Retirement villages: a chance to ask questions

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

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:

Flip thinking in care for the elderly

“Looking at care another way: flip thinking in care for the elderly” was the title of the talk given by Marian and Jan Westlake on 11 March at the City Gallery.  Grey Power Wellington was invited as we are a lobby group for the elderly.

Key ideas

  • with the increasing number of elderly people need care we need to think differently. Be driven not by what we think they want but by what they think they want.

Allow them

  • Autonomy, the elderly have not lost their minds
  • Reciprocity. the elderly still want to contribute
  • Dignity, we all want this

Differences between Netherlands and New Zealand

They discussed the differences between the Netherlands (NL) and NZ acknowledging that not everything was transferable which then led into outlining some of the approaches used in the NL.

One key difference was that the NL government will not provide funding to private providers which means that only 2% are private. Another is  that the government funding goes to care and the space is paid for by individuals. The is based on the assumption that everyone had a house or paid rent for space so they can continue to do so. All aimed to enable social engagement in the doing of ordinary things. All were also organised  to ensure the clients only needed to relate to 16-20 people. This was managed even in larger facilities.

Examples of approaches

  • singles living together with shared facilities, including gardens
  • multi-generational living which had been set up using run down parts of the centres of towns which they could repurpose
  • 50+living: acknowledging the rise in divorce so people end up alone. This also had shared facilities
  • Students living in the same place as elderly and getting free board for 30 hrs a month engagement with the elderly, This was an initiative by a care provider who because of changes in government policy had space spare.

Dementia care

This was covered separately though there is considerable overlap in the was the care occurs.

They reiterated that groups of no more than 20 are best

The guiding principles of dementia care are:

  • compassion
  • focus on opportunities not challenges
  • in the community- several examples were in the centre of cities close to childcare and schools
  • $ follow person
  • regulations written to benefit the people

Caroline Hubbard


Grey Power member survey

You may have noticed that in the latest national Grey Power magazine there’s a survey of our members. We are always being asked by politicians what our members think, or how policies affect you. We would like your help in making sure we can tell them by filling out this survey. Doing it online will make our job easier.
Click here.

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