Grey Power NZ: some history

Grey Power is a voluntary organisation founded in February 1986 by a group of angry superannuitants protesting against the imposition of a surcharge on New Zealand Superannuation.  First started as the Auckland Superannuitants Association, the founders were very vocal in their anger at the surcharge. At that time, there was a media campaign against the Government of the day, so meetings were well publicised and attracted a media presence which meant the movement quickly spread and further Associations joined up in other areas.  The protest gained momentum and the surcharge was abolished.

The individual Grey Power Associations are all duly Incorporated Societies under their own right and together they form the Grey Power New Zealand Federation Inc: the National body of some 74 Associations throughout the country with a combined membership fluctuating up to 90,000 members.  The Federation’s primary source of funding is by capitation fee, payable by member Associations for each subscription they receive and have added to the central database. Membership subscriptions are taken by the local Associations and many Associations issue regular newsletters, and hold meetings with guest speakers.  Quarterly, the Federation publishes and provides to each financial Household, a 24/28 page tabloid type magazine.

Grey Power as a whole is an advocacy group.  Grey Power now work in all matters pertaining to NZ Superannuation, as well as in the areas of the Super Gold Card, Aged Care and Retirement Villages, Energy, Health and ACC, International treaties, Law and Order, Emergency Management, Transport, Local Bodies and Housing, Retirement Income and Taxation, Social Services and Telecommunications.  These areas of importance are allotted to Board subcommittees as National Advisory Groups. Each “NAGs” responsibility is to progress the aims and objectives of Grey Power.

Grey Power continue to meet and lobby politicians who have the power to determine our future living standards.

Pensioners create web series finding humour in challenges of old age

Caroline Williams – Stuff

A group of north Auckland pensioners is creating a web series that mines the rich humour of the stage of life where “shame is left behind”.

Whether attending funerals, arguing over card games or competing at the gym, The Dusketeers addressed the challenges of ageing with humour.

“It develops. We get ideas as we go along,” said Carolyn Williamson, who plays Fleur.

The series covered the troubles, love and adventures experienced by the three heroines who live in the same retirement village.

“We are an elderly group and it felt important that we do it within our experience,” said Cynthia Green, who portrays Molly. “That’s our point of difference.”

“We’re trying to show the different characters that live in a retirement village,” said Christine Doorman, who portrays Dot.

Read more:

It’s true – cats really DO talk to us!

In fact, research from the University of Georgia found that cats are just as expressive as dogs.  It’s just that most of us have no idea what they’re trying to say.  So, here’s a quick lesson in cat communication:

According to the researchers, purring means “Please stay!”  Because cats purr when they’re happy, AND when they’re sick or injured.

So what is your cat trying to say when you get home and they rub against your leg?  That’s your cat’s way of saying, “Welcome home friend!” It’s a behaviour cats exhibit in the wild. After a hunt and feeding, cats will come back together and rub against each other as a way of saying, “Ah yes, we are reunited at last!”  And they’ve translated that behaviour from something within their own species to a way to relate with humans.

Finally, if your cat meows – he’s trying to get your attention.  Because other studies show that adult cats ONLY meow around humans. They don’t meow to communicate with their fellow felines – unless they’re feral and in heat or fighting.

A supergold reminder

A friendly reminder to check for updated discounts and concessions on your valid SuperGold Card. Use this link , then click the region on the map where you live to find where you can use your SuperGold Card.


President’s Column Nov 2018

The last few months have been busy for Grey Power here in Wellington.

Your committee has been organising meetings and talking with people frustrated by the rearrangements to our city bus services.

Our one public meeting was led by Hon Chris Finlayson (former Attorney General), where he outlined his views on the current kerfuffle around the appointment of a Justice to the US Supreme Court.  Chris laid out the ways in which the American appointment process differed from that here in New Zealand and why we seem to have a better process.

Chris also asked for some feedback on the local problems with the bus routes and the management of the issues by the Wellington Regional Council (WRC).

On this issue I have been invited by the WRC to join their Reference Group, which will monitor their performance and progress on bringing an end to the chaos currently reigning since the roll-out of the new routes and new providers etc.

Unfortunately we had to cancel the meeting at which Dame Annette King was due to speak, owing to her being way-laid in Australia on Government business.

Our final event for the year is our Member’s Xmas Luncheon which be held on Thursday 22nd November starting at 12.30pm.  As in past years this will be held at The Grand, 69 Courtenay Place.

Finally on behalf of the Committee of the Association I would like to wish you a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.

See you all in 2019.

Lloyd Falck.  
President,   Grey Power Wellington Central

Companion Volunteers needed

Do you have a spare 2-4 hours per week and live in Wellington, Porirua or Kapiti?  Mary Potter Hospice has many patients and carers who need your support to live in their homes in their community. You will help to promote and support their quality of life. Companionship can include ;

  • Sitting and talking
  • Reading to the person
  • Playing cards, board games, jigsaw puzzles
  • Writing cards or letters for the person
  • Going out for coffee, library, movie etc

And any other activities you both enjoy. If you have excellent interpersonal skills, maturity and common sense, a non judgmental and open mind and are able to maintain personal boundaries, conventionality and privacy you could be who we are looking for No medical or personal care is required We provide excellent ongoing support and training For more information or application details please contact Karen Roberts Ph 042372307

Interislander: Grey Power discounts

Group Booking Reference: FA5477

The below rates are based on prices to date, inclusive of GST and subject to availability.

Fares: Peak Each Way

Adult $52.00

Child $25.00

Motorcycle $50.00

Campervan/Motorhome up to 5.5mt $170.00

Additional half metre $42.00

Car/Ute/Van/4WD/trailer up to 5.5mt $137.00 each

Additional half Metre $22.00

Premium Lounge (Kaitaki & Aratere) $45.00 18yrs plus

Peak Dates:

01-28 February 18

29 March – 03 April 18

Fares: Off Peak Each Way

Adult $47.00

Child $25.00

Motorcycle $40.00

Campervan/Motorhome up to 5.5mt $145.00

Additional half metre $37.00

Car/Ute/Van/4WD/trailer up to 5.5mt $124.00 each

Additional half Metre $20.00

Premium Lounge (Kaitaki & Aratere $45.00 18yrs plus

Off Peak Dates:

01 March 28 March 18

04 April – 18 December 18


Group Booking conditions and instructions for members are:

  • Reservations to be made direct with Interislander online at by entering FA5477 into the group discount code box.

  • Space is subject to availability at the time of the booking request.

  • Bookings are 90% refundable if cancelled up to 1 hour before departure.

  • Date and time changes allowed up to 1 hour before departure without penalty, subject to availability.

  • Greypower membership card to be shown at check-in or full retail fare will be charged.

  • Fares subject to change with notification.

  • If booking from outside NZ you will need to request your booking be made via email to

Downsizing: eight tips for home unfurnishing

What can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Start mobilizing while your parents are around. Every single person, if their parents are still alive, needs to go back and collect the stories of their stuff. That will help sell the stuff. Or it might help you decide to hold onto it.

2. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make. Of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties.

3. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal. If there is, see if an auction house might be interested in trying to sell things for you on consignment. It’s a little bit of a wing and a prayer.

That’s true. But you might get lucky. I did. My sister and I were pleasantly surprised — no, flabbergasted — when the auctioneer we hired sold our parents’ enormous, turn-of-the-20th-century portrait of an unknown woman by an obscure painter to an art dealer for a tidy sum. (We expected to get a dim sum, if anything.) Apparently, the frame was part of the attraction.

4. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

5. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Or, perhaps, a liquidation firm.

6. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. Dad had some tools that looked interesting. A farmer gave $25 for them. Pick out five shelters and give them a list of all the kitchen items you wound up with. “By the fifth one, everything was gone. That kind of thing makes your heart feel good.”

7. Get advice about downsizing. Search on “Tips for Seniors Downsize Your Home nz” – heaps of suggestions will come up. .

8. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously: the boomers’ parents (sometimes, the final downsizing) and the boomers themselves. A 90-year-old parent wants to pass on stuff, or my siblings and I will have to clean up the house. And my siblings and I are 60 to 70 and we’re downsizing.

This, it seems, is 21st-century life — and death. Is there a future for the possessions of our parents’ generation? It’s a different world.

What the ‘retirement village effect’ brings to a neighbourhood

If you wander the streets of Orewa any weekday, you will see cafes full to bursting and shoppers browsing racks of expensive clothing.

One thing they might all have in common? Grey hair.

Orewa is one of Auckland’s major retirement village hubs, with half-a-dozen of the developments within its borders. Units, townhouses and villas sit on the hills overlooking the suburb, looking down on their own bowling greens, swimming pools and gardens.

Local business association manager Helen Wilkins says the local businesspeople do well from them. While the younger residents are at work, cafes do a brisk trade with retirees. The residents in these villages, some of whom have paid more than a million dollars for the rights to their homes, are active, eating out often and not afraid to drop $300 on a shirt, she says.

That’s reflected in the make-up of the shops. If you wanted cheap clothes for a trendy teenager, you’d be out of luck,

“It used to be that people said you went to Orewa to die but that’s not so.”

Read more:

Susan Edmunds – Stuff

Facing up to an age old problem

The music is pounding. Women in sequins sip something sparkling from flute glasses. Men in dinner suits dance in a conga-line. But this is more Tuesday Afternoon Foxtrot than Saturday Night Fever. The dancers are all pensioners, it’s daylight outside and they are hoovering up jam-and-scones, not class A drugs.

“I just don’t want to sit and play bingo,” one grey-haired lady in diamante earrings tells the camera. “I come out here and I just feel smashing.” This is one of London’s nightclubs for the elderly – part of a campaign to curb loneliness – and a movement that first started in South Korea. And it’s an idea that tickled Minister for Seniors Tracey Martin so much, that she shared a video of the event with her Facebook followers.

“They were having a blast, you should see this video, mate. It’s just awesome,” she said. “Now, we assume that all our older people want to do small, quiet things. But just because you are 80 doesn’t mean you don’t like dancing.”

But while those day-time disco goers are looking to escape some of the problems of old age, Martin is facing them head on.

New Zealand’s population is ageing rapidly. Within 20 years, about a quarter of the population will be over 65. But they will be healthier, live longer, be more educated and skilled – and will want to remain in the workforce well into their 60s and 70s.

Read more:

Andrea Vance – Stuff politics

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