Changes to medical alarm costs and suppliers

From the Ministry of Social Development

We’re committed to making sure our clients are supported to stay safe and independent in their own homes. As part of this, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) funds the costs of medical alarm services to its eligible clients through their Disability Allowance.  We’ve once again negotiated with medical alarm suppliers to make sure our clients continue getting a quality service at a competitive price.

There has been a small movement in costs for the existing suppliers, with the cost increasing for three of them, staying the same for one and decreasing for another. We’ve also added a new MSD-accredited supplier, Electra ltd (trading as Securely).

The changes to costs start from 19 August 2019. To make sure clients stay safe as these changes take place, there’ll be no interruption to the client’s medical alarm service.

Changes to people’s payments

We’ll automatically adjust people’s payments for anyone with a change in cost. We’re also writing to them about the change and what it means for them. The changes will be small.

The medical alarm suppliers are also writing to their clients to adjust how much they pay for the alarm service. Where MSD pays the supplier directly, we’ll adjust the amount for them.

The MSD-accredited suppliers of medical alarm services are:

ADT Security                                                    0800 111 238

Chubb New Zealand                                      0800 203 040

Securely                                                            0800 865 865

Freedom Medical Alarms                            0800 380 280

Red Wolf High Level Monitoring                0800 673 252

St John Medical Alarms                                0800 502 323


There’s more information about medical alarms on the Work and Income website.


Non-accredited suppliers

People who have their medical alarm provided by a non-MSD accredited supplier can still get the cost of the alarm covered by their Disability Allowance. If they choose to change to a different supplier, they’ll need to choose an MSD-accredited supplier.


If you have any questions, please email us at

Time for feedback on buses

From Metlink

Just over a year ago we made some big changes to the Metlink bus network. We are now checking in with our customers to find out what is working well, and what still needs to be fine-tuned. We realise that there are still some issues in some parts of the network, but the more detailed feedback we get from customers, the better we can address those problems

Our engagement is being organised by city area. We have just completed the engagement for the Eastern suburbs of Wellington city and now have a set of local neighbourhood drop-in workshops for Southern, Western and Northern suburbs. In addition there are two city centre drop-in workshops that cover all city areas, these are also for Eastern suburbs customers to have another chance to come and have their say.

All our workshops are fully accessible and if you would like somebody to work with you individually, there will be enough staff at the drop-in’s to do so.

If you can’t make a local session, then you can give feedback through an online survey, just go to from Friday 23 August onwards.


Friday 23 August: Newtown Community & Cultural Centre – Theatre room (cnr Rintoul & Colombo Streets, Newtown): 11am to 6.30pm

Saturday 24 August: Brooklyn Community Centre – Lounge (18 Harrison Street, Brooklyn): 11am to 5pm

Saturday 7 September: Island Bay Presbyterian Church (88 The Parade, Island Bay): 11am to 5pm


Saturday 31 August: Karori Community Centre – Youth Room (7 Beauchamp Street, Karori): 11am to 5pm

Sunday 1 September: Leonard Cockayne Centre, Otari Wilton Bush (160 Wilton Road, Wilton): 11am to 5pm


Friday 6 September: Johnsonville Community Centre – Trust Room (3 Frankmoore Avenue, Johnsonville): 11am to 6.30pm

Saturday 14 September: Khandallah Presbyterian Church (33 Ganges Road, Khandallah): 11am to 5pm


Sunday 8 September: Thistle Hall Community Centre (cnr Cuba & Arthur Street, Te Aro): 11am to 6pm

Wednesday 11 September: Victoria University of Wellington School of Business– Mezzanine Floor, (Rutherford House, 33 Bunny Street, Pipitea): 11am to 6.30pm

To get more information and to sign up for project updates go to:

Free to members: $2000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit

All members of GREY POWER NZ are covered by a $2000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefit. This is provided at NO COST by AIL of New Zealand.

Since this benefit was established in 2010, AIL has (to date) paid out on 45 Grey Power members who have passed away in accidents.

This benefit covers all financial members of the association automatically, as soon as they join. 

AIL provides yellow postage paid reply cards for members who wish to receive their Certificate of Coverage and nominate a next of kin. If members don’t complete and return one of the yellow cards, they are still covered by the benefit. If a beneficiary has not been nominated, a claim would still be paid out, but may have to be paid to the estate rather than directly to a spouse.

Any claims or general queries can be directed to Mario Soljan on email , direct dial number (09) 973 5254 or mobile 027 265 2502. The claims process is relatively simple – usually only a photocopy of the NZ Death Certificate is required to process a claim. The claim cheque can then be forwarded to the branch to deliver to the bereaved family or can be mailed direct to the beneficiary – whichever the branch prefers.

AIL does offer additional family insurance benefits, which are designed to help the members and their families. These are entirely voluntary and there is No Obligation on members whatsoever to purchase any other products.

Retirement villages: a chance to ask questions

The talk was in July; if you missed it here are the slides from his presentation.

Here is the original announcement:

We are pleased to be able to invite you to a session led by speaker John Collyns, who is the Executive Director of the Retirement Village Association (RVA).

John will provide a presentation which will cover:

  • an overview of the sector
  • legislated consumer protection in registered villages
  • why people might want to move to a village and why they may not
  • types of tenure available and how they work ( e.g. licenses to occupy, Unit Titles v freehold)
  • continuum of care within a village
  • what it costs-comparison with freehold properties, weekly fees and other costs
  • impact of equity release on retirees’ income
  • why choose a RVA member village – audit and accreditation process, disputes process and Disciplinary Tribunal

The RVA represents the entire spectrum of retirement villages in NZ so it does not promote one village over another.

He has assured us he welcomes questions during and at the end of his talk.

Hope to see you on the 27th of July at St Andrews on the Terrace at 2pm

Questionnaire on swallowing (eating and drinking) and nutrition

From the University of Auckland

Kia ora,

My name is Marie and I am a PhD candidate in Speech Science at the University of Auckland. My research involves the first NZ study on people’s opinions about their own swallowing (eating and drinking) and nutrition.

I am looking for independent New Zealanders aged 65 years and older, who are willing to answer an online questionnaire (37 questions, about 10 minutes). People are eligible to participate whether they do or do not have swallowing problems.

Completed questionnaires can go into the draw to win one of five $20 supermarket vouchers.

This study is funded by the NZ Health Research Council and HOPE Selwyn Foundation.

The questionnaire starts here.

Looking after carers

From the Ministry of Social Development

Do you provide care to someone who needs help with day-to-day living? The Ministry of Social Development would like to hear from you.

The Ministry of Social Development wants to consult with carers, whanau, aiga and the wider public on the draft Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2019 – 2023 in July and August 2019. The Action Plan seeks to support carer wellbeing and ensure that the care role is sustainable.
Carers are people who support friends, family, whānau and aiga who have a disability, health condition, illness, or injury and need help with day-to-day living.

In October last year, carers told us about their experiences and what they wanted to see in the new Action Plan. In partnership with the Carers Alliance, we have used this information as well as research and advice provided by the people and organisations who work with carers, to write the draft Action Plan.

We want all carers, families, whānau and aiga to tell us whether the draft Action Plan reflects what matters the most to them.

The Discussion Document for the Action Plan can be found at along with a summary if you don’t want to read the whole Discussion Document.
You can register for a workshop by going to

You can also provide feedback by:

  • Doing the online survey on [from 1 July 2019]
  • Emailing a written submission at, or
  • Writing to: Carers’ Strategy Action Plan, Ministry of Social Development, P O Box 1556, Wellington 6140, New Zealand.

Getting a bit knocked off your rates bill

If you’re paying rates then you may be eligible for a rates rebate of up to $630. Fill in this very simple form to find out if you’re eligible.

From the Department of Internal Affairs

The Rates Rebate Scheme (the Scheme) assists people on low incomes to pay their rates by providing a deduction from their annual rates bill, or a refund if the rates for the year have already been paid in full.

Increases reflecting inflation have recently been made to the maximum rates rebate and the income abatement threshold:

• The maximum allowable rates rebate is now $640.

• The income abatement threshold is now $25,660.

The amount of rebate received is determined by a formula based on total household income, level of rates and the number of household dependents. Those whose income, before tax, is $25,660 or less can often claim the full amount. Those whose income is higher may still be able to get all or part of the rebate depending on their circumstances. Residents of retirement villages are entitled to apply to their local council for a rates rebate.

Scheme information, an online calculator to estimate any likely rebate, and all forms are available from the Department of Internal Affairs’ website Applications for a rates rebate must be made to the ratepayer’s local council.

We hope that the Rates Rebate Scheme benefits as many of your members as possible this year. For further information about the Scheme please contact the Department of Internal Affairs on 0800 25 7887 or

Lining up the ducks

From Mary Potter Hospice/Nikau Foundation

From wills, rental agreements, funeral planning and more – join Mary Potter Hospice at your local Lining up the Ducks seminar and together, we’ll get your ducks in a row.

None of us live forever. Our kindest gift to whānau, friends and our community is to get things sorted and hand them over in a constructive way when the time comes. We are hosting three free seminars to help you to get the process started. Together, we’ll get your ducks in a row and explore options around advance care planning. The topics we’ll cover are wills, insurance, rental agreements, banking, funeral planning and more.

Come along to your local seminar. All are welcome – bring a friend! Lining up the Ducks is brought to you by Mary Potter Hospice and is supported by the Nikau Foundation. To register or for more information please contact Hazel, or 04 801 0006.

Wednesday 21 August, 12-3pm
Newlands Community Centre, 9 Batchelor Street, Newlands, Wellington

Wednesday 28 August, 9.30am-12.30pm
Tawa Community Centre, 5 Cambridge Street, Tawa, Wellington

Thursday 12 September, 12.30-3.30pm
Churton Park Community Centre, 75 Lakewood Avenue, Churton Park, Wellington

New book on ACC problems

Many people have shared their own ACC nightmare stories. Sandra Crashley researched her topic after being mistreated by ACC who were in collaboration with her GP practice!
GREY POWER members, Mike & Sandra Crashley used her accident claim experiences to demonstrate how numerous ACC employees have wasted taxpayers’ money in significant amounts.
This book also describes the abuse that many Kiwis suffered because they made an ACC claim during the years of John Key’s National government when ACC operated as an overpaid, overcrowded & abusive bureaucracy.

ACC: A National Plot? $12.50 +p&p from Loveley Books Opotiki

Pre-Budget announcement: $7.7m for SuperGold Card, digital literacy training

The Government has set aside $7.7 million for seniors in its Wellbeing Budget, which will see an ‘upgrade’ of the SuperGold Card, digital literacy training, and provide for ACC changes. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Seniors Minister Tracey Martin made the announcement on Monday, at the New Zealand Grey Power Federation Annual Conference.

More at:

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