Responses to the challenge of dementia

This September, New Zealand will go the polls for the General Election. Whatever the outcome, government has to action a plan for dementia now.

Make sure you’re ready and registered to vote on the Vote NZ website.

We have written to each political party to ask them how they are going to deal with dementia – and help improve peoples’ lives.

We will share their responses with you as we receive them. Here’s what we said:

Unite for Dementia (PDF)

Take action

Together, we have the power to bring about change and to urge the government to take action on dementia. Reach out to your local MP and political candidate and talk to them about dementia - bring it out of the shadows. Use our tools to get you started.



 Green Party

Response from the Green Party of Aotearoa/New Zealand

Do you support this Action Plan and will you advocate to implement it if your Party is in Government? If so, how and when do you see the Plan being implemented?

"The Green Party is aware that as our population ages and dementia rates rise, it is imperative that our health system is ready to cope. The Green Party believes that anticipating health problems early helps us take responsibility for them in the long term and preserve the quality of people’s lives. The Green Party supports the Plan that you have drafted and particularly agrees that people living with dementia should be placed at the forefront of decisions about their care and support, and are empowered to contribute to decision making. We also agree that people living with dementia should have access to appropriate services that deliver the same high quality health and wellness outcomes whoever they are and wherever they live.

As you note on page four, that work is still needed on details such as volumes, costs, outcomes and measures, the specific details for implementing this Plan would need to be discussed with the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, service providers, health and social services, and other Government parties so this plan could be implemented as soon as practicable."

 Labour Party

Response from Labour Party

Labour announced announced their policy on the 29th September. The party will ‘work with the (dementia) sector to implement the Dementia Action Plan with a focus on prevention, support for whānau to navigate support services, building community acceptance, and strengthening capability in the sector’. Read the fact sheet here.

 National Party

Response from the NZ National Party

On the 14th October, National promised seniors it would ‘implement a dementia care action plan’ if elected. Among other promises in their policy National also pledged to establish a Seniors Commissioner and review the power of attorney legislation.

 New Zealand First

Response from New Zealand First

New Zealand First announced their policy at Alzheimers NZ’s election forum on 28th July. On becoming the government, they would have a Ministry for Seniors and a Commissioner for Seniors to advocate and engage in monitoring. Watch the announcement here