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.
SUM0861 SUM0506 4 NZ GREYPOWER MAGAZINE » MARCH 2018 President standing down A lifestyle quarterly and official publication of Grey Power www.greypower.co.nz Happy Anniversary Grey Power Electricity Power company saves members more than two million dollars It’s celebration time! Grey Power members have had four years of access to o the credit of certain Grey Power members at the time, their vision and foresight have not only delivered savings to a large part of the membership but they have been able to develop the largest source of federation income; to benefit a l members. This initiative has not only created thousands of happy customers, it has pushed the competition across the country to up their game. At the Grey Power Federation Annual General Meeting this year, Pulse Energy CEO, Gary Holden said “We are very pleased to have delivered on the original concept Bob Thompson, Mac Welch and A len Davies had. That idea being: “If we could create the best, most transparent electricity offer in the market, a l other retailers, to keep their customers, would have to offer up better deals. “So, in a way, Grey Power Electricity has served every member in the federation, either as a direct customer of Grey ISSUE 31 : SEPTEMBER 2017 President of the Grey Power Federation Tom O’Connor is standing down after a year as vice-president, a year as acting-president and two years in the top job. He said one of the most important things the federation had achieved over the past four years was to bring the board and board meetings closer to ordinary members. “It is easy to forget that associations and their members are the most important groups in Grey Power and too many of them had never met the board or had the opportunity to sit in on board meetings. “With that in mind I asked the board to change the tradition of having all board meetings in Auckland and to go around the main centres instead. I also introduced a president’s open forum for a couple of hours before each board meeting so ordinary members could talk to us about anything they chose in an informal setting. “The outcome was a much better understanding of how we go about our Tom O’Connor roles and some good ideas and sound advice for the board to consider.” Mr O’Connor said there were still improvements to be made in the very complex systems the board uses to manage its affairs. “The complexity of those systems led, in part to divisions and some unpleasantness as hard working people struggled with their roles but that is fortunately behind us now and we should ensure we never return to those difficult times.” He said the first attempt to clarify and rationalise roles and functions was the modernisation plan in his first year as vice-president. “It is now time to think about the next step and simplify the way we do things. That will not be a huge undertaking and I have asked the board to consider some logical improvements to the modernisation plan after the AGM and develop some ideas to present to the membership sometime in the new term.” Under his leadership the board has also agreed to update the Grey Power magazine over the next three or four issues. The basic role of the magazine will not change but pre- Mike Blake A lifestyle quarterly and official publication of Grey Power www.greypower.co.nz sentation and content will be quite different. “We owe a huge thanks to Mike Blake, the previous editor, who gave us a very useful publication and tolerated a fair amount of ill-informed comment from a few members in the process. The new look magazine will build on that success,” he said. “It has been an exhilarating, demanding and very satisfying role but I have fish to catch and grandchildren to spoil and they won’t wait forever,” he said. Grey Power Electricity and have realised more than $2 million in electricity bills savings since inception. T President’s report p10 Power Electricity or by getting them a better price than they had.” On average, it is believed each member household saved at least $250 per year compared with where they were at in 2012. Grey Power members were also promised that even if the energy price went up in the market, they would be covered by Price Protection for an initial five years. Mac Welch, chair of the Commercial Opportunities National Advisory Group and current Grey Power Electricity Board member has carried on with this promise. Mac was instrumental in obtaining Pulse’s commitment to extend the Price Protection level for another three years. “As your representative, I am ensuring our relationship with Pulse is always managed in a way to ensure our members are getting a great price. “We wi l be pushing Pulse every year to build this brand even stronger and to improve the services and offerings available to our membership,” says Mac. His work has meant a Grey Power Electricity customer would have had Price Protection for a fu l seven years if they signed up in 2013. “And we are not done. We have many new ideas to bring your way in the next few years.” For many who have been lured away to other retailers such as Flick Energy and Electric Kiwi, this is very good news. Those companies are feeling the pressure of high prices today. Special survey – aged care and retirement villages p15, 17 Gary Holden Mac Welch “I know of a Flick customer who received a July bi l that was two times more expensive than last year. They were quite jealous of our Price Protection… it looks pretty good now,” says Mac. “Pulse has been open to our ideas from the beginning and has been a good partner. Judging by what we are hearing Summerset retirement villages Find out why 4,200 residents in 21 villages call Summerset home. This initiative has not only created thousands of happy customers, it has pushed the competition across the country to up their game. Letters p27, 28, 29 coming down the pipeline, we wi l be able to see even more benefit in the future.” Pulse Energy remains a disruptive force in the electricity market. It has added gas and LPG in recent times and wi l soon be launching solar power. “It is our sincere hope that becoming or remaining a customer of Grey Power Electricity wi l never be a bad decision,” said Mr Holden. “We wi l not rest from the job of bringing our customers benefits over time. We are committed to the idea that adding more services wi l enhance your savings and improve the financial strength of the Grey Power Federation a the same time,” he said. Four years and a big impact; and plenty to look forward to in the years to come. Happy Anniversary Grey Power Electricity! Zealand. The intent of restorative home support is that people are supported, as far as practicable, to maintain and where possible improve their independence A lifestyle quarterly and official publication of Grey Power www.greypower.co.nz with tasks of daily living. In a practical he Federation Board’s Age Care sense this means a “do with” rather than Committee has some concerns with a “do for” approach, and working to support a person to achieve their individual changes that the Ministry of Health and District Health Boards may make to goals. This approach has been shown to the provision for those people who have help people remain well in their homes been assessed to be in need of home care. for longer. In the strategy the emphasis is on restorative care and we have been given members’ health wi l not be restored to Our main concern is that many of our the fo lowing definition by the Ministry the level that it was before an illness or of Health; “Restorative home care is an medical mishap. The DHBs can and do approach to the delivery of home care reduce the care without a fu l assessment with idea tha the Ministry of Health has sessments. Investigate options for a adopted by most if not a l DHBs in New being done, often just a telephone ca l, that a person’s family can assist with the consistent application of interRAI to with a question asking how are you? The provision of home cleaning. They seem to home care services. answer is that you are good so time is reducedily can be living long distances away and age care standards to set a nationally forget that for many of those in need fam- 2. Review and investigate updating the The care provided is for assistance are not able to assist with care. consistent baseline. with personal care with help provided Earlier this year we did a fo low-up 3. Improve the consistency of treatment criteria between District Health for showering and dressing or assistance survey to the Inquiry into Age Care with with house cleaning enabling an older the Labour and Green parties. We held Boards. person to remain in their own home. meetings hosted by associations to gain The new Minister of Health (while To receive home care a person needs information from the membership. in Opposition before the general election) launched this repor to a meeting in to be assessed by someone trained to assess using the interRAI assessment to Christchurch in September. As Minister, gauge the need for care. The DHB then if he can now implement those recommendations, then we should see a more a locates funding to a provider to deliver the care either personal or house cleaning in the home. We also have concerns implementation of mandatory as- those in 1. Review interRAI governance and consistent delivery of home care to a l need. President’s report p10 Life membership for Jill Jeffs p9 The recommendations of the report on those meetings are; ISSUE 32 : NOVEMBER 2017 Concerns with the provision of Home Care The Ministry of Health is now implementing the Healthy Ageing Strategy which has the objective of older people living well, ageing well and a respectful end of life in age-friendly communities. T FROM ROY REID Chair Age Care Committee The care provided is for assistance with personal care with help provided for showering and dressing or assistance with house cleaning enabling an older person to remain in their own home. Roy Reid Letters p21, 24 Summerset retirement villages Find out why over 4,000 residents in 22 villages call Summerset home. Travel p43-47 Call for a free information pack 0800 786 637 summerset.co.nz Love the life President Tom reports p12 Call for a free information pack 0800 786 637 summerset.co.nz Love the life Travel p51-56 A lifestyle quarterly and official publication of Grey Power www.greypower.co.nz Stunning win to Pete Matcham At the Grey Power Federation’s Annual General Meeting held in Palmerston North in May, Pete Matcham defeated standing vice president Mac Welsh who held the position for one year after being appointed by the Federation Board to fill a casual vacancy. T he landslide result of 73 to 49 was a solid endorsement by the majority of Grey Power’s New Zealand-wide 70 plus associations. “I’m very excited by the mandate given me by the members,” Pete said. “I am keen to continue to suppor the president and to build Grey Power as a dynamic, vital and growing organisation.” President Tom reports p6 Pete is well positioned to fulfil the requirements of vice president having served on the Federation Board for seven years. He has been a member of the project team charged with implementing changes recommended in David Moffat’s Modernisation Plan which saw the size of the Board reduced from 18 to 11 members. South Island Masters Games p22 SUM0713 As the first chair of the newly formed Research Committee he worked closely with the chairs of all National Advisory Groups. Having worked in We lington for 30 years, and from his involvement in Grey Power and other voluntary organisations, Pete has built up a network of contacts through many layers of Government and Advocacy Report begins p25 Summerset retirement villages Find out why 4,200 residents in 21 villages call Summerset home. ISSUE 30 : JUNE 2017 often has the opportunity on an informal basis, to raise issues which are of concern to older people. “I joined Grey Power because I strongly believe in the organisation’s Aims and Objectives” said Pete. “And because I want to help the organisation grow and develop through a team approach and accountability to the membership.” A critical analysis of the Government’s 2017 budget FROM TREASURER ROY REID AND PRESIDENT TOM O’CONNOR W hile we did not expect anything from this year’s budget for our members it was still a disappointment from a number of viewpoints. In reality Finance Minister Stephen Joyce has replaced the ambulance a the bottom of the social cliff with a hearse. With positive financial forecasts, and they are only forecasts, it was to be expected in an election year that any government will throw the traditional lolly scramble of meagre handouts to our most vulnerable people. These handouts will do nothing for their long term wellbeing and will make them even more dependent on government charity. Once on that fatal treadmill it is often impossible to get off. Initiative, enthusiasm and motivation can be dealt a fatal blow by these measures. With a proper living wage, which we have argued for over several years, and a secure national superannuation scheme these handouts would not be necessary. In fact this budget appears to leave superannuation far behind. It is normal for the rates of superannuation increases to apply from April 1 to be calculated on the larger of two calculations based on the December 31 rates of the CPI or A lifestyle quarterly and official publication of Grey Power www.greypower.co.nz President warns: Watch response to ill-informed ageist comments G Masters Games larger than the Olympics The World Masters Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world. In terms of athlete numbers, it is bigger in scale than even the Olympics. A nybody over the minimum age for their chosen sport can take part. Entry ages vary by sport but genera ly start at 30 or 35 years. The oldest competing athlete wi l be 101 years of age at Games time. Athletes from more than 93 countries have so far registered, with Australia fielding the largest number of entries from outside of NZ, with almost 6000 people attending. Attracting 25,000 WMG2017 participants wi l deliver a projected $30.8m in incremental GDP for Auckland (a total of $53m for the whole country) and 244,000 visitor nights to the city (266,000 nationwide). But, World Masters Games 2017 is more than a competition – it’s a 10-day festival of activity that celebrates the lifelong connection people have to competi- rey Power federation national president Tom O’Connor has responded to i l-informed comments about New Zealand’s older tive and social sport. The Games Entertainment Hub on Queen’s Wharf wi l be the social heart for Aucklanders and visitors to the region. Featuring everything from arts and cultural displays to food and wine to comedy and music – it’s open daily for both Games’ participants and the public to enjoy. The festivities on the wharf wi l commence with a weekend of welcome from Saturday April 22 and conclude with the Games Closing Ceremony on Sunday April 30, with nightly entertainment on offer – including a number of events which are exclusive to Games’ participants. Highlights include performances by Wi l Crummer and the Rarotongans and country music sensation Tami Neilson. Admission to the entertainment hub is free. www.worldmastersgames2017.co.nz generation. “In the past six months or more there have been a number of accusations that the so ca led ‘Baby Boomer’ generation, Retirement villages may solve housing pressure p17 people born in the years after World War Two, are ‘Greedy Oldies’ forever demanding more even though they grew up in the best economic years New Zealand has known.” Tom said the economic progress of the two or three decades fo lowing World Advocacy report - begins p32 Summerset retirement villages Find out why 4,200 residents in 21 villages call Summerset home. ISSUE 29 : MARCH 2017 NZ Country music sensation Tami Neilson wi l be showcased at the World Masters Games entertainment hub. Photo by Mrs Jones. War Two did not come easily and nothing was free. “People of our generation worked very long and hard on farms and to build the hydro dams, power stations, steel mi ls and other industries which laid the foundations of the country we live in today. We also paid massive taxes to fund those developments and elected governments which knew how to run the country for New Zealanders, not overseas investors and money manipulators. We kept our in- Continued on page 4 Readers’ letters p27-29 Call for a free information pack 0800 786 637 summerset.co.nz Love the life SUM0247 Peter Matcham (left) chats with president Tom O’Connor immediately after the result of the secret ba lot was announced. 66percent of the average wage after tax. If the Government does not make a one off adjustment for the tax adjustments that came into effect on April 1, 2017 then the increase in wages will not be included in the calculations until December 31, 2018 with a starting date of April 1, 2019. The Government did make a one-off increase once so that there is a precedent for this to happen. We did not hear Minister Joyce say clearly that an increase of superannuation based on the reduced level of taxation would apply on 1 April, 2018. We should welcome any increase to superannuation as many of our members struggle to survive on the current payments, especially those living alone and owning their own homes. Increasing rates, insurance and maintenance are costs tha they struggle to meet. There will also be an increase in insurance levies to fund the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand. At 5 cents per $100 of cover this will be an added burden. The insurance council has already said it is concerned that many on low fixed incomes will cancel their insurance as it is becoming unaffordable. Insurance premiums rose sharply after the Christchurch earthquakes and this new increase will be hard to meet for some on fixed low incomes. Reduced insurance cover could well be the result. Continued on page 3 Readers’ Letters p43-45 Call for a free information pack 0800 786 637 summerset.co.nz Love the life
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