Northland Grey Power medicinal cannabis campaigner pleased with support

A Northland Grey Power leader and medicinal cannabis law advocate has welcomed a new poll showing the vast majority of Kiwis support her views.

Otamatea Grey Power member Beverley Aldridge has been campaigning for more than two years for people in extreme pain or terminally ill to be able to have easy access to medicinal cannabis. Since then some other Grey Power groups have joined the campaign.

And public support for cannabis law reform has soared in the past year – especially for medicinal use of cannabis, a poll commissioned by the New Zealand Drug Foundation has found. The Government is planning a referendum on personal use before or at the next election.

Support to decriminalise or legalise cannabis for the use of pain relief has increased from 78 per cent last year to 87 per cent this year in what has become an annual survey. Using cannabis for pain relief for terminal conditions has even higher support, at 89 per cent.

Support for personal possession is up to 67 per cent from 65 per cent and support for personal growing of cannabis is up to 61 per cent from 55 per cent. There is far less support for selling cannabis from a store, only 38 per cent, although that is up from 34 per cent last year.

Read more:

Over 50? Employers don’t want you

Liz has applied for hundreds of jobs in the past six years – without a single bite, she says.

The now 51-year-old is tertiary qualified and has worked for a range of employers over her career, including the Government.

But Liz (not her real name) believes her age is now holding her back. “People say don’t put your age on your CV but people are not stupid – you can tell from my CV I have had a lot of experience. It is the stereotype of the older worker.” Liz is not alone.

When the Herald ran a story about a 65-year-old Whanganui woman applying for 32 jobs in six months and being unable to secure work, it was flooded with others in similar situations. It all comes as no surprise to Paul Jarvie, employment relations and safety manager at the Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

Jarvie says research shows people who are out of work and looking for a job find it incredibly difficult to get a foot in the door if they are over 48 years of age.

“The code is: ‘we will call you back’.”

Read more:

Tamsyn Parker – NZ Herald – Business

New Zealand joins WHO network

New Zealand has been accepted as an affiliate member of the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly cities and Communities. Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin made this announcement during the inaugural National Age-friendly Communities Forum in Wellington in June.

Close to 150 people came together for the forum including local council representatives, community groups, organisations and academics.

The Age-friendly Cities and Communities model was developed by the World Health Organisation in 2005 to help address the issue of ageing populations. It is a community-driven model with older people a critical voice and key partner along the way.

The key-note speaker at the forum was Christine Young, Director of Community Development for the City of Melville Council, who discussed how age-friendly is being implemented in Western Australia.

Presentations from the event are available on the SuperSeniors website for people interested in age-friendly. For more information, go to

NZ Super isn’t enough for ‘no frills’ lifestyle, but Kiwis are bridging the gap

The gap between NZ Super and the cost of living even a “no frills” lifestyle has widened, research from Massey University shows. Fortunately, many retiring Kiwis seem to be bridging the gap from their own savings, while others keep afloat by continuing to work beyond the age 65.

The Westpac-Massey Fin-Ed Centre’s annual Retirement Expenditure Guidelines show that for a two-person household of over 65 year-olds the cost of a “no-frills” lifestyle in a city was $872.22 at the end of June last year. That was $271.92 more than NZ Super paid to a couple.

Life was easier for a couple on the provinces, who had a shortfall of $21.18 a week to make up. People managing on their own generally had a harder go of it in retirement than couples.

Read more:

ROB STOCK – Stuff Business

Grey Power lobby visit To Wellington

The new President Mac Welch, and Jan Pentecost, National Secretary of Grey Power Federation, came to Wellington on 18th June to meet various MPs and Government Departments and discuss matters of interest with them. They were joined by Roy Reid, Federation Treasurer, for some of the meetings.

They met:

  • Hon Simon Bridges, Leader of the National Party;
  • Commerce Commission (also attended by Roy Reid)
  • Banking Ombudsman
  • Rt Hon Winston Peters (Acting Prime Minister)
  • Matt McPherson – KiwiBank

If you would like any further information about subjects of discussion and comments, please contact us.

Grey Power quarterly magazine now available to sight impaired people

Please be advised that I have concluded an agreement with The Blind Foundation that means the Grey Power Quarterly Magazine will be available via the Foundation to sight impaired readers as at the next Issue September.

The contact at the Blind Foundation is:

Gail Vipond, 09 355 6965 ext.6965.

Mac Welch

National President, Grey Power NZ FED INC.

Great results on Super Gold Card travel

Like many Regional Councils, Greater Wellington is re-organising its public transport system. Both local Grey Power associations and myself on behalf of the Federation have been actively engaged in the planning process to prevent any repetition of the problems that occurred in Auckland. As a result we were able to obtain assurances of no loss of service for Super Gold Card (SGC) travellers. So when the new timetables for Wellington City were published and we found out that some direct services had been replaced with a need to transfer to second service, and that if the second service departed after 3 pm, SGC holders would be charged full fare for that second part of the trip, we were naturally somewhat annoyed even though only a small number of people would be affected.

I’m happy to report though that both Councillors and Officers were very keen to meet with us to discuss the problem, and to offer a solution. As a result it was agreed that Gold Card customers caught by these changes will be able to continue their off-peak journey for free if they transfer to a second Metlink bus between 3pm and 3.30 pm in Wellington city. To get the free transfer, all that is needed is to show the driver your Gold Card and tell them that you have transferred from a previous off-peak service.

I would like to thank GW for their recognition of Grey Power as a key stakeholder in the planning of transport systems and for their willingness to meet and negotiate outcomes that benefit everyone.

We will use this precedent to continue our campaign for the preservation of Super Gold Card travel in other regions.

These Gold Card transfer provisions only apply to Metlink bus services in Wellington city. They do not apply on Metlink trains or ferries, the 91 Airport Flyer service, or Metlink bus services outside Wellington city as the timetable changes do not impact current conditions for Gold Card holders in these cases.

Pete Matcham, Chair, Local Government, Housing and Transport National Advisory Group, Grey Power Federation

10th July 2018

President’s Column

Annual Report 2018

The last year has been an interesting but quiet one for the Association.

Highlights were:

Meetings: The election year ‘Meet the Candidates’ meetings organised by the Committee for the candidates for political parties to show their wares to our members. These were held at the Rita Angus and Malvina Major Retirement villages and elicited good attendance and thoughtful questions from the floor.

We also sponsored a meeting which explored the state of our health system in depth.

The Committee organised a Christmas Lunch for members at the Grand Restaurant on Courtenay Place

In the coming year the Committee has agreed to try and organise more meetings with a view to a more involving the membership.

Zone Meetings: Attendance at zone meetings. This has involved the President and Vice President meeting with other Associations in the lower half of the North Island once every 3 months for updates from our representatives on the Federation Board. These have proven to be very interesting and an opportunity to have our input from Wellington heard.

Election of Federation President. This year saw the retirement of Tom O’Connor as Federation President. There were three candidates for the role. Mr Mac Welch, Ms Jo Millar and myself. Mr Welch won narrowly after a somewhat tumultuous campaign which included failure to advise candidates of the details of the election campaign, and a mysterious email campaign. We will work with Mr Welch and endeavour to liaise with the Government and Opposition to return to our role with Grey Power the leading advocate for seniors.

Committee Activities: Your committee has decided to meet more regularly and promote more events for the membership. Plans for this will follow the election of a new Committee.

This year marks the retirement of Ray Markham from the committee. Ray has been very active over the past years and his efforts and assistance will be sorely missed.

Bruce McLachlan, Caroline Hubbard, Pat Hubbard, Terry and Elaine Scoble, Bernadine Pool, Owen Watson and I have indicated a willingness to continue as members of the committee for the next year. We would of course welcome new members to the committee’s ranks.

Our Next Members Meetings:

  • Saturday 29 September: With guest Speaker
    Hon Chris Finlayson, at Wellington City Library, Mezzanine Room, at 2pm.
  • Saturday 13 October: With Guest Speaker
    Hon Dame Annette King, at Wellington City Library, Mezzanine Room, at 2pm,.

Parking in the basement of the Library.
See you all there!

Lloyd Falck
President, Grey Power Wellington Central


Memory Walk at Zealandia

You can visit the Zealandia eco-sanctuary in Wellington for free on Sunday 23 September, including an option for a free guided tour by the Zealandia guides. This offer is only available to those registered for the Memory Walk being held by Alzheimers NZ, one of 20 throughout NZ.

Memories are precious. That’s why this September, thousands of Kiwis will be walking to show their support for all those living with dementia. Let’s walk to rememberLet’s walk for dementia.

Come along and walk to show your support for people with dementia and their families, friends and care partners. Memory Walks are a great activity for people of all ages and abilities.

Register at

At 9.00am there will be free guided walks of 1.5 hours taken by the Zealandia guides. Ending up at the start of the Memory Walk. Learn about NZ conservation, fauna and flora and the history and future of Zealandia. Places are limited and are booked separately from the Memory Walk. To book email . You also need to register for the Memory Walk at the link above.

The Memory Walk starts at 10.30 just inside the entrance and follows a flat path for about 1km. Arrive early Rata cafe will be open.

There are no admission charges from Memory Walkers. Register through the Memory Walk web page shown above.

Any queries write to Ken c/o

Disability allowance

If you find that your income is insufficient to meet your costs, you may be eligible for extra benefit assistance for your medical expenses by way of a Disability Allowance. This is a discretionary allowance paid under Section 69C of the Social Security Act if the other forms of assistance are insufficient to meet the need.
It is not that you have to be “disabled” to qualify. In this context, disability means an ongoing health condition. It is normal for people in their senior years to experience a decline in health with the associated costs arising from that.
The Disability Allowance is subject to an income test. There is no assets test. Interest earned on savings counts as income. Here’s a very clear article by Noel Ellis on how to find out whether you are eligible, and how to get it.

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