Hamilton Grey Power - July 2020

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July 2020

Join us

For our Monday social

group starting at 10.00am

River Lounge at the

Celebrating Age Centre.

“Serving the community since 1999”

P 07 211 4654 or 021 881 229

Email: ana@ana-maria.nz

Address: 82 Grey Street, Hamilton, NZ

Assisting families in their time of need with professional, compassionate, personal care.

The Best Ways

to Look after your


It’s winter time and with fires roaring,

soup on the stove and our granddaughter

finally wearing that beanie we got them for

Christmas, there is a lot to love!

However, as the clouds

darken and temperatures

plummet, it can

be very tempting to cloister

our way through winter. Biding

our time until spring appears

and the days get lighter

and warmer. Although resting

is a good idea, it can’t be our

only strategy for wellbeing in

winter. Finding the best ways

to take care of our wellbeing,

regardless of the weather is so


That is why I really love the

New Zealand Mental Health

Foundation’s Five Ways to

Wellbeing Recommendation.

Based on the latest research,

these actions can be seamlessly

incorporated into your days

and make a big difference.

Plus, they are not weather



Spending time with friends or

making new friends has been

identified as the single most

important way to improve

wellbeing. Whatever you love

to do, find out where people

are doing it together. For instance,

join a local book club or

singing group.

You can also invite your

friends to join you for a movie

or a walk around the park.

Making it a scheduled event

encourages us to keep our

commitment to get out and

stay connected.


Finding ways to be generous

with your time, energy and

gifts is guaranteed to boost

wellbeing levels.

When we give, we get back

tenfold in feel good factors.

Next supermarket trip, set a

goal to smile at five strangers.

Take any old books, clothes or

bits and bobs down to your

local charity store or start knitting

for the Waikato Hospital

Neonatal Unit.

Take Notice

Over 55’s are notoriously brilliant

at Taking Notice. Keep it

up by noticing one beautiful

thing a day and telling a friend

about it.

Try to slow down some of

your everyday tasks to really

notice what is happening in

your five senses; what can you

see, feel, smell, hear, taste?

Keep Learning

When we keep learning new

things, we keep ourselves feeling

inspired and alive. Choose

one topic from history you

have always been curious

about and find out everything

you can. Do a “skill swap” with

your grandkids. Get them to

teach you something new and

then swap.

Be Active

Being active is about having

fun. Whether it’s a walk by

the river, a game of mini putt,

yoga, bowls or badminton.

There is no doubt, moving

makes us happier.

If you want to make sure

you are giving your body all the

right kind of training and enjoy

social connection come and

try the Lifefit Classes here at

Unirec. Designed to keep you


Combine all five ways into

each week and you will be sure

to have a Winter of Wellbeing

this year.

UniRec’s LifeFit programme has been

specifically designed for seniors needing extra

support and encouragement to be active.

The programme includes:

• Individual exercise programmes

• Weekly supervised sessions/classes

• Access to UniRec facility outside supervised



• Supervised Resistance & Cardio Training Sessions

Tuesday & Friday, 7.00 - 9.30am

• LifeFit Low Group Exercise Classes

Monday & Thursday, 7.00 - 9.00am

• Sport for Seniors

Wednesday, 7.30 - 8.30am

For more information, phone Nick on 07 837 9592

or visit unirec.co.nz

2 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

President’s report

Welcome to our Winter edition.




Sadly, I have to tell you

that Grace Forbes a

long-standing office volunteer

passed away during the

recent lock-down and we send

our sympathies to her family.

Covid isn’t going away anytime

soon if we don’t keep our

borders SHUT! History can’t be

wiped away - we learn from it.

Roger Hennebry

(My own opinion on these two

matters, not Grey Power).

I’m looking at calling our

2020 AGM for the same day as

our Christmas lunch in late November,

so that way we won’t

struggle to get a quorum.

Our National Board is also

looking to hold their AGM

sooner than next year all being

well, but we will have to

wait and see.

Memberships are coming in

a little slower than last year and

we will be sending out reminders.

I know it is tough out there

but we need and appreciate

your support.

We have replaced our office

printer, phone and heater and

upgraded one of our comput-

ers - our only real expenses

in the last six years. We are a

lean outfit.

The Committee have agreed

to reduce our magazine from

four copies to three copies per

year as postage has gone up


Our Monday morning seminars

will be starting up again

on 6 July. All welcome.

Jack will have a helper this

year, Ruth who has volunteered

to assist and stand in for him.

At the moment things are

looking up and Grey Power is

back to normal. Office going

well thanks to the team.

All the best.

Roger Hennebry, President

Changes for Hamilton bus

tickets and services - Bee Card


Hamilton’s bus networks

will see some big changes

rolled out over the

next two-months. The Waikato

Regional Council is introducing

a new ticketing system and

timetable changes.

The ticket system will allow

passengers to tag on, tag off

and top-up their card balances

online said Waikato regional

councillor, Angela Strange.

“The Bee Card will replace

the BUSIT card... it will make

bus travel smarter and easier.”

Installation of card readers

will take place onboard buses

over the next month and Bee

Cards will be available from

June. Until the new ticketing

system is available, travel on

the BUSIT network will remain

free. Passengers will also notice

some changes to their timetables

come Monday, June 8.

“Regional council staff has

worked closely with Go Bus to

rework some of our timetables

to fit the new employment

legislation requiring drivers

to have a break at least every

two hours.”

There are six routes

across Hamilton that will

change shortly.

• This includes the current

No.26 Bremworth Temple

View route. It will be split

into two branches - one

route from Temple View to

town and the other Bremworth

to town.

• The terminus for No.8

Frankton will change to Rotokauri

Road near Kawariki

Drive in the Rotokauri Rise

area. All trips will start and

end here.

• All services for the No.1

Pukete will now start and

end at Maui Street.

• The council is also combining

the No.17 Hamilton East

Uni and No.29 Hamilton

Gardens bus routes. The

services will run between

9:32am and 1:32pm on

weekdays. On weekends

and public holidays the

service will only travel to

the Hamilton Gardens and


• The Rototuna Circular

route will change to serve

the northern end of Flagstaff

near Te Ao Mārama

School. Between 9.30am

and 2.30pm weekday

services will be reduced

to half-hourly to hourly.

The last trips of the day will

no longer operate.

Welcome to:



Our Cambridge Resthaven team is delighted to

welcome Resthaven on Burns Care Centre into our family

of retirement living and care services in Cambridge.

Resthaven on Burns, 170 Burns Street, Cambridge.

Phone 07 827 4454




A Cambridge Resthaven Care Centre


Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 3

Amy’s Kitchen


Frozen Meal Delivery Service

From my kitchen to your table

Roasts, Casseroles, Hot Pots,

Pasta Bakes, Soups, Desserts

Oven and Microwave options

Price range : $4.50 - $18.50

Just call and I will email or post you the latest

copy of our ever changing menu.

I will then deliver to your door. Easy!

There is a minimum order of $70, with a $7 delivery fee.

Made from quality ingredients such as

Lamb & Pork legs, Premium mince and Fresh

vegetables hand chosen by the same person

who cooks and delivers it.




Locally owned and operated from Te Kauwhata

07 826 3585 | orderatamys@xtra.co.nz

Taste of home cooking comes with

personalised service

A country kitchen in rural Waikato is conjuring

up full-flavoured meals, from roast lamb and

vegetables to blueberry and apple crumble,

delivered direct to the customer’s door.

Amy’s Kitchen Aromas

is aimed at providing

a personal service for

customers, and has arrived

in the Waikato after founder

Amy Maisey shifted with her

family from Auckland to Te

Kauwhata 18 months ago.

She first started Amy’s

Kitchen around 10 years ago.

“After 15-odd years of early

starts and late nights managing

kitchens in old English

pubs, retirement homes, bible

colleges and cafes, I decided

that after starting a family it

was time for a change.”

She says when she came

up with Amy’s Kitchen Aromas

she had two goals

in mind.

“Firstly, I envisioned providing

a smaller personal service

where customers could

contact me directly and feel

like they were speaking with

a friend. Where they were

heard and could have an input

into what was on the

menu. I like to go the extra

mile for them and that is the

service I provide.

Secondly, I wanted a world

where I could see my children

off to school and be there for

them when they returned,

and where I had the flexibility

to raise them myself as well

as having time to spend with

my husband.”

She says she prefers to use

quality meats so she can take

pride in the meals.

“The oven baked range is

especially nice as it tastes as

though you had spent all day

cooking it yourself. You can

choose exactly what you want

and nothing you don’t.”

One regular customer of

eight years says the menu is

varied with customer favourites,

seasonal changes and

new dishes regularly being

introduced. The average price

of a meal is around $6.50.

“Amy’s meals are made

from the highest quality ingredients

and there are options

from single serve microwave

meals, a variety of

soups, through to family-size

oven-baked hot pots, pastas

and casseroles. Family favourite

desserts are also available

– my first choice being apple

and blueberry crumble.

Amy says the move to Te

Kauwhata was the best thing

she and her family could have

done as they thrive in the

more relaxed country life.

It also means she has a

brand new registered athome

kitchen, meaning customers

really get that taste of

home cooked food.

“I am now ready to expand

into Hamilton. I look forward

to meeting you.”

Amy Maisey

Roast Lamb


I am now ready to expand

into Hamilton. I look forward

to meeting you.”

Glazed Ham

Katsu Chicken

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 5

Reverse mortgages boom as pensioners

opt to put retirement on the house

Low interest rates and high house prices are

prompting more retirees to take out a reverse

mortgage against their homes.


Reverse mortgages - primarily

offered in New

Zealand by Heartland

Bank - allow people to borrow

a sum of money against their

houses. They do not have to

make any repayments until

the house is sold. But interest

accrues and compounds while

the loan is not being repaid,

so the amount that finally falls

due can be a lot bigger than

what was borrowed.

Heartland head of retail Andrew

Ford said his organisation

had seen a big jump in inquiries

since interest rates fell. The

average six-month term deposit

rate fell from 3.6 per cent a

year in December 2018 to 2.63

per cent last December.

In the half-year ended December

2019, the Heartland

Bank reverse mortgage business

increased 10 per cent to

$536 million in lending. Inquiries

were up 39 per cent in the

last quarter of last year compared

to the year before.

Ford said downsizing had

traditionally been the only

way that people could access

money tied up in a house

but reverse mortgages were

another option.

“A reverse mortgage can be

(07) 856 5129

138 Grey Street Hamilton


6 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

a fantastic option to help retirees

live the retirement they desire

and deserve. Whether they

want to improve their home,

travel, consolidate some pesky

debt or just take the stress

out of everyday bills, a reverse

mortgage is an option more retirees

are considering.”

But it’s not a straightforward

decision. Here are five things to

think about before you take a

loan of this sort.

How much are you

borrowing and what might

that take to repay.

Ford said the average amount

borrowed was $50,000 and

that was typically 10 per cent

of the value of a borrower’s

home. People could also opt

to have an ongoing stream of

income or a line of credit open

if they needed it. Usually, the

money was used for renovations

or debt consolidation.

Interest is charged by Heartland

at a variable rate, currently

6.95 per cent a year. A $5000

loan would double in 10 years

if no payments were made.

Ford said most people held

a loan for six or seven years. At

the end of that time, the loan

was usually equal to about 25

per cent of the value of the

house at the point the money

was borrowed. But usually the

house would have increased

in value, too. Ford said people

should only borrow what they


Get advice

Legal advice is required for a

reverse mortgage but it’s also

worth getting independent

financial advice to determine

how the decision will affect

your overall position.

Tom Hartmann, editor of

Sorted, said: “You do run into

the richest poor people out

there who are asset-rich but


He said he could understand

why the product appealed

when house prices seemed only

to be moving up - and relatively

quickly. “That ends up making

reverse mortgages look much

better than they are. In general

you end up losing a substantial

portion of your house’s

equity. They’re counting on a

lot of that coming from future

increases. It’s important that

people run their numbers and

understand what they’re getting

themselves into.”

If house prices stalled, or

dropped, it could make the

prospect less attractive, he said.

Talk to family

A reverse mortgage will usually

mean that there is less equity

left in a property to pass on to

future generations.

Whether that bothers you

or not, it’s probably worth

telling anyone who might expect

an inheritance what you

are up to.

Financial commentator Janine

Starks said people should

not be too concerned what

their children thought.

“There is the assumption

that lawyers need to check the

retirees brain cells to make sure

they understand the full implications

of their decision, because

it will punish their family

by lowering inheritance levels.

“In reality these people have

spent their whole lives paying

off a mortgage through many

turbulent times in our economic

history and it’s really not a

difficult concept for them to

grasp sticking the gear stick

into reverse.

“There’s a lack of understanding

within families of the

psychological impact of moving

home in your older years.

Everyone thinks their parents

will simply downsize but many

leave it too late, and equity release

is the most emotionally

suitable product. Just because

a parent can’t tolerate change,

doesn’t mean they’ve lost their

marbles and are making an illogical


Consider options

Ford said it would make no

sense for people to take out a

reverse mortgage if they had

better options, such as money

in the bank.

“Reverse mortgages are not

for everyone but for some people

they can make a transformational


Ford said people were unfairly

negative about reverse

mortgages. “If you were sitting

on a $1 million home and

wanted a reverse mortgage to

do some things, some might

say you shouldn’t because the

loan will grow over time. But

the same person in a $500,000

home with $500,000 in

the bank wanting to spend

$50,000 - people would

say ‘treat yourself, you’ve

earned it’.”

Hartmann said a reverse

mortgage should be an option

of last resort.

Plan for change

Ford said Heartland often dealt

with people who said they only

wanted a loan for a short time,

or those who planned to stay

in the house forever - but plans

could change quickly.

He said people needed to

consider what might happen if

things did not happen as they

expected. “Flexibility is really


Starks said reverse mortgages

were getting a bad rap

and there was a historical bias

against equity release products.

“Past generations didn’t

have such high house prices

and benefited from good interest

rates. They could live off deposit

interest and tap into their

lump sums near the end. I’ve

suffered from this bias myself

in earlier years. Financial advisers,

bankers, lawyers and accountants

are pre-programmed

to approach the product like it

carries a disease.

“All this does is create

shame rather than support

around a product that has

incredible benefits for homeowners

who want to enhance

their lifestyle or genuinely have

no other method of tapping

into a large asset. It’s assumed

from historical bias that the

home is untouchable and left

to children, but we’ve entered

a new paradigm of zero real interest

rates and high property

prices. Very few have adjusted

their thinking.

“Equity release is snarled at

for being more expensive than

a traditional mortgage and every

part of the advice process

is designed to cover the backside

of the professionals giving

the advice. It’s loaded with so

many layers of warnings that it

requires a very thick skin on the

part of a retiree to get through

the process. There’s a psychological

bias to treating the retiree

like they’re impoverished for

running out of money, instead

of being a wealthy asset owner

who is simply entering a drawdown


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Discharging Ears

Removal of wax by micro-suction

For appointments

0800 327 435


Clinics in Hamilton, Matamata, Morrinsville,

Putaruru, Te Aroha and Tokoroa

Discount for ACC approved patients

Fallen and

fractured easily?

Family history of



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measurement is an easy

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0800 HAMRAD (426 723)


No referral necessary,

call today to make an appointment.

Rototuna Branch

Corner Thomas Rd & Horsham Downs Rd

Next to Tui Medical Centre, Rototuna Shopping Complex


Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 7

How to choose the

right Mobility Scooter

Maybe you have been thinking about a

scooter for a while and know it will make

a difference in your life allowing you to

move independently about your community

when you choose.

The options available are

giving you a headache

and who can you trust?

Deciding which scooter is right

for you is challenging.

Consider these points:

• How will you use your


• Is it safe?

• Training?

• What’s your build?

• How far will you ride per trip?

• What terrain will you use

your scooter on?

• What’s your carry on – shopping

bag, walking stick etc?

• What options and features


• Which accessories would

you find useful?

Personalised advice can be obtained

from Life Unlimited in

Palmerston Street, Hamilton.

Happy scootering!



Hi, how are you all?

After the last three months lockdown it is great

to be back to normal functioning. The office is

open Monday-Wednesday 9.30am to 12.00 midday

and our grateful thanks go to the five volunteers

who have cleared the mountain of mail that was

awaiting us.

We welcome Florence and Ruth to our ranks.

Reminders will shortly go out to those who have not

paid their 2020/21 membership. We are thrilled to

have new members join our ranks and offer support

to the Federation Office in Auckland who are working

on our behalf.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the mid-year

lunch but will have our usual Christmas lunch early

December. Our Annual General Meeting was also

postponed on the advice of Federation Office.

Current office holders will retain their positions

until 2021.

Come along and enjoy the social camaraderie

at our Monday morning seminars held at the

Celebrating Age Centre from 10.00am until midday.

Meetings begin again on 29 June 2020. Often there

is a speaker.

Remember to pay your Grey Power Electricity account

to PULSE ENERGY not Grey Power. Check the

reverse of your account for Pulse Energy’s details.

«Museum Entry «Espresso coffee or tea

All for $14



Bus driver free, minimum 10 people

Monday to Thursdays only




How to fix a

broken zipper

Place the zip puller on

the prongs of a fork

before gently placing

the teeth of the bottom

stop into each side.

Gently bring the puller

up, seeing the zip

miraculously close

before your very eyes.

8 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

All the care

they need

If you’re considering aged care

for a loved one, we understand

how emotionally challenging

this time can be.

So, we do everything we can to

make it as easy as possible for

you. That’s a promise.

Radius Care’s simple, 6-step

plan will show you the best

path forward.

There’s no one way that suits

everyone. What we aim for is

the one way that suits you.

We can help

0800 200 303

Find out more at radiuscare.co.nz


Leaders in aged care



10 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Tamahere Eventide facilities are

continuing to evolve, with the

apartments and hospital now open.

We have new resident apartments

available for sale under occupation

rights agreements, and they are

open for viewings daily from

10.00am - 12.00pm.

The facilities are owned and operated

by Tamahere Eventide Home Trust,

a registered charitable entity, with

Trustees appointed by the Methodist


Interested in coming

in and seeing what we

have to offer?

Telephone David McGeorge

on 07 8591581 or 021 0289 1213

for an appointment and viewing

of the appartments or villas in the

Retirement Village

Telephone Versie Gareza on

027 237 1620 for all hospital


Our mission statement:

“ To provide a quality

caring service for

older people, in a

Christian environment.”

Accredited member of the

Retirement Villages Association

of New Zealand Inc.


Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 11


Unfair Terms



Some of you will be reading

this from the comfort

of your retirement village

accommodation. You will have

bought into that village, hopefully

fully apprised of what you

have signed up for. In return

for agreeing on a “licence to

occupy” you receive peace of

mind, secure premises, knowledge

that maintenance is generally

not your problem and

that there is, in most instances,

care as you get older.

But that’s not everyone’s

experience. The licence to occupy

might provide peace of

mind for some aspects of life

but not all. What you will have

signed on to when you moved

into your retirement village

is a standard form contract.

Other similar contracts include

your energy or telco bill – they

are the kinds of contracts

where the consumer has little

to no ability to negotiate the

terms. Under the Fair Trading

Act these standard form

contracts must not contain

unfair terms.

At Consumer NZ we are

concerned some clauses in

retirement village contracts are

unfair. Here is an example:

“You must not make any

alterations or additions to

your unit without our prior

consent …

we can give or withhold

consent at our sole


Consumer NZ’s view is that

this is a wide-ranging clause

that gives the company the

ultimate say in what happens.

Where there are legitimate

grounds for the company to

withhold consent these should

be spelled out.

The Commission for Financial

Capability (the former Retirement

Commission) has itself

found contracts presented

to prospective residents to be

so complicated even lawyers

specialising in the field might

not understand them – especially

when there is rest home


Ten tips to avoid


1. Avoid anything with more than five


2. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket

– this is usually where the

junk is

3. Drink water when you are thirsty

or hungry for that matter, often

we think we are hungry but we are

actually dehydrated

4. Make your own sauces and salad

dressings as packaged ones are high

in salt and sugar

5. Avoid anything with numbers in

the ingredients list – numbers equal

colouring and preservative

care involved.

Complex contracts are a

major barrier to consumers understanding

what they’re signing

up for and to getting good

advice. This year Consumer

NZ will be taking a close look

at retirement village contracts

and campaigning to rid them

of unfair terms.

If you are considering going

into a retirement village

and are looking for more information,

go to our website


6. Steer clear of packaged foods most

packaged foods will have sugar, salt

or something preservative added

7. Limit foods with extended use by

dates. Take bread as an example,

homemade bread will only last a

couple of days before going stale,

shop bread can last up to 2 weeks

8. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables

9. Cook at home, this way you can

control what goes into your food

10. Shop at farmers markets or wholefood

stores, they are fantastic places

to buy home grown or organic





RENEW MEMBERSHIP No ..........................................................................

or I AM A NEW MEMBER (tick box)

Payment can be made at our office (EFTPOS unavailable), by mail or internet banking – 03 1355 0027733 00.

(If a new member, please write 'NEW' as reference on banking site and send us an email advising your address.)

SURNAME........................................................................................................................ (Please circle) Mr / Mrs / Ms / Miss

FIRST NAME(S).........................................................................................................................................................................

ADDRESS (or NEW ADDRESS)..................................................................................................................................................


EMAIL ...........................................................................PHONE..............................................................................................

Can you assist the Committee in any way or support our efforts for the benefit of all members?

(tick box)

12 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

The new Trusts Act 2019

Just because you have your assets locked

up in a trust account does not mean the

government cannot come after you to pay

for your future care, if that is required.

If you have a trust or are a

trustee, it is really important

that you know about

recent changes to trust law in

New Zealand. The Trusts Act

2019 was passed on 30 July

2019 and replaces the Trustee

Act 1956. The Act clarifies and

modernises existing trust law

and comes with some significant


What do I need to know?

• The Trusts Act puts into

law the duties of trustees

and requires much greater

transparency around trust


• Trustees face increased

compliance requirements.

• Beneficiaries need to be told

that they are a beneficiary

of a trust and regularly

provided with information

about the trust without

them needing to request

it. Information can only be

withheld in exceptional circumstances.

What does it mean

for my trust?

Trusts are an important part of

estate planning and provide an

excellent option for managing

assets under the right circumstances.

However, for trusts

existing before the Trusts Act,

it could mean that compliance

duties will increase the cost of

administering, meaning some

are no longer cost-effective.

Greater transparency will reveal

what some trust owners might

prefer to keep private.

What should you

think about?

If you are a trust settler or trustee

you need to start administering

your trust in line with

the new law from 30 January

2021. Seniors, you need to

consider whether you are able

to undertake the increased obligations

you are comfortable

with. The increased information

you need to provide to

beneficiaries and the reasons

for setting up the trust may

still be relevant. You need to

ask yourself, “Will the trust

still offer the same protection

and be cost-effective once the

new compliance requirements

are in place?”

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 13

A strong focus on improving local

and regional roads

In my last Grey Power column I mentioned my

advocacy for local roading improvements at

the Alison Street/Kahikatea Drive intersection

and Dinsdale roundabout. I’ve been receiving

lots of feedback and support for my proposed




I’m also working on similar

bottlenecks that are causes

of frustration and safety

risks at the Sandwich Road/

Pukete Road intersection

and the Avalon Drive/Norton

Road/ Rifle Range Road


Recently our council has

been considering lowering

speed limits on several local

roads. While I understand

the case for some of those,

I don’t agree that there’s a

need to drop the limit on the

Avalon bypass. That’s a safe

route designed for 80/kmh –

but we do need to improve

the bottleneck that occurs at

the Norton Road/Avalon Drive

roundabout during peak

traffic times.

It’s a frequent source

of frustration for city motorists,

with slow crawls

the norm for those on

Norton Road approaching

the roundabout in the

late afternoon.

I’ve been a fan of adding

traffic lights to control that

roundabout, and the Dinsdale

one, during morning and

evening rush hour traffic for

some time.

Please let me know if you

agree with me, or if you

have other ideas for improving

the traffic flows in any

of these areas.

Major highways in our

region also need fixing. Labour,

New Zealand First

and the Greens are great at

talking but hopeless at delivering

projects of any value.

(Think KiwiBuild, Light Rail

to Auckland Airport, their

cancellation of the Waikato

Expressway extension beyond

Karapiro, and so on.)

Recently MPs from those

parties voted against my proposal

in Parliament to get the

Southern Links project underway.

It’s a vital next step in

improving Hamilton’s roading

network to the south, to

our airport and beyond. They

oppose our projects but have

delivered nothing of value in

transport in our region since

they took office.

Recently National reaffirmed

our commitment to

building the Cambridge to

Piarere section, for which local

National MPs have long

advocated but the current

government stopped.

This is fantastic news for

our region’s residents and all

who drive through the central

North Island. It will save

lives, reduce emissions, delays

and frustration, and create

jobs. I know most of my constituents

will be as delighted

as I am.

Kind regards to you all,


Tim Macindoe

MP for Hamilton West

543 Te Rapa Road, Hamilton

07 850 6262



Funded by the Parliamentary Service.

Authorised by Tim Macindoe MP,

Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

14 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

A revolutionary

treatment in women’s

health now available

in Tauranga

• Vaginal itching & burning

• Vaginal Laxity

• Vaginal Dryness

• Painful Sexual Intercourse

• Loss of Lubrication

• Recurrent cystitis

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 15




Corner of Borman Road & Hare Puke Drive, Rototuna, HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND

For more information please contact us on Freephone: 07 853 2448 or Email: sales@karakapinesrototuna.co.nz

Find us at:

Corner of Borman Road & Hare Puke Drive, Rototuna, Hamilton

Own your retirement

At Karaka Pines Rototuna you receive the sale price of your unit, including the capital gain, less a 12.5 percent

facilities fee and a one-off refurbishment fee. This is in contrast with most villages where you only receive 70 –

80% of your original buy price.

Our excellent standard of service and well-designed village ensure you will be signifi cantly better off than under

the traditional retirement village model. We think this is only fair.

At Karaka Pines Rototuna you will gain the fi nancial benefi t from selling your unit. That is, you receive the selling

price, including the capital gain.

Our fees are:

• A weekly fee to cover the costs of living in the village

• A one-off refurbishment fee covering the cost of bringing the unit to near-new condition

• A one-off facilities fee of 12.5 percent of your selling price.

You can discount the facilities fee to 10 percent of your buy price if you choose to pay this upfront, or another

alternative is that you can fi x the weekly fee at $100/week with the facilities fee at 25% of the sale price.

At Karaka Pines Rototuna you will be better off in every way.

Karaka Pines Rototuna intends to apply for registration of the village under the Retirement Villages Act 2003


Artist impression central community area and bowling green

Quality buildings, thoughtful landscaping, excellent facilities and a top-rate locality. Karaka Pines Rototuna – a place to call home.

A beautiful place to call Home

Artist impression - Stanaway Apartments

Karaka Pines Rototuna is a retirement village where you will be financially

better off, because you keep the capital gain upon sale. The village will

feature a selection of architecturally designed homes enhanced by beautiful

landscaping. At the hub will be a clubhouse where the village community

comes together for socialising and recreation.

Karaka Pines Rototuna is going to be a beautiful place to call home.

Our range of modern, well appointed, spacious homes are designed for

retirement living. Choose from a range of two or three bedroom homes - stand

alone, duplex or apartment. All this within an aesthetically pleasing village

environment where site management will take care of maintenance and other

concerns and a strong sense of community will thrive.

The community centre overlooks the village bowling green and gardens.

Bowls, petanque, billiards and a gymnasium will be on offer and a communal

area will cater for games, cards, crafts, Melbourne Cup nights and more.

Parks, a golf course, cafes, a supermarket and health care are in close vicinity

with Radius Glaisdale Aged Care facility just across the road.

Artist impression - Stanaway ground fl oor

This is what Home looks like

Just as we recognise that no two residents will be the same, we know housing wants and needs will differ. And so… we’ve ensured Karaka Pines Rototuna offers a

mix of housing options.

Our accommodation comprises a mix of stand-alone houses, duplex units and apartments. Some feature single garages, some double. Some are two-bedroom,

some three, and there are studies too. With the apartments you have a choice of ground or fi rst fl oor. On the ground fl oor you can walk out to your patio and

garden. On the fi rst fl oor, accessed by elevator, you can enjoy the views from a generous deck. Select what sort of home and living style best suits you.

All dwellings are architecturally designed and incorporate a blend of traditional NZ style with modern fl avour. They’re waiting for you to add your individual stamp.


Know before you


At the 2020 general election you’ll be given

the opportunity to vote on two referendums:

• Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill

• End of Life Choice Act 2019

This is the first release of

public information. Further

information will be

provided to support voters to

make an informed decision

ahead of the 2020 general

election. This will include information

in a range of languages

and accessibility options to

help voters understand their


Referendum on the

proposed Cannabis

Legalisation and

Control Bill

This referendum will ask

the public whether the recreational

use of cannabis should

become legal.

In December 2019, the

Government released a first

draft of the Cannabis Legalisation

and Control Bill for public

consideration. The draft Bill

describes the key aspects of

proposed rules about growing,

selling and purchasing cannabis

for recreational purposes.

The Government published the

first draft of the Bill in December

to ensure that New Zealanders

were informed about

the direction being taken and

the decisions that had been

made to date.

A second draft of the Bill,

which will be released in the

first half of 2020, will contain

more detail. This will be the

version of the Bill that is voted

on in the referendum.

The proposed referendum

question is:

Do you support the proposed

Cannabis Legalisation

and Control Bill?

• Yes, I support the proposed

Cannabis Legalisation and

Control Bill.

• No, I do not support the

proposed Cannabis Legalisation

and Control Bill.

This referendum is about

recreational cannabis only

The draft Bill outlines a

proposed law for legalising

and controlling cannabis

for recreational use. There

are already laws in place to

facilitate access to medicinal

cannabis and hemp.

As a result, these are not included

in the proposed law.

The differences between recreational

cannabis, medicinal

cannabis and hemp are outlined


• Recreational cannabis - It

is currently illegal in New

Zealand to use or possess

cannabis for recreational

use. It’s also illegal to grow

or supply cannabis for recreational

use. The proposed

Cannabis Legalisation and

Control Bill outlines a proposed

law that would

regulate cannabis for recreational


• Medicinal cannabis - The

Medicinal Cannabis Scheme

regulates the manufacture

and supply of medicinal cannabis.

The Scheme, effective

from 1 April 2020, aims

to increase access to medicinal

cannabis products.

Medicinal cannabis is not included

in the proposed law

that will be voted on in the


• Hemp - contains very low

amounts of psychoactive

chemicals and is used to

create various products

such as oil, rope fibre and

hemp seeds. In New Zealand,

hemp growers have a

specific licence to grow the

plant. The current scheme

to regulate the production

and sale of industrial hemp

has existed since 2006.

Hemp is not included in the

proposed law that will be

voted on in the referendum.

Core elements of the draft

Cannabis Legalisation and

Control Bill

The draft Bill proposes a

regulatory model that is a

government-controlled regulated

market covering the

production, supply and use of


The draft Bill outlining the

proposed regulated scheme

for legally accessing cannabis

is currently being developed.

Read the first version of the

draft Cannabis Legalisation

and Control Bill below.

The core elements of the proposed

scheme are:

• A minimum purchase and

use age of 20 years

• Confining use to private

homes and licensed


• Prescribing conditions for

personal growing and


• Requirements for public

health messaging

• Licensing the whole of the

supply chain

• Restricting marketing and


What happens after the votes

are counted?

If more than 50% of voters

vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum,

recreational use of cannabis

won’t become legal straight

away. After the election, the

incoming Government can introduce

a Bill to Parliament that

would make recreational use of

cannabis legal.

This process would include

the opportunity for the public

to share their thoughts

and ideas on how the law

might work. If more than 50%

of voters vote ‘No’ in the referendum,

recreational use of

cannabis will remain illegal, as

is the current law.

Medicinal cannabis and

hemp will not be affected by

the outcome of the referendum.

Medicinal use of cannabis

will still be allowed if prescribed

by a health practitioner

and hemp will still be legal.

18 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Referendum on the End of Life Choice Act

End of Life

Choice Act

This referendum will determine

whether the End of Life Choice

Act 2019 comes into force.

• The End of Life Choice Act

2019 gives people with a

terminal illness the option

of requesting assisted dying

• Parliament has passed the

End of Life Choice Act

2019, but it has not come

into force (has not started

operating as law)

• The End of Life Choice

Act 2019 will only come

into force if more than

50% of voters vote

‘Yes’ in the referendum.

The referendum question

The question is:

Do you support the End of Life

Choice Act 2019 coming into


• Yes, I support the End of Life

Choice Act 2019 coming

into force.

• No, I do not support the

End of Life Choice Act 2019

coming into force.

Key terminology used.

For consistency, and to ensure

that references to the Act are

accurate, this website uses the

terminology of the Act. This

does not signal a preference

for this terminology over any

other. There is no Government

position for or against the End

of Life Choice Act 2019.

Assisted dying. In the End of life

Choice Act 2019, this means:

• The administration by a

medical practitioner or

nurse practitioner of medication

to the person to relieve

the person’s suffering

by hastening death; or

• The self-administration by

the person of medication

to relieve their suffering by

hastening death.

Medication. In the End of Life

Choice Act 2019, this means

the lethal dose of the medication.

The End of Life Choice Act’s

core elements

The Act is built on three core


• Defining who is eligible for

assisted dying (the eligibility


• Ensuring that the person

requesting assisted dying is

competent to understand

the nature and consequences

of their decisions (establishing


• Ensuring there is free choice,

made without coercion, to

engage in the process.

Eligibility criteria

(Section 5 of the Act)

To be eligible for assisted dying,

a person must meet ALL of

these criteria:

• Be aged 18 years or over

• Be a citizen or permanent

resident of New Zealand

• Suffer from a terminal illness

that is likely to end their life

within 6 months

• Be in an advanced state of

irreversible decline in physical


• Experience unbearable suffering

that cannot be relieved

in a manner that they

consider tolerable

• Be competent to make an

informed decision about assisted


A person will not be eligible

for assisted dying if the only

reason given is that they are

suffering from a mental disorder

or mental illness, have a

disability of any kind or are of

advanced age.


(Section 6 of the Act)

A person is competent to make

an informed decision about assisted

dying if they can:

• Understand information

about the nature of assisted


• Retain that information

to the extent necessary to

make the decision

• Use that information to

weigh up and inform their


• Communicate their decision

in some way.

Requesting assisted dying

(Section 11 of the Act)

A medical practitioner must

do their best to ensure that a

person’s choice to access assisted

dying is made of their own

free will. The End of Life Choice

Act 2019 contains several provisions

that seek to ensure this.

This includes requiring that the

medical practitioner:

• Periodically discusses the

choice with the person, and

ensures that they understand

their other options for

end of life care

• Talks with other health practitioners

who are in regular

contact with the person,

and with members of the

person’s family/whānau

with the person’s permission

• Ensures that the person

knows they can change

their mind at any time.

If the medical practitioner suspects

a person is being pressured

about their decision, they

must stop the process.

Health practitioners, such

as doctors and nurses, do not

have to assist a person with assisted

dying if the practitioner

has a conscientious objection.

The process of assisted


The request for assisted


The process begins with an

initial request from the person

to their medical practitioner.

Health practitioners are not

allowed to suggest to a person

that they consider assisted dying,

in the course of providing

a health service to that person.

Establishing eligibility

Two medical practitioners must

agree that the person meets all

the criteria for assisted dying,

which includes being competent

to make the request.

If either medical practitioner

is unsure of the person’s

competence, a psychiatrist

needs to assess the person’s

competence. If a person is

ineligible, the process ends.

The person may not access

assisted dying.

Choosing the method and

time of assisted dying

If the person is eligible, they

select a method for receiving

the medication, and when

they want to receive it.

Administering the


At the chosen time of administration,

the medical practitioner

or nurse practitioner

must ask the person if they

choose to receive the medication.

If the person chooses to

receive it, the medical practitioner

or nurse practitioner

administers or provides it.

The practitioner must be

available to the person until

they die. If the person does

not want to receive the medication

at that time, it must be

taken away.

What happens after the votes

are counted?

If more than 50% of voters

vote ‘Yes’ in the referendum,

the End of Life Choice Act

2019 will come into force 12

months after the date the final

votes are announced.

If more than 50% of voters

vote ‘No’ in the referendum,

the End of Life Choice Act

2019 will not come into force.

Article sourced from


Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 19

SuperGold Card holders still receive

free travel in off-peak hours.

It’s easy to load your SuperGold

concession at beecard.co.nz.

But there’s no rush, you can still show your

SuperGold Card to the bus driver to receive free

off-peak travel until later this year.



Bee Cards are free for now, and available

from beecard.co.nz, via 0800 205 305, on the

bus or from the BUSIT counter.



Bee Cards need to be registered to support

contact tracing, to enable online top up, and

to protect your balance if you lose your card.

And you can load your SuperGold

concession directly onto your Bee Card.

Registration is quick and can be

easily completed online at


If you need assistance, give

us a call on 0800 205 305

or visit us at the BUSIT

counter inside the

Transport Centre.



Have your Bee Card ready to

tag on and off the bus.

Hamilton Grey Power Inc.

Celebrating Age Centre, 30 Victoria Street, Hamilton.

Office Hours: 9.30am to noon, Monday to Wednesday.

Phone: (07) 834 0668

Email: hamgreypower@outlook.co.nz

Annual Subscription $20 single and $30 double.




It’s economical and ready in 20 minutes.

Hamilton Grey Power is published tri-annually by

DPMedia, 25 Ward Street, Hamilton.


Publisher: Deidre Morris

Advertising: DP Media Ltd

P.O. Box

1425, Hamilton, New Zealand

Phone (07) 838 1333 • Fax (07) 838 2807




Articles in this magazine are given in good faith by the authors

who have researched all information and believe it to be reliable

and for your enjoyment and information.

Grey Power Hamilton Association does not accept

responsibility or any liability for its content.

Leave your loved ones

fond memories .....

not your funeral costs



• 3 tspns vegetable oil

• 1 brown onion, thinly sliced

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 1/2 cup korma curry paste

• 400ml coconut milk

• 1 pot of chicken stock

• 500g baby potatoes, washed, halved

• 500g cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets

• 1 1/2 cup frozen peas

• 1/2 cup chopped coriander (optional)

• Natural yoghurt, to serve

• Coriander sprigs, to serve

• Steamed basmati rice, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cook the onion, stirring for 5 minutes. Add the

garlic and curry paste and cook stirring for 2

minutes or until fragrant.

2. Stir in the coconut milk, stock pot and 1 cup of

water and bring to the boil. Add the potato and

cauliflower and reduce the heat to low.

3. Leave to simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes

or until potatoes are tender. Add peas and

chopped coriander and cook for 2 minutes or

until heated through.

4. Serve the curry with natural yoghurt, coriander

sprigs and rice.

• NO fees

• open to all denominations

Contact: CDF Ph 0800 843 238 Email: cdf@cdh.org.nz

Mail: PO Box 4353 Hamilton East 3247

Visit: The Chanel Centre 51 Grey Street, Hamilton East

Important Notice: please read

This application to deposit is issued with the Replacement

Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) dated 18 December 2019

for an offer of debt securities issued by the Roman Catholic

Bishop of the Diocese of Hamilton, trading as the Catholic

Development Fund (CDF). The Replacement PDS and the Trust

Deed can be viewed at the following websites: NZ Companies

Office www.business.govt.nz/disclose; Catholic Diocese of

Hamilton www.cdf.cdh.nz or the Diocesan Office at

51 Grey Street, Hamilton East, Hamilton 3216

22 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Improve your quality of life

with our new high-tech hearing aids

– Better speech understanding and reduced listening effort

– Rechargeable hearing aids available

Substantial discount on all new orders

– Free accessory with some models*

Users of these high-tech devices report:

• Improved speech understanding • Decreased listening effort

• Improved memory recall

You can now enjoy improved speech understanding in those difficult listening

environments. Our high-tech hearing aids can help reduce listening effort over a very

broad range of environments, empowering users to participate in situations that were

previously too demanding.

Call now to book your appointment

Audiology Suite

27 O’Neill Street, Claudelands, Hamilton 3214

Tel: 07 853 7874 Fax: 07 853 7875

Email: helpmehear@hotmail.com


Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 23

Quality and Value in

a Class of our Own

If you are looking for a friendly, welcoming, supportive retirement community with

everything you could want and more, consider Longridge Country Estate in lovely Paeroa.

Longridge is an exciting new Village which aims to have the mid-upper North Island’s very best

amenities. You’ll enjoy an amazing resort-style community centre and the comprehensive life

care facilities we have planned. And with 250 homes, you’ll have the opportunity to make a lot

of new friends too!

We have luxurious, spacious new 2 and 3 Bedroom Villas available from just $399,000, all with

landscaped gardens. We’ll even help you with your move! Homes are available now, so call us

today and find out how you can enjoy the unbeatable value and lifestyle that Longridge offers.

44 Waimarei Ave, Paeroa

Call our Freephone: 0800 928 928


Retirement Village

Eating for healthier eyes

The Macular Degeneration New Zealand magazine “Viewpoint”

December 2019 issue has an article sourced from the American

Academy of Ophthalmology regarding heart healthy foods that may

lower your risk for advanced age related macular degeneration (AMD)

or having it become more advanced.

Studies show that eating

nutritious vegetables,

fruits and fish of a Mediterranean-inspired

diet rich in

plant-based food and fish with

less dairy and red meat are

good for our all round health.

The diet generally includes:

• Vegetables (especially leafy

green ones)

• Fruits

• Nuts (almonds, cashews,

pistachios, brazil and walnuts)

• Whole grains (such as

wheat, rice, oats, barley, rye,


• Fish (fresh or water-packed

salmon, tuna, trout) and

• Olive or canola oil instead of


gumes, fish, cereals and especially

fruits. In fact, one study

showed that people who ate at

least 150 grams of fruit per day

lowered their risk of developing

AMD by 15 per cent.

Conversely, people who had

AMD more frequently ate fast

food, ready-made meals, dairy

products and meat.

Certain vitamin and mineral

supplements play a role for

some people in lowering their

risk but studies help show that

foods may also be protective in

preventing vision loss and highlight

the possible vision-saving

benefits of healthy daily

eating habits.

Researchers found lower

rates of AMD among people

who ate more vegetables, le-



• Olive oil spray

• 1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

• 2 teaspoons ground cumin

• 500g kumara, peeled, coarsely chopped

• 4 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped

• 4 cups water

• 1 teaspoon chicken stock powder

• To serve: low-fat natural yoghurt and chopped fresh chives

Sure to please


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.

Spray with olive oil spray.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or

until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and cumin. Cook, stirring, for

1-2 minutes or until aromatic.

3. Add the sweet potato, carrot, water and stock powder.

Increase heat to high.

4. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Set aside to cool slightly.

5. Blend half of the sweet potato mixture in a jug until smooth.

6. Transfer the soup to a clean saucepan. Blend the remaining

sweet potato mixture. Place the soup over low heat and stir

until heated through. Season with pepper.

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 25


Imagine wetting your pants in public.

That is the reality for 1.1 million Kiwis who

suffer incontinence, caused by a range of

pelvic health issues.

However, many people

aren’t seeking professional

help for their

problem. Pelvic Health issues

are an uncomfortable topic

Brenda Holloway

for many people. They feel

ashamed and embarrassed and

think they have these problems

on their own. They often

don’t even talk about it to their

family or GP. Pelvic health physiotherapists

are skilled to treat

a broad range of conditions.

For women, this includes urinary

incontinence, frequency

and urge incontinence, chronic

pelvic pain, bowel dysfunction

including constipation and

faecal incontinence, pelvic organ

prolapse and sexual pain

and dysfunction.

Brenda Holloway, a Hamilton

based physiotherapist who

has been addressing women’s

health issues since 1991 says

that most people are unaware

that these intimate body functions

are controlled by muscles.

“The strength of pelvic

floor muscles often dictates

quality of life. They are hidden

away and are often neglected.

Muscle strength is required

to ensure control of bladder

and bowel functions and to

prevent prolapse. If neglected

they soften and sag like all our

other muscles.”

She says that “the most

common problem women face

is wetting with cough, laugh

sneeze or on exertion. Wetting

or loss of wind can also

occur when getting out of a

chair, bed or picking up the


“Another problem is the

bossy bladder, requiring proximity

to a toilet and disrupted

nights. Less talked about is prolapse

– a feeling of bulge, protrusion

and discomfort. And

The strength of pelvic

floor muscles often dictates

quality of life.”

then there are sexual issues

as well.

“Because these problems

are very personal and potentially

embarrassing, they are often

not discussed with anyone.

Gradually women limit physical

activities, decrease social outings

and neglect sexual relationships.

The real reason is not

usually admitted. Confidence

and self esteem diminish.

Incontinence begins with a

drip occasionally, progressing

to a need for liners or pads.

Adult nappies come next and

rest home care a last resort

when family struggle to cope

with care of an incontinent

mum or grandparent. Be proactive

and prevent this chain

of events. It is never too

late and the sooner information

and education are

sought the better”.


Women’s Physiotherapist


Dip. Physio, Dip. Post-Grad Uro-Gynaecology

Addressing women’s

pelvic floor issues

including bladder, bowel, prolapse,

pelvic pain and sexual issues.

Phone: 07 838 3400 email: brenda@brendaholloway.co.nz

83B Tristram Street, Hamilton | www.brendaholloway.co.nz

26 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Economic recovery

Well done to our team of five-million for

stamping out COVID-19. Going hard and early

required great sacrifice, and tragically some

lives were lost.



Our Prime Minister Jacinda

Ardern said

from the beginning

that our best economic response

to COVID-19 was a

strong health response, and

the results speak for themselves.

Our Government implemented

a three-step plan to

guide New Zealand through

the global economic shock

caused by COVID-19: respond,

recover, and rebuild


The first step was about

fighting the virus, keeping

people in work, and supporting

those in need; the

second step saw people return

to work; and the third

step is about growing jobs

that pay well, supporting

businesses and communities

that will sustain our future,

and coming back stronger as

a country.

Budget 2020 was carefully

drawn up with our recovery

and rebuild in mind. It

extended the wage subsidy

in a targeted way and made

interest-free loans available to

small businesses.

It will also create new

jobs, as well as helping people

obtain the skills they need

through free training and apprenticeships.

Over the past three years,

our Government has invested

significantly in the Waikato

region. This investment

will help create jobs and

support our local economy:

• $16.8m from the Provincial

Growth Fund (PGF) for the

Ruakura Inland Port. This

480-hectare, $3b project

will create over 6,000 jobs.

• $19.9m from the PGF for

the Coromandel Sugar-

Loaf Wharf, which handles

90% of the North Island’s

mussel production.

Hamilton has been selected

as the headquarter for

the nationwide polytechnic

merger, bringing 50

jobs to our region. I believe

this is the first time in

history that Hamilton has

hosted the headquarters

of a Government agency.

• A passenger rail service

between Hamilton and

Auckland is due to start

in November 2020. The

key aspect of this service is

the ability to be productive

while travelling, and have

certainty of arrival time.

• A Ministry of Transport

business case is currently

being prepared for rapid

rail connecting Hamilton

and Auckland’s CBDs

with a one-hour journey.

Hamilton has been named

as the headquarters of

the new Criminal Cases

Review Commission,

with the office which

opened earlier this month.

• $12m from the PGF for the

Waikato Regional Theatre,

a 1300-seat state-of-the

art theatre that will give

a boost to our region’s

arts and tourism sectors.

• A $50m sheep milk dryer

is due to open in Hamilton

over the next two months.

Government agency Pamu

(formerly Landcorp) contributed

$18m towards this.

• $50m for a new roundabout

at SH1/29 turnoff to

Tauranga, to improve safety

at this intersection.

• A $200m Housing Infrastructure

Fund interest

free Government loan, and

$110m in NZTA subsidies to

unlock the 10,000-house

Peacocke development

in the south of Hamilton.

Work has begun on the

roading network, and will

start on a new bridge across

the Waikato River soon.

• The Huntly section of

the Waikato Expressway

has now been completed,

supporting a

four-lane road between

Hamilton and Auckland.

Work continues on the

Hamilton section. This has

been a 20-year project,

starting under the Labour

Government in the early

2000s, continued by National,

and now supported

by the current Government.

Hamilton has been chosen

as the first city outside

Auckland to receive an

Alcohol and Other Drug

Treatment Court. This will

be operational in 2021.

• The Waikato Wellbeing

Project has been launched.

This is a regional initiative

to achieve a more environmentally


prosperous and inclusive

Waikato region by 2030.

• A $100m capital investment

in a new mental

health facility at Waikato


The path ahead is still challenging,

but I know our Prime

Minister Jacinda Ardern will

guide New Zealand through

this global economic shock

with the same determination,

focus, and empathy she did

through the outbreak.

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 27



OPINION: I have recently

had vertigo for the

first time – it’s a really

horrible experience, and I have

a new-found and sincere sympathy

for those who have suffered

from this for much longer,

and to a much greater degree,

than I have.

Although it is a form of dizziness,

vertigo is quite distinct

from other types: they may

cause a feeling of faintness

or light-headedness, typically

when standing up or getting

out of bed, whereas vertigo is

associated with a sensation that

either you, or your surroundings,

are spinning round. People

with vertigo may describe feeling

that they are falling or the

room is tilting, and may find it

hard to walk, stand and maintain

their balance. Nausea and

vomiting are common.

Dizziness as a whole is extremely

common – we will all

have experienced this at one

time or another. But true vertigo

is more unusual – we think

around 1 in 20 people will get

vertigo at some point, and it’s

much more likely to come on as

we age.

Vertigo isn’t a diagnosis,

it’s a symptom, and it

occurs when something is

wrong in either the inner ear

(our balance system) or even

the brain itself.

It can be quite mild, lasting

a few seconds only,

or can be severe and very impacting

– in the most extreme

cases lasting hours or even days

at a time, and sometimes recurring

over months or years.

Finding out what is the underlying

cause is can be essential

for successful treatment.

The following are the most

common causes of vertigo, and

how they can be managed:

Benign Paroxysmal

Positional Vertigo

This is the most common cause

of vertigo, and occurs when little

bits of calcium debris lodge

in the inner ear (usually a result

of degeneration or ageing),

and interfere with our balance

mechanisms. BPPV typically

comes on at around 50 years of

age, though can affect people

earlier, and is more common in

women. In most cases, we don’t

know what triggers BPPV, but in

some instances it occurs after a

head injury, a viral infection or

as a complication of ear surgery.

People with BPPV will notice

their vertigo when they have a

sudden change in position of

their head (for me, rolling over

in bed); the vertigo tends to

last for less than a minute, and

resolves when the head is kept

completely still. Although it can

cause nausea, it is unusual to

vomit with BPPV.

If there are no symptoms to suggest

something more serious is

going on, your GP will likely be

able to manage and treat BPPV

without the need for a specialist

to get involved. They will do

a series of movements of your

head and neck to assess which

side is affected. If this confirms

BPPV, the treatment involves

some manoeuvres (known

as Epleys, or Brandt-Daroff)

that should dislodge the troublesome

particles and relieve

symptoms. Rate of recurrence

after successful management

like this is thought to be less

than 10%, and those unlucky

people who do find their BPPV

is persisting can often learn to

do these movements at home

and treat themselves.

Meniere’s Disease

This condition is caused by a

change in the volume of fluid in

the inner ear, damaging the balance

system. Typically it causes

more severe symptoms than

BPPV, and is thankfully less common.

As well as vertigo, people

Continued on page 34

Caring when it matters most

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28 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

LED lighting and your eyesight

Nelson Grey Power Member’s Forum held

a forum in November 2019 and one of the

topics discussed was the harmful effects

of LED lighting.

Japanese inventors were

awarded the Nobel Prize

in Physics for inventing the

technology behind the blue

light emitting diode in 2014.

Since then LED lights have

become an increasing part of

everyday life – used in smart

phones, tablets, laptops, televisions

and home lighting. Globally

they are appearing in street

and vehicle lighting.

The NZ Listener (5.12.18)

had previously raised the issue

stating that exposure to LED

light raises the risk of sleep disturbance,

depression, obesity

and cancer through disruption

of the human (and animal)

circadian rhythm and through

melatonin disruption.

These findings are further

endorsed by recent research by

the French Agency for Food,

Environmental and Occupational

Health & Safety reported

in May 2019. They concluded

new findings confirmed earlier

concerns that “exposure to an

intense and powerful LED light

is ‘photo-toxic’ and can lead

to irreversible loss of retinal

cells in the eye and diminished

sharpness of vision”. They

also stated that manufacturers

should limit the luminous

intensity of vehicle headlights,

some of which are too bright.

The American Medical Association

has adopted an official

policy statement about street

lighting: cool it and dim it. They

agree that street lights should

have a kelvin of no more than

3000k. The AMA sees two

main problems with LED street

lighting – the first is discomfort

from and papillary constriction

in the eyes which can cause

problems for safe driving or

walking at night.

The second is that the high

blue content of LED lights scatters

more in the human eye

than the longer wavelengths

of yellow and red and can

cause damage to the retina. It

has been suggested that city

council street lighting should

have LED’s with a warmer

and safer colour temperature

(2600-3000 kelvin). The NZ

Ministry of Health suggests 2700-

3000 kelvin.

Nelson Grey Power is going

to raise the issue of street

and motor vehicle lighting with

the Federation as a national issue.

Should Hamilton support

them? Seniors suffering from

glaucoma and cataracts are

particularly vulnerable. Let us

know your thoughts.

The Perfect

Hot Cocoa


You see your nose at all times, your brain just

chooses to ignore it.

Potatoes were the first food to be grown in space.

In 1996, potato plants were taken into space with

the pace shuttle Columbia.

The first oranges weren’t orange.

The original oranges from Southeast Asia were

a tangerine-pomelo hybrid, and they were actually

green. In fact, oranges in warmer regions like

Vietnam and Thailand still stay green through


Octopuses lay 56,000 eggs at a time. The mother

spends six months so devoted to protecting the

eggs that she doesn’t eat. The babies are the size

of a grain of rice when they’re born.

2 Tbsp Chelsea White Sugar

2 to 3 tsp Cocoa

Dash of salt

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract from vanilla

pod or 1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence


Mix Chelsea White Sugar, cocoa

and salt in large mug. Heat milk in

microwave on High -100% for 1-1/2

minutes or until hot. Gradually add

hot milk to cocoa mixture in mug,

stirring until well blended.

Stir in the vanilla.

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 29

The ethics of electric

vehicle batteries

Unease about the mining of materials and

disposal needed for electric vehicle (EV)

batteries is the elephant in the room for

plug-in vehicles.


Abuses, including child

labour, alleged to occur

with mining of lithium,

a key component in electronics,

and cobalt, out of countries

with controversial human

rights records (Argentina and

the Democratic Republic of

Congo are often cited) are of

concern to many customers.

The issue has been picked

up by Amnesty International,

which while agreeing that

EVs have an important role in

addressing the climate crisis,

also cites that “without radical

changes, the batteries which

power green vehicles will continue

to be tainted by human

rights abuses.”

Speaking at a media drive

of the e-tron, Dean Sheed - the

New Zealand boss of Audi - acknowledged

the relevance of

these issues.

The e-tron is Audi’s first

pure-electric model, but it’s the

first of many. Audi is part of

the Volkswagen Group, which

aims to be the world’s biggest

producer of EVs.

Sheed agrees the lithium-ion

batteries crucial to all EVs carry


These are not dismissed by

Audi, he says. The make is being

proactive, with measures

including being among companies

that now publish sustainability

data about their supply

chains, which are carefully vetted.

Sheed says the subject is

occasionally broached during

his regular talks about EVs to

industry and interest groups.

He doesn’t shy from sharing his


“We have to be up front.

There’s no hiding away from

what the components of a lithi-

um ion battery are. The current

state of play is that you have to

mine it, you have to source it,”

he says.

“What we can do is put parameters

around the methods

– about how it is extracted,

about the partners that chose

for that and make sure they are

doing what they say they are

going to do.

“You have to make sure

they are doing the right things,

for instance about meeting

global conventions about

mining. It all boils down to

the strength of the process

and to governance of the mining


“You cannot shy away from

it. You have to front-foot it.”

He is comfortable that

Audi is being as responsible

as it possibly can and would

think any brand that didn’t

have the same attitude would

be taking a risk as “there are

enough people staring at this

topic these days and there are

enough analysts and advocates

around you would soon be

found out.”

All the big companies have

sustainability reports, he continues,

“which they publish

openly. Part of those reports

will be topics like this.”

As for end of life disposal?

Audi’s major focus is moving

the mentality away from the

single life of the car and reminding

that there’s actually

a second life [for a battery]

after that.

A battery that has degenerated

to, say, 70 per cent capacity

might not be worthy of continued

use in mobility yet could

still have many years’ life ahead

as a stationary storage project,

perhaps involved in recharging

a future electric car.

Sheed says that process

Photo by Edwardo Arcos on Unsplash

could easily ensure a battery

could maintain usefulness for

20 years. Only after that would

ultimate disposal, through recycling,

be addressed.

“What we want to do is

draft a set of guidelines for

use that the Ministry can use

for legislation and to become


Amnesty International has

called for the industry to make

“the world’s first completely

ethical battery with five years.”

Potentially that call could be

met by a solid-state battery, a

next step that though not yet

into production is already being

hailed as a breakthrough.

In addition to being appealing

for not having need

for controversial constituents

these are also favoured because

they will be more compact,

far more powerful, with

higher density charging and

potentially cheaper to produce

than current types.

Volkswagen Group, of

which Audi is part, is at the

forefront of a billion dollar

push by Germany’s car industry

into electro mobility over

the next three years to cement

their future.

They intend to deliver 100

electric and hybrid models by

2030 – almost three times the

total count of new EVs expected

to be on offer in NZ by the

end of this year.

VW has plans to become

the world’s biggest producer

of electric cars – some relying

purely on batteries, others still

having a fossil-fuelled engine in

support - by 2025.

Among the fleet will be at

least 10 Audis including the

e-tron GT, a lower-slung and

sportier sister model to the

SUV here now that shares the

same drive train and performance

attributes as the Taycan,

Porsche’s first all-electric (also

coming to NZ).

All are expected to have

lithium ion batteries and the

feasibility of any subsequently

transferring to solid state batteries

is uncertain.

“I don’t have enough scientific

background to say that

five years is the right term or

whether it should be seven or

10,” Sheed says.

“We’ll have lithium ion for a

number of years yet.

“But the philosophy of an

ethical battery is something I

support 100 per cent.”

He senses the argument

for having EVs on the road is

settled and that their place in

motoring isn’t simply about

impression the Earth is running

dry on oil.

“It’s not just about oil,”

says Sheed. “It’s about asking

‘what’s the right thing to do for

the planet?’ If we are focused

on lowering CO2 and Greenhouse

Gas emissions, not just

for us but for our future generations,

then we have to take

action today.

“And this is something

the automotive industry can

do. In our country about

20 per cent of Greenhouse

Gas emissions come from

transport and light transport

– cars, trucks and vans – account

for two-thirds of that.

We’ve got to do something.

We have to play

our part.”

Article sourced

from stuff.co.nz

30 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Pandemic Response

The way we live, think and work has changed

drastically over the last few months


The way we live, think and

work has changed drastically

over the last few

months. As a medical doctor

working in Nawton, I clearly

remember the morning team

meeting in March at our general

practice to brace ourselves for

the then upcoming pandemic.

A lot has happened since then.

While coronavirus has had

a significant negative impact

across the world, going hard

and early has put us in a good

position and looks to have

prevented the wave of devastation

seen elsewhere. Many

countries responded too late,

faced thousands of deaths,

with the economy grinding

to a halt - these were the projections

we saw here too. The

Labour government under the

leadership of Prime Minister

Jacinda Ardern, took decisive

action and because of that we

have an opportunity of achieving

something no other country

has come close to doing so far

- eliminating the virus.

There has not been a playbook

for dealing with this global

pandemic - but the efforts

of the team of five million are

evident. We are in level one in

a privileged position compared

to so many other countries

around the world - we are moving

around, our kids are back at

school and playing sports while

domestic tourists are travelling

around the country boosting

the local economy. As a doctor

who worked as a frontline

healthcare worker in a Covid-19

swab centre, I could not be

prouder of the collective efforts

we have made as a country over

the last few months in keeping

our communities and families

safe. PM Jacinda Ardern made

it clear from the beginning that

our best economic response to

COVID-19 was a strong health

response. Labour led government

implemented a threestep

plan to guide NZ through

the global shock caused by

COVID-19: respond, recover,

and rebuild better.

The first step was about

fighting the virus and supporting

those in need. The crucial

decision here was to protect our

most vulnerable populations -

which included the elderly and

those with underlying health

conditions. Closing rest-homes

to visitors to decrease the risk

of transmission, and freeing

up general practice resources

by establishing Covid-19 swab

centres ensured our high risk

populations were safe and

had access to healthcare when

needed. The Government also

started the flu vaccination programme

early with this year’s

campaign being the biggest

ever, with 400,000 more vaccines

available in 2020, compared

with last year. Free flu

vaccines were prioritised for

New Zealanders who were most

at risk - people who were either

aged 65 and over; pregnant;

with certain chronic conditions;

young children with a history

of respiratory illness as well as

healthcare workers.

Following this, the government’s

second step saw

people return to work as

lockdown eased.

The third step in our battle

against the pandemic is to reboot

economic activity while

continuing to do a good job in

managing our healthcare system’s

capacity. This step is about

growing jobs that pay well, supporting

businesses and communities

that will sustain our future,

and coming back stronger

as a country. Budget 2020 was

carefully drawn up with this recovery

and rebuild in mind. The

path ahead is still challenging,

but I know Jacinda Ardern will

guide New Zealand through

this global economic shock with

the same determination, focus,

and empathy she did through

the outbreak. As a doctor and

a candidate for Hamilton West

this election for the Labour party,

I could not be prouder of the

government’s response.

Dr Gaurav Sharma is a medical doctor and works as

a General Practitioner (GP) in Nawton, Hamilton

Dr Gaurav


for Hamilton West

81 Victoria St, Hamilton CBD



Authorised by Dianna Lacy, 160 Willis Street, Wellington.

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 31

COVID-19 has had a huge

impact on world health and

the world economy. In these

unprecedented times, I am

taking this opportunity to

support local media, and say a

big THANK YOU to the Waikato

community. Thank you for all of

your kind messages of support

during lock down and thank

you for your continued business

support after lock down.

Wolfe Hearing is an established,

audiology business, servicing

the local community for over 15

years. We specialise in Hearing

Tests, Ear Wax Removal and

Hearing Aids. We are a New

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New Zealand.

With clinics in Cambridge, Te

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bargains. We will pass these on

to you.

Finally, a big thank you to that

special patient who walked past

the big chains, and booked

an appointment with us. Your

support in our first week back in

Level 2 meant a huge amount

to all the staff at Wolfe Hearing.

If you want to go local too,

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32 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020


American Dirt:

This book is simply

stunning. Lydia Quixano

Perez lives in Acapulco

with her journalist husband

and son.

A regular visitor to her

bookshop becomes a

special confidante and

friend, so imagine her

surprise when she

discovers he’s the ruthless

chief of a drugs cartel -

about whom her husband

has written a major profile

- and her world is about to

change forever.

Those of us who read

reports of the drugs scene

in Mexico, and follow the

stories of South American

immigrants attempting

to reach America will find

some of it familiar, but in

the hands of this author

it becomes personal,

desperate, and all too

believable. There will not

be many better books

published this year.

Hamilton EV

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In one episode of ‘Cheers’,

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I don’t think I have ever heard the concept

explained any better than this …

“Well you see Norm, it’s like this.

A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the

slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted,

it’s the slowest and weakest ones at the back

that are killed first. This natural selection is good

for the herd because the general speed and

health of the whole group keeps improving by

the regular killing of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can

only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells.

Now, as we well know, excessive intake of

alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally it attacks

the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this

way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the

weaker brain cells making the brain a faster and

more efficient machine.

And that, Normy, is why you always feel smarter

after a few beers.”

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Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 33

From page 28

with Meniere’s will describe tinnitus

or a ringing noise, a feeling

of fullness in their ears, and

associated hearing loss. Usually

it will affect one side initially,

but if Meniere’s progresses both

ears are involved. Attacks last

for minutes to several hours,

and usually occur in clusters, so

someone may get 6-10 attacks

in a number of weeks, and

then have nothing for several

months before it recurs.

Diagnosing Meniere’s usually

requires some blood tests, a

hearing test and sometimes imaging

such as an MRI to make

sure nothing more serious is

going on. Treatment is aimed

at reducing both the frequency

and severity of attacks, and

can include medication such

as anti-nausea tablets and steroids,

“vestibular rehabilitation”

which uses a series of exercises

to try and desensitise the

balance system, and lifestyle

modification including reducing

salt, alcohol, coffee, chocolate

and tobacco use. Sadly there is

no cure for Meniere’s but most

people report that their symptoms

improve considerably with

a combination of the above


Vestibular Neuritis

This condition is a neuropathy

or inflammation of the vestibular

nerve, thought to result from

a virus infection. It is most common

in 40-60 year olds, and

causes sudden onset of severe,

disabling vertigo. Different from

that experienced in BPPV, the

vertigo in vestibular neuritis isn’t

typically triggered by movement,

and doesn’t go away after

a few minutes. It can last for

up to a week and is very commonly

associated with nausea

and vomiting. Although awful

to experience, VN is self-limiting

and can usually be managed at

home with bed-rest and medication

to reduce the nausea.

Ongoing issues are rare.


Again, this is caused by inflammation,

most often associated

with a viral infection. It occurs

in people over 30 years old, but

can sometimes happen in childhood

as well. Although it causes

the same sudden, severe,

constant type of vertigo as VN,

labyrinthitis also leads to temporary

hearing loss in one or

both ears, and sometimes tinnitus.

Management is the same

as for VN, and nearly all cases

will resolve completely, with no

ongoing symptoms.

Vestibular Migraine

About 1 per cent of us will get

this type of migraine during our

life, and bizarrely it doesn’t always

feature a headache. The

vertigo typically lasts from five

minutes up to 72 hours, and

may be associated with other

signs of migraine, such as

sensitivity to light and noise,

flickering vision, and nausea.

This type of vertigo responds to

migraine treatments, and can

be managed by your GP. Depending

how severe or frequent

your migraines are, a preventer

tablet taken every day can be

really effective. Aside from

these causes, other more serious

things can also present

with vertigo, especially in

their early stages. These include

sudden events such as a

stroke, or more gradually progressing

things like multiple

sclerosis or even tumours in

the brain. Although it isn’t always

possible to distinguish

more serious causes from less

worrying ones particularly early

on, the following signs would

be of concern, and would warrant

getting things checked out

very promptly:

• Sudden onset of a new, severe

headache associated

with vertigo

• Extreme nausea or vomiting,

to the extent you are unable

to tolerate fluids

• Any symptoms to suggest a

stroke, for example weakness

of face, limbs or body,

slurred speech or problems


• Sudden onset of deafness

without the other features

of Meniere’s disease.

Whatever the cause of your

vertigo, if it isn’t going away,

please see your doctor.

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34 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020









Cataract development is a normal process

of aging. Cataracts can also be present at

birth, develop from injuries, certain diseases,

medications or long-term exposure to


As scary as cataracts might sound, modern

cataract surgery can usually restore vision

lost to cataracts — and can often reduce your

dependence on glasses as well.

When you are no longer able to see well enough to do the things you like to do,

cataract surgery should be considered. Thankfully cataract surgery is one of the safest

and most effective surgical procedures performed today. Surgery involves removing the

cataract and replacing it with an artificial lens. The procedure typically is performed on

an outpatient basis and does not require an overnight stay care facility. Recovery time is

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To book an appointment email:


or phone us directly.

130 Grantham Street, Hamilton


A dirty rotten scandal:

The leaky homes saga

Auckland Council pays out $265m to leaky

home owners.


Since 2012, Auckland

Council has paid out

$265m to leaky home

owners affected by shoddy

workmanship that council staff

certified as code-compliant.

This story was originally

published by North & South

and is republished with


New Zealand’s leaky

homes scandal has been the

biggest building catastrophe

in this country’s history.

But as Peter Dyer has

discovered, the problem is

much larger than anyone

has admitted – and it’s not

over yet. Mike White talks

to Dyer about his new book

Rottenomics: The Story of

New Zealand’s Leaky Buildings


When Peter Dyer began investigating

leaky buildings, he

had a simple question: What

the hell happened?

For decades, we’d built

homes that didn’t let water in

and didn’t rot. But despite this,

and despite technology improving,

from the mid-1980s

we began constructing buildings

that leaked – thousands

of them – homes, apartments,

schools, hospitals, retirement

villages and prisons. All failed

disastrously, causing massive

damage and a host of health

problems for those living and

working in them.

Dyer, a retired engineer, just

couldn’t understand how this

had suddenly happened, so

started looking for answers.

That was 2011, and since then,

he has become increasingly astonished,

not just at the many

deliberate acts that allowed

the disaster to occur, but also

the scale of the devastation it


Peter Dyer compares the

leaky homes debacle to toxic

mould. “This national tragedy

has been nourished in a culture

focused on short-term cost

cutting, providing quick benefits

for a relative few, while offloading

enormous long-term

costs to future New Zealand

homeowners, tenants, ratepayers

and taxpayers.”

His book on the subject,

Rottenomics, highlights the

causes, gives examples of the

personal despair that resulted,

and labels it “the largest manmade

disaster in New Zealand’s


“Like a toxic mould,” he

writes, “this national tragedy

has been nourished in a culture

focused on short-term cost

cutting, providing quick benefits

for a relative few, while offloading

enormous long-term

costs to future New Zealand

homeowners, tenants, ratepayers

and taxpayers.”

Ask most people what

caused the leaky homes debacle

and they might tell you it

was untreated pine being used

to frame new houses. Or that

there were insufficient gaps for

drainage between the outside

and inside walls. Or that some

of the in-vogue monolithic

cladding (large sheets of exterior

material, which are coated

to give a seamless appearance)

leaked. All of these are true.

But as Dyer has discovered,

the causes go much further

than that, and are rooted in

deliberate decisions taken by

politicians and those in the

building industry. Rottenomics

traces the history of the problem

back decades, but lays the

blame largely on the economic

upheaval ushered in by the

1984 Labour government, with

its ideology that a free market

should prevail.

Thus, various governments

changed acts and regulations

to allow the building industry

much greater control and

self-regulation. Oversight of

materials and designs was significantly

reduced. The use of

faulty products was allowed.

Training in the industry was

undermined by labour reforms,

and builders lacked necessary

skills. Government bodies

meant to ensure quality were

abolished or underfunded.

And when it became apparent

repairs were urgently required,

the lack of standards meant

many jobs were botched and

had to be done again.

While Dyer describes it as a

perfect storm (“It’s a hell of a

cliché, but it seems to fit”), he’s

quick to point out the scandal

was the result of conscious

decisions taken in the name

of efficiency and cost saving,

leaving thousands of buildings

simply doomed to rot.

“It was 100 per cent preventable.

We did it. We caused

it. We brought it on ourselves.

It wasn’t an act of nature –

unless you consider ordinary

rainfall in New Zealand an unusual

act of nature. And nobody

really thought, ‘If we turn

the building industry loose, it

might not work out so well.’ It

was just a leap of faith – faith

that they would make things


Beyond the misery of those

who’ve been saddled with

leaky homes, Dyer says the irony

is that, despite the changes

promising lower costs, housing

in New Zealand has never

been more expensive. “Everybody

was going to be better

off because things would be

done more quickly and they’d

be cheaper and better. But real

estate has skyrocketed and

been placed beyond the reach

of so many New Zealanders. It’s

a terrible problem, and leaky

buildings are just part of it.”

However, Dyer senses nobody

is willing to truly deal

with the disaster because it

would require greater regulation,

and any suggestion of

“big government” was anathema

to politicians. “We had a

structural revolution in 1984

and, to a large degree that resulted

in the problems we’re

talking about now. If we want

a solution, it has to be structural.

But there are powerful

interests who have benefited

from this regime for the last

35 years, who’ll fight tooth

and nail against something

like that.”

Most of the responses to

the issue have been “bottom

of the cliff” stuff, says Dyer,

such as paying compensation.

Anything more seemed too difficult

to contemplate for politicians

who were overwhelmed

by the issue, and resorted to

using it as a political football.

“But neither Labour nor National,”

Dyer writes, “has an

edge in this dreary and distracting

finger-pointing contest.”

In 2011, then-Building and

Construction Minister Maurice

36 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

Williamson told the NZ Herald

the scale of the leaky buildings

problem was “simply ginormous”.

At that time, it was

estimated the cost of the crisis

was $11 billion. “A government

that’s running very large

surpluses would still struggle

to find the money to help with

this,” Williamson said. “But

a government that’s running

deficits… has to just sit there

with its head in its hands, saying,

‘Well, I just don’t know

how to do this.’”

Williamson’s comments relied

on a 2009 report by PwC,

which actually suggested the

cost of the problem could be

as much as $23 billion, but the

government chose to use a less

alarming estimate.

A second study was conducted

in 2015, but remained

hidden until Dyer used a complaint

to the Ombudsman to

force the Ministry of Building,

Innovation and Employment to

release it. This put the number

of leaky homes built between

1985 and 2014 at 174,394

– a quarter of all homes built

during this time. Applying a

very conservative estimate of

the cost per house, as used

in the PwC report, Dyer concludes

the total leaky homes

bill is actually $47.7 billion.

But that’s only part of the

story, Dyer stresses. These are

only the homes that the 2015

report said were “very likely

to leak”. A further 204,886

homes were considered “likely

to leak”. In total, that is 60 per

cent of the houses built in this


Moreover, these estimates

only deal with homes – not

public or commercial buildings.

And what’s more, Dyer

says, the problem is likely bigger

than even these estimates:

some buildings in drier areas

won’t have started to rot yet;

some people have done their

own repairs without reporting

them; some owners have simply

ignored the issue.

While successive governments

have shrunk from confronting

the scale of the leaky

buildings problem, Dyer says

many New Zealanders mistakenly

think the problem is over

– something that happened

in the 90s. But some of those

in the building industry Dyer

spoke to said as few as 10-20

per cent of “weathertight failures”

have been made public.

Perhaps most worryingly,

Dyer says, despite knowing all

this, we’re almost certainly still

constructing leaky homes with

substandard designs, material

and oversight. And even those

homes that were identified and

had repair work carried out frequently

leaked again, because

there was no clear standard for

this work, and no penalty for


“It’s an extremely complex,

depressing issue that we’ve

managed to address to some

degree, and governments want

it to go away. But it hasn’t and

it won’t. It’s just in the too-hard


David Kernohan says the

housing sector has been beset

by government indifference

and industry incompetence,

and the leaky buildings scandal

was a devastating example of


Kernohan, a retired architect

who has been an Environment

Court deputy commissioner

since 2007, was part of

the government Weathertightness

Overview Group, which

issued a report in 2002 about

leaky buildings, and he agrees

with Dyer that a multitude of

factors caused the disaster.

“There were lots of signs

that could have been read but

the attitudes weren’t right, in

the sense that the demands

of the public for Mediterranean-style

clad buildings was

prevalent, especially in Auckland.

Monolithic cladding had

just come on the market and

was a cheap option, in parallel

with the use of [untreated]

kiln-dried timber which was

being pushed.”

This was compounded by

the downgrading of oversight

for building construction, poor

monitoring of materials, and

the undermining of apprenticeships

and “the basics of

good building practice, learnt

over 100 years. With the new

materials and methods, some

of the old basics just went out

the window.”

Kernohan says the building

industry remains largely unregulated

and he’s sure leaky

homes are still being built. “It’s

still a debacle.” But he’s glad

Dyer has finally put the scandal

in historical perspective and

shown the scale of its impacts.

Dyer is an unlikely investigator

of our country’s biggest

housing disaster. Born in America,

he worked as an engineer

in the University of California’s

physics department, making

one-off designs for scientists,

staff and students. But America’s

invasion of Iraq in 2003,

which he believed was unjustified

and indefensible, led to

him migrating to New Zealand

in 2004, with wife Cathy. He

worked at Massey University

before retiring, while Cathy

continued her career as a vet.

Dyer first became interested

in housing when he wrote a

story for North & South about

the mass sale of railway cottages

in Ngaio, Wellington, where

he lived. Another North &

South story, on leaky buildings,

in 2012 led him down a trail of

research and discovery that has

resulted in Rottenomics.

He spent countless hours in

Parliament’s library, National

Archives and the National Library,

locating the political and

industrial genesis of the disaster,

and the critical decisions

that saw it become a reality.

And then he spoke with a wide

range of those involved in the

issue, from builders to bureaucrats

to victims.

The more he learnt, the

more he realised how the event

had been completely avoidable.

“There’s certainly anger there. I

think anybody would feel anger.

But what I remember most

about that process was ‘click,

click, click’, this all fits together,

this all makes sense, it’s all

part of a pattern – because I’d

lived through the big changes

of Reaganomics and the gospel

of the free market. But some of

the things here were a bit more

extremist, especially after the

1984 election and the turnover

of the economy to that completely

new paradigm.”

However, what Dyer – a quietly

spoken, 66-year-old, guitar-playing,

dog-loving, toolshop

creator turned author,

whose computer monitor sits

propped on a stack of country

and western books – feels

more than anger is sympathy

for the homeowners, the innocent

victims of the disaster.

“Nobody should have to

worry about living in or buying

a house that will rot because

of the way it was built

and the materials. That’s not

right, nobody deserves that.

They should have the right

to get what they pay for, get

what they expect. We can build

houses that don’t leak and we

do it all the time. But we build

far too many houses that fail.”

Article sourced

from stuff.co.nz

Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020 37

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38 Hamilton greypower Magazine | July 2020

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