The Dementia Mate Wareware Action Plan is the result of a collaboration between Alzheimers NZ, the New Zealand Dementia Foundation, the Mate Wareware Advisory Rōpū and Dementia New Zealand, with the voices and input of over 300 individuals and groups.

It was developed to respond to this big and growing health and social sector challenge in an equitable and sustainable way.

The dementia sector received some good news when money was announced in the Budget 2022 in support of the Plan.

The $12 million investment over four years will deliver post-diagnostic support trials for all newly diagnosed cases of dementia and to enable innovative respite care. Additionally, the funding prioritises Māori, Pasifika and rural communities, and those diagnosed with young onset dementia – all groups that desperately need better support.

This is, in large part, thanks to Associate Health Minister’s, Hon Dr. Ayesha Verrall, success in having Cabinet endorse the plan.

We understand too that work is also about to start to set up a new sector ‘leadership group’ that, hopefully, will provide for further direct and positive action that will, in turn, get it fully funded and implemented.

We are delighted at these first steps towards addressing the rapidly growing problem – and the health inequities – posed by our aging population and the sharply increasing prevalence of dementia.

However, the Government still has more to do. Thankfully, they have noted that more funding is required to fully implement the Plan.