Photo caption: Professor Stephen Neville, co-director for active ageing at AUT spoke at the launch of Nelson City Council’s new initiative ‘A City for All Ages’ on Monday. Photo: Kate Russell.

Making Nelson a city for all ages


A new Nelson City Council initiative was launched on Monday, designed to help Nelson thrive as its population ages.

Twenty percent of people in Nelson are over 65, and by 2043 it is predicted that figure will rise to a third.

Council’s group manager strategy and communications, Nicky McDonald, says this demographic swing will present Nelson with a range of challenges, but ‘City for All Ages’ aims to involve the whole city in finding positive solutions.

“An ageing population will have an impact on housing, the economy, the labour market, transport, and health care. Getting the city to prepare for those changes now, in a way that involves people of all ages, is the smart thing to do.”

The initiative is being piloted by a community steering group chaired by Nelson businessman Paul Steere, and the launch included a presentation by the co-director for active ageing at AUT, professor Stephen Neville.

Stephen says Nelson has a high internal migration of older people who come to the city to retire, but stresses there are ways to accommodate these demographic changes.

“If Nelson can get this right, it can become a city for all people.”

A survey and website have also been launched at