Hui leads to action plans for pressing issues

Alexandra Council of Social Services community hui kaiwhakahaere (organisers) Louise McKenzie ...
Alexandra Council of Social Services community hui kaiwhakahaere (organisers) Louise McKenzie (left), Andrew Howley and Carole Gillions reflect on the social services hui held in Alexandra. Action plans have been prepared for three key areas facing the district. PHOTO: PAM JONES
Action plans for three key issues facing Central Otago have been developed following a community hui in Alexandra.

The hui, organised by the Alexandra Council of Social Services (Acoss) was held on Friday and attended by about 45 people from various sectors.

It was called because of the urgent need to address several issues in the district, including the accommodation crisis, one of the organisers, Carole Gillions, said.

Many in the district did not realise how bad the housing crisis was and how it affected other areas, and it was vital to make the seriousness of the issue public and find solutions to it, Ms Gillions said.

As well as housing, the other two key issues previously identified and then discussed at the hui were the district's ageing community and how to embrace the increasing cultural diversity in the region, she said.

The hui featured a presentation from Alzheimers Society Otago Central Otago community support officer Donna Watt, who spoke about the increasing incidence of dementia and what people could do to support families affected by it.

Southern District Health Board representatives also spoke about a study of Central Otago housing done by the board. The draft of the study is almost complete and it is expected to be made public later this year.

Ms Gillions said the hui was "really positive'' and action plans in each of the key areas were developed.

Subgroups were formed for the housing, ageing and diversity areas. Meetings of those groups would be held next month and the results of those meetings and future actions would be reported back to Acoss.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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