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New Zealand First is committed to empowering senior citizens to remain independent for as long as they wish. Our seniors must be treated with respect and not as a burden on society. We maintain that our treatment of our seniors sends a clear signal of our status as a developed nation.

We know our seniors have a valuable contribution to make to society through their experience and knowledge gained over the years. This should be viewed as a valuable resource to be utilised.

New Zealand First repealed the surtax on Superannuation, legislated for New Zealand Superannuation to be 66 per cent of the net average wage and introduced the SuperGold Card, with benefits and discounts for senior citizens. We want to broaden the benefits that are available.

New Zealand First will:

  • Keep the age of eligibility for Superannuation at 65, non-contributory entitlement with no means-testing.  
  • Ensure that SuperGold Card holders receive three free doctor’s visits a year.
  • Promote a ten per cent discount on power bills for SuperGold Card holders during the winter months.  
  • Plan for the future of the eldercare sector and ensure that New Zealand is prepared to care for the older generation.  
  • Enforce national standards for rest homes and home care.
  • Ensure that adequate funding and direction is put into Alzheimer's, dementia, and osteoporosis research.
  • Commit to extending the benefits of the SuperGold card.
  • Revise the mechanism for calculating New Zealand Superannuation to ensure that the minimum base level cannot fall below 66 per cent of the net average wage to redress any financial loss incurred through the application of the current mechanism.
  • Change the rebate for non-qualified spouse in receipt of New Zealand Superannuation and the 55 plus benefit to bring it into line with the widows and domestic purposes benefit.
  • Raise the rebate threshold for a non-qualified spouse from $80 per week to $100 and index it to the CPI.
  • Cement in place the age of entitlement to New Zealand Superannuation at 65 years.
  • Provide that (on a pro rata basis) receipts of superannuation at a death that is notified will form part of the deceased estate with no requirement for repayment.
  • Ensure that any new scheme would not affect any person who at the time of introduction was aged 55 years or older and thus maintain certainty for that group currently closest to retirement.
  • Provide for regular inflation adjustment of benefits (and abatement levels).
  • Broaden the benefits available to seniors included in the SuperGold Card to include energy and medical benefits.
  • Support the development of accommodation initiatives for pensioners.
  • Explore options to reduce the rates encumbrance on seniors.
  • Further develop a strategy for meeting the health needs of an ageing population.
  • Assure equity of access to health and disability services across generations by removing income and asset testing for older people needing long stay geriatric hospital care services and asset testing for long stay geriatric private hospital care.  
  • Implement national standards for geriatric home care that are enforced, and require an adequate inspection of rest homes to ensure standards are met.
  • Review specific 'disability' provisions and rest-home care.
  • Review the funding of rest home care contracts, particularly in relation to costs imposed by legislative changes which impact on the cost of care.
  • Ensure that staff ratios in aged residential care facilities are set at appropriate levels for safety and care, while ensuring staff receive appropriate ongoing training and professional development.
  • Update the Grant Thornton 2010 report into aged care services and ensure all future planning with the eldercare industry is done in consultation with all stakeholders.
  • Put in place a long term planning strategy for the eldercare sector thereby ensuring that the huge cost of the aging population bubble will be adequately planned for.
  • Smooth the funding pathway between the Ministry of Health and eldercare providers to ensure that the cumbersome negotiations at the DHB level are less intrusive.
  • Review lottery funding criteria for community transport for seniors groups.
  • Develop close working relations with seniors' advocacy groups.
  • Scope the free provision of hearing aids and spectacles to qualifying citizens.
  • Complete the nationwide network of Elder Abuse and Neglect Co-ordination Services.
  • Ensure that adequate funding and direction is put into Alzheimer's, dementia, and osteoporosis research.
  • Ensure that a pilot study is undertaken to provide a formula for the timely provision of operations for cataracts and hip replacements.
  • Guarantee the maintenance of core hospital services and timely access to acute emergency services.
  • Ensure that the subsidy paid to elderly in care is automatically adjusted for CPI inflation each year, like New Zealand Superannuation, and ensure DHBs fully pass this funding on.
  • Incrementally work towards pay parity between eldercare nurses and DBH employed nurses.
  • Develop a specific Industry Training Organisation for the eldercare sector.
  • Ensure that planning for the eldercare sector incorporates the capacity for family home carers.
  • Adequately resource elective surgery and establish guaranteed maximum waiting times for a range of surgical and specialist treatment.
  • Ensure that senior citizens receive greater recognition for the thousands of hours of voluntary service they perform in the community and provide opportunities for paid contributions.
  • Provide a range of measures in support of the safety and security of all New Zealanders by properly resourcing the police, providing stiffer sentencing, and greater community involvement.

Rt Hon Winston Peters MP on this policy

"New Zealand First repealed the surtax on Superannuation, legislated for New Zealand Superannuation to be 66 per cent of the net average wage and introduced the SuperGold Card, with benefits and discounts for senior citizens. We want to broaden the benefits that are available."