The Grey Power Magazine is a prime national news source for its readers – New Zealand men and women over 50. Circulated quarterly to more than 68,000 members, Grey Power Magazine reports on the policies of the Grey Power Federation, and the concerns of the elderly, backgrounding and interpreting official decisions which affect their lives.
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NZ GREYPOWER MAGAZINE » MARCH 2018 45 ADVOCACY REPORT calls to be answered and lack of computer/smart phone access for some older people. GREY POWER NZ FEDERATION (OCTOBER 2017 – JANUARY 2018) The purpose of the meetings attended during this period was to advocate and to access information on behalf of Grey Power members and others, regarding appropriate issues which have been received by the Federation Board since the last lobby trip or which are on-going. Attendees were Tom O’Connor, (Federation President & Advocacy Standing Committee co-chair) and Jan Pentecost, (Federation National Secretary & Advocacy Standing Committee co-chair). Jo Millar (Federation Health Advisor), R. Reid (Federation Aged Care/Retirement Villages Advisor & Treasurer) and P. Matcham (Federation Local Bodies and Housing Advisor & Vice-President) attended the meetings relevant to their National Advisory Group. 1. SOCIAL SERVICES ETC. Meeting with Office for Seniors (OS) was attended by T. O’Connor, J. Pentecost, R. Reid, P. Matcham, Diane Turner (Director, OS) and other relevant Ministry of Social Development (MSD) personnel. The meeting’s purpose was to receive information and possible updates/solutions, for our members, on the issues of: * The Residential Care Subsidy (RCS) when an affected property is to be sold? We asked ‘if a partner living at home should die how is a spouse in care affected re the RCS? Response: The Work and Income website provides relevant information as to what happens to the reassessment of RCS in the situation where one partner is in residential care and the other partner in the community either dies or moves into residential care. See www.workandincome.govt.nz/ map/income-support/extra-help/ residential-care-subsidy/changes-andreviews-residential-care-subsidy/review-of-financial-means-assessment-01. html or workandincome.govt.nz/map/ income-support/extra-help/residentialcare- subsidy/changes-and-reviews-residential-care-subsidy/financial-means-assessment-quick-reference-table-01.html The Director said that this information doesn’t explain what the implications might be and MSD will look to amending it. Grey Power’s gain was the possibility of improved information for members re the process involved in reassessment of RCS. Appointments regarding NZ Superannuation (NZS) –the difficulty for Takaka NZS applicants to travel to Motueka or Nelson to lodge their application (a significant travel time for a very short interview) was discussed. Response: The Director informed that people can apply for superannuation at the Takaka Heartlands site, and can book their appointments in Takaka. Also if they have any problems they are encouraged to contact MSD directly. * Waiting times for WINZ to answer their phones and long waits for appointments. Members’ correspondence to the Federation re waiting time for WINZ to answer incoming phone calls and also sometimes weeks to obtain an appointment with their local Work & Income Office was discussed. We said that although many MSD services are provided on-line, probably less than 50% of people aged 80 years and over have access to computers. Response: The Director informed that the OS will have some input into possible solutions Grey Power’s gain was the opportunity to bring these concerns to the OS; if you have had problems re waiting times please contact the OS and Grey Power so we can determine how wide-spread these problems are for lobbying purposes and the possibility of solutions. * The SuperGold card as a smart card – Grey Power has lobbied frequently for a smart SuperGold card with photo ID. Response: The MSD said that work was continuing on converting the Super- Gold card to a smart card. *Use of expired driver licences as ID – some members report that they have had their expired drivers’ licences accepted as ID, but others have said that once a licence is revoked it must be sent back to the NZ Land Transport Authority. Response: MSD have clarified the situation: “NZTA has confirmed that people are required to surrender their expired licence to NZTA, but at a practical level if people retain their expired licence NZTA have confirmed that they don’t chase it up. In some instances people may be required to surrender their licences (this will generally be to a medical professional). “If people still have an expired drivers licence some institutions (including banks) have indicated that they are an acceptable form of identification. We note that the matter of alternative forms of acceptable identification is an issue that officials are actively progressing.” Off-peak travel: A fragmented system is developing throughout NZ because there is no single ticketing system Response: - nothing specific to report at present * Age-friendly communities - discussion points – Age-friendly means friendly to every citizen – MSD is looking globally at tool-kits to see how other cities work – Discussion re housing for seniors with disabilities is on-going – MSD is working with local councils – providing them with information – Some councils have a draft strategy re age-friendly communities – Some councils are pilot sites – One problem is the cost to be agefriendly – Affiliation to the World Health Organisation for New Zealand is in a holding pattern – MSD will wait and see – Low up-take of seniors’ forums at local level Response: age-friendly communities progress and the age-friendly survey results can be followed on Facebook. OS information provided for Grey Power: The Positive Ageing Strategy may be re-written – if Cabinet agree with this, the Director wants OS to travel around the country to find out what older people want in such a strategy Workforce Ageism - the Director believes there is a need for a conversation between business and seniors. Grey Power’s gain was to obtain information for members including a possible re-write of the Positive Ageing Strategy and that MSD is interested in workforce ageism which is also part of Grey Power’s brief. (Information for this section of the report was obtained from the meeting itself and from Diane Turner’s 16/11/17 email to the Federation) Meeting with Joanne Lawrence (MSD) - Manager Business Design and Implementation – Simplification was attended by T. O’Connor, J. Pentecost and R. Reid 3 The meeting’s purpose was to brief us and seek our comments on changes that MSD are making to ensure that it is easier for clients to deal with them. Frozen Meals • Delivered to your door MyMSD (on-line site) has had an uptake of 64% for all clients and 6% for Superannuation clients. It can be accessed • Nutritious & tasty CUSTOMER TASMAN VILLAGE PUBL via Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees or Skinny • No additives, low salt mobile internet services. Clients can SALES declare their REP KDEVENISH PUBLIC ADVERTISING weekly wages, up-date contact DESIGNER Unknown • No preservatives SE details, make, check, PROOF change and cancel PROOFED 11/09/2014 1:34:47 p.m. appointments, see upcoming payments, SWIFTT letters, their community services AD ID 6290172AA card number, apply for food, emergency dental, school stationery and uniform costs. (Some of these can also be done PLEASE APPROVE THIS AD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. NOTE THAT AN MUST BE FINALISED BY OUR MATERIAL DEADLINE via the phone). Doctors can lodge clients’ medical certificates, also some information for superannuation applications can be sent via MyMSD. The service access costs either nothing or very little. By using MyMSD, we were told, clients will be able to do more for themselves, they will have more channel choice, e.g. phone and online- we did however, repeat our concerns re waiting times for phone Ask for our Menu! 0800 335 662 or order online now! www.farmhousefood.co.nz Meals also available Vegetarian & Gluten Free Affordable Retirement Living Affordable Retirement Living in a quality home in a quality home • Own your • Own own your home own(Freehold home (Freehold Unit Title) UnitTitle) SPACIOUS • Monthly • Monthly charges charges are only are $180 only $170 BRAND NEW HO • The capital • Contribution gain is yours when exiting the village • Rural outlook, yet close to the town centre also available capped at 5% • Some existing homes for sale by owners purchase • The capital gain is yours For more information call 07 889 1933 Tasman Village, 2 Seales Road, Morrinsville Email: email@example.com | Website: www.tasmanvillage.co.nz TASMAN VILLAGE is a non-profit organisation owned by its residents. 6290172AA Tasman Village Morrinsville Post Script: K. de Lacy, Federation Social Services advisor, has been concerned that MSD had ceased publishing its contact phone numbers in White Pages phone directories throughout New Zealand because their research shows that only 0.5% of people who called them got their phone number from this source. However, concerned people, including Grey Power, have told MSD that these numbers should be reinstated in the gov- offers offers you youa warm,comfortable comfortable home home in a inbeautiful a rural Waikato setting setting Continues page 47 Sections pric from $80,000 build you own home For more information call 07 889 19 Tasman Village, 2 Seales Road, Morrinsville Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.tasmanvillag TASMAN VILLAGE is a non-profit making organis owned by its residents Z7007J