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The Power of Grey Power

“Grey Power Shaping a Better Future for New Zealand’s Elderly”

Hon Casey Costello, below, speaker at the Grey Power conference; Grey Power at work – their annual conference.

Recently, Grey Power Federation New Zealand held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Wellington, a gathering that showcased the organization’s ongoing commitment to addressing the issues that matter most to older New Zealanders.

Representatives from Mercury Bay and other local associations nationwide came together to discuss the future advocacy of Grey Power, share successes, and plan new initiatives.

Key topics included ensuring fair superannuation policies, improving healthcare access, and safeguarding senior rights. Exciting new initiatives were introduced, like enhancing Grey Power’s digital presence to keep members better connected and informed. The AGM reinforced the organization’s dedication to making sure the voices of seniors are heard loud and clear in New Zealand’s political landscape.

Guest speakers included the CEO of Pulse Energy,  Sharnie Warren; the Minister for Elders Hon. Casey Costello; the Aged Care Commissioner, Caroline Cooper, and Karen Billing-Jensen CEO Age Concern. Gratitude was expressed by all speakers to Grey Power for the continual and sustained advocacy for all New Zealand seniors.

From the Hon Casey Costello: “I just wanted to say that I’m so proud to be here because what you do and what Grey Power has done for so long is do what I’m trying to do which is advocate and stand up for the rights of our older New Zealanders. I know that many older New Zealanders who are in fixed incomes are facing enormous challenges to meet the increased costs of living. Food, power, insurance rates continue to rise and on a fixed income, this creates enormous challenges.

We also know that many older New Zealanders are still paying a mortgage after the age they intended to stop working and increasing numbers are renting. Worryingly even more so is that there are some who are without a home at all living in emergency housing and temporary accommodation and that’s why housing is a priority along with options to address cost of living pressures.

Some of our key coalition agreements are around maintaining current eligibility conditions for New Zealand’s super, supporting super annuitants with the winter energy payments.

Rates are another cost that are increasing and can be a particular problem to homeowners. Most significantly the constant thing I hear when I meet with groups around the country is that as we age, we find our personal circumstances and health requirements changing and what I do know is being able to navigate our system can be a real challenge and at times can almost leave people in despair of getting the right help at the right time.”

A full transcript of Hon. Casey Castello’s speech is posted on the grey Power Whitianga/Mercury Bay Facebook page.

The Benefits to being Members of Grey Power Locally and Nationally is impressive:

National benefits:

• Strong advocacy: Grey Power is a powerful advocate for seniors, lobbying for fair superannuation, better healthcare, and protections for senior rights. They fight for policies that benefit all older New Zealanders.

• Grey Power electricity: Members can access competitive rates on electricity, gas, broadband, and phone plans through Grey Power Electricity, a partnership with Pulse Energy. This helps you save on essential services.

• Discounts and services: Enjoy discounts on a wide range of products and services, from travel insurance to duty-free shopping at airports. Plus, Grey Power’s monthly magazine keeps you informed about the latest news and issues affecting seniors

• Policy wins: Over the years, Grey Power has successfully pushed for significant changes, including the removal of the superannuation surtax, lower doctors’ and pharmacy fees, improved rest home regulations, and more

Local benefits:

• Community engagement: Local associations are great places to meet others in your community. They organize regular coffee morning meetings, social luncheon events, and workshops keeping you connected and informed.

• Local advocacy: Each local association addresses issues specific to our area, ensuring your unique needs are met. We advocate for better local healthcare, public transportation, and accessible community facilities.

• Personalised support: Local associations offer personalised support, helping you navigate government services, access healthcare, and tackle individual concerns related to aging and retirement.

If you are over 50 and looking for a community that supports your needs and advocates for your rights, then Join Grey Power Mercury Bay today! You not only benefit personally but also contribute to a powerful collective voice that influences national policies and ensures that senior issues remain a priority. Join us in our mission to create a society where seniors live with dignity and enjoy a sustainable quality of life. Visit our local fb page ‘Grey Power MercuryBay/Whitianga Inc’ or email: greypower.mercurybay@gmail.com.

Your involvement makes a difference. Together, we can build a brighter future for all seniors in New Zealand.