consultation.

Ms Williams said it had been drafted in response to significant interest from the community to develop, for the first time, an overarching social strategy for Dunedin.

While the strategy was being developed by the council, and would define more clearly its role in the social wellbeing of the city's citizens, the council could not significantly improve social wellbeing on its own, a report to the committee said.

It was hoped the strategy would be "a vehicle" for developing shared solutions with various communities across Dunedin, as well as other agencies and organisations.

Endorsement from key community and government agencies and input from across council departments would continue to be sought throughout the drafting of the final strategy.

After extensive consultation during August and September, three teams would be formed and take six months to develop action plans to achieve the strategy's aims.

The teams would focus on developing plans to improve people's access to resources and opportunities across the city; develop more resilient and self-sufficient communities; and improve housing quality and affordability, not just in the social housing sector, but across Dunedin's whole housing stock.



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