Digital literacy programme for seniors

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) is pleased to announce a new digital literacy programme for seniors – Better Digital Futures for Seniors.  With support from The Office for Seniors, we have developed a customised programme for seniors, based on our successful Stepping UP initiative. 

We have also shaped Better Digital Futures to reflect the different needs of seniors.  Recent research by the Chair in Digital Government at Victoria University of Wellington revealed that seniors typically fall into one of seven categories, ranging from ‘highly digitally skilled and engaged’, to those who simply see no reason to ‘go digital’.  Better Digital Futures has been developed with this in mind.  We are offering four pathways, each targeting groups of seniors at different stages of their digital journeys:

Pathway 1: Digital Introductory – for seniors who want to know why they should connect to the digital world

Pathway 2: Digital Essentials -for seniors who want to know how to connect to the digital world

Pathway 3: Digital Engagement – for seniors who want to expand their online skills

Pathway 4: Digital Safety – for seniors who want to keep themselves and their whānau safe online

Each pathway includes four 2-hour modules.  Seniors wishing to participate can register their interest online or get in touch with their nearest Stepping UP delivery partner.  A good place to start is with your local library.  If they are not already offering this programme, let us know (email us at or phone 0800 463 422) and we’ll contact them to see how we can help. 

We expect classes to commence in July after all Covid-19 restrictions are removed and libraries are able to continue providing Stepping UP classes.

How to be old, by Rachel McAlpine

Local Wellington writer Rachel McAlpine has just released a new book on ageing with a wonderful humorous approach.

Sheblogs and podcasts about living and ageing and this book is part of her is celebrating her 80th birthday.

“How to Be Old” is an explosion of humanity on the page with some practical tips from the author and sage advice from Elsie aged five.

Rachel has also written novels, songs and plays, and books about writing.

Her website is – you can purchase her book at –

Nomination for National President Grey Power

I have been nominated by the Wellington Central Grey Power Association for the position of National President Grey Power.

We acknowledge the history, policies, and advocacy – initially superannuation – of our Grey Power forebears/whanau since 1986. These volunteers carved a place as advocates with decision-makers for older persons (aged 50 plus). Their strong voice was heard and listened to, and the name of Grey Power was on people’s lips. 

By monitoring what Government was doing, Grey Power advocated for the welfare, interests and concerns of its members. Those interests cover the complete political spectrum by an organisation with no political affiliation. However, members from around the country have expressed concern that Grey Power appears to have lost its way, forgotten its purpose, aims and objectives and the stated visual personality of the organisation. In the crisis presented by COVID-19 Associations provided many and varied services for grateful members.

Age Concern has become the organisation decision-makers are turning to for advice on matters related to older people. One must ask how Grey Power can regain its position as the organisation decision-makers approach for positive advocacy on all issues for the older person.

Were I to be successful in being elected your National President I would address the issues below that, amongst others, have recently been brought to my attention. However, this list is changeable following conversations and dependent upon COVID-19, digitalisation and other current factors.

  • How does Grey Power stay relevant to its audience in a fast-changing digital society?
  • What are the strategic issues for Grey Power and how do we communicate them?
  • Does our membership represent New Zealand’s diverse ethnic and cultural groups?
  • Are we working collaboratively and effectively with other community groups?
  • Do we need to repurpose Grey Power to interact with a diverse society where thinking evolves into social change?
  • How does Grey Power take the many opportunities presented by a crisis such as COVID-19, which has provided many.
  • How do we prepare to support our members and local communities in future COVID waves?

Colleen Singleton

Update: Colleen’s nomination wasn’t accepted by the Federation on a technicality, which we are disputing.

That was the year(s) that was . . .

At this year’s Annual General Meeting members requested that a report be prepared by the Committee outlining the activities of Grey Power Wellington Central in the time period leading up to the Covid-19 Crisis.

Public Transport

Following the disastrous introduction of new bus routes and timetables by the Greater Wellington Regional Council Lloyd (President) was invited to join an oversight group managing the clean-up of the timetables and routes.

An achievement was to get the Council to reinstate the Karori to Newtown hospital bus service and a rational approach to the siting of bus stops and shelters.

David Cuthbert undertook an investigation into the use of the gold card funding in respect of the Cable Car.


Earthquake Commission and Earthquake Insurance issues. David and Lloyd worked on these issues to assist in the provision of reasonable insurance for property owners in our area.

Free Parking

Representations were made to the Wellington City Council asking that a free parking model akin to that of Dunedin be adopted. This was not accepted.

Zone Meetings

The early part of the year saw the continuing saga of the code of conduct dispute between the Hutt Valley President and the Federation President. This was not resolved satisfactorily and the zone turned its attention to developing a workable process for future disputes. Also, the need to replace the President became apparent and Wellington has nominated Colleen as a candidate.

Christmas Function

The annual subsidised Christmas function was held for members and as usual we managed to get good support.

Local Body Candidates Meeting

The Association held a well-attended Candidates’ meeting for Regional Council Candidates. This was an interesting meeting giving members the opportunity to hear from the candidates from their area.

Working Groups

In February the Committee established three working groups with leaders being:

  • Transport:    David Cuthbert
  • Health:   Bruce McLachlan
  • Housing:  Colleen Singleton

The Committee also undertook to meet with the sitting MPs in the Wellington Central area (Hon Grant Robertson, Hon James Shaw and Nicola Willis MP) to ensure that they were briefed on Grey Power’s role, the issues we face and assistance we could get.(Because of Covid-19 issues these meetings were suspended and are only taking place now.)

Lloyd Falck, President
Wellington Central Grey Power

Over 70s: how was your lockdown?

University of Auckland
My name is Merryn Gott and I am a researcher based at the University of Auckland. I am writing to you about an exciting new research project, funded by the Auckland Medical Research Foundation, that will collect the views and experiences of New Zealanders aged 70+ regarding Covid-19 and lockdown. [Our website:]
Participants can have their letters archived Continue reading “Over 70s: how was your lockdown?”

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