INCOMING PRESIDENT CHRIS TUFFNELL’S ADDRESS
Thank you so much for coming to this AGM
and Thank you to those who have volunteered to serve as your committee for the coming year.
MAKING A GOOD LIFE POSSIBLE
MAKING A GOOD LIFE POSSIBLE will be our mission at Nelson Grey Power
How do we make a good life possible?
Through LOBBYING decision makers:
– Members of Parliament, City and District Councils, the Health Board, Government departments and community services and businesses
To be effective lobbyists and advocates for our members we need you to tell us
your needs, opinions, ideas and feedback to us your experience with government and local policies & services.
As your President I want to strengthen our communication, information sharing, and feedback LINK with You, Nelson Grey Power members and as a result
improve the coverage and content of our lobbying of decision makers
To be effective we need not only improved information flows between Nelson Grey Power members and the committee….but a committee and staff who WORK AS A TEAM.
I want each committee member to be in a position to use their knowledge and skills to Nelson Greypower’s best advantage.
Committee members will be taking up responsibility for portfolios specific to their knowledge, skills, and aspirations.
The majority will be lobbying portfolios:-
Nelson City Council & Tasman District Council
Superannuation and welfare benefits
ACC and Health Insurance
Aged Care services
Transport – including Southern link, public transport, roads and footpaths
Economy – including retirement savings, reverse mortgages, bank rates.
Law and order
Employment of over 50’s and over 65’s
There are also some administration portfolios:
GreyPower Zone /National representation
Front Desk services – including information/handouts screening
Nelson Grey Power website and newsletters
As President I expect to be the link between the committee and our paid staff, and for Press and Public relations (involving committee members in these activities too).
We need to grow our membership.
The more our membership – the stronger our lobbying voice.
We don’t just want to be a voice – but a choir!
We need to know more about the needs of our pre-retirement membership – the 50 -65 year olds – soon to be 67 year olds!
As the largest Grey Power group in New Zealand we need to maintain our relationship with Grey Power nationally and continue to influence national Grey Power policy and lobbying targets. To this end, I will attend the National Grey Power conference in May.
Your President and committee must be good employers of our paid staff and volunteers alike. I recognize how important that friendly volunteer face is to members when they drop in to our Nelson Grey Power office in Stoke.
A huge thankyou to our volunteers – you are valued and appreciated.
Thank you to retiring President Gordon Currie and his support to me in taking up this role as President. Gordon has made a significant contribution to Nelson Grey Power and I know he will continue to support us.
When joining any organisation people ask: What’s in it for me?
Why be a member of Nelson Grey Power?
I know many members join for the discount booklet and Grey Power electricity scheme…. But the real work of Grey Power is ADVOCACY AND LOBBYING.
Nelson Grey Power is the only financially independent organisation lobbying on behalf of people over 50 in our area. Our funding comes from member subscriptions. Because of this financial independence we do not feel the need to refrain from comment because of obligation to an external funder.
Nelson Grey Power is its own master.
And as such, it can be an effective lobby and systemic advocate for older people.
The age structure of the New Zealand population is changing.
We have all heard about the increasing proportion of our population being in the older age group. We now have 607,000 people over 65 years of age and 73,000 people over 85 years of age.
In 2061 (just over 40 years from now) there will be 1.5 million people over 65 years of age and 360,000 people over 85 years of age.
Life expectancy is increasing – around 87 years at present
Cost of NZ Superannuation is at present just over 4% of GDP
In 2060 it will be 8% GDP.
Rates of home ownership are declining and cost of insurance is increasing.
Presently 21% of over 65 year olds are in the workforce.
More people over 65 years of age will be in the workforce when the age for accessing National Superannuation is increased.
(Retirement Commissioner Report)
RATIONING is a central, often hidden, outcome of all Government and local government services. Rationing is the controlled distribution of scarce resources, goods, or services or an artificial restriction of demand eg. through booking systems or price controls.
Nowhere is rationing more obvious at present, than in the NZ health service where the definition of rationing has been blunted to:
“Withhold some health services from some individuals who would probably benefit from them because decision makers have decided not to buy those services for everyone who needs them.”
So people must MEET SPECIFIC CRITERIA in order to receive the service… and we, the people, have no input into development of these criteria.
Rationing will become more evident in all aspects of public services, not just health.
With your membership Nelson Grey Power can lobby to influence rationing and gatekeeping criteria which often result in discrimination, disadvantage, and isolation of older people and establishment of barriers to the older person being able to achieve or maintain a good life.
We want to see:
*Local Councils reducing debt and keeping our rates down, and well working
infrastructure given priority
* Older people able to stay in their own homes in the community OR
have fair contracts with retirement villages and aged care accommodation
* Continuance of universal superannuation set at a higher level as a percentage
of the average wage than it is now – 64%
* Suitable work opportunities available for older people
* Older people well informed and supported to make decisions about retirement
savings, insurance and other financial arrangements.
* Older people well informed and able to access social support and financial
We want to see:
* Doctor fees and Pharmacy fees kept at a level older people can afford
* Better access for older people to first specialist assessment and elective surgery
* Older people who have access to ACC when they have an accident
* Adequately Government funded palliative/end of life care
Over the next 20 years over 8% more older people will die in residential care
so palliative care in residential care needs to be of a high standard
We want to see:
* Communities where older people are safe from burglary, home invasion,
* Footpaths and road crossings that are mobility scooter friendly
and wide access for older people to public transport
* Businesses who make it easy for older people to do business with them
* Older people able to afford to keep warm in winter
* Civil defense systems which plan specifically for older people and their needs
in times of crisis
So our success in MAKING A GOOD LIFE POSSIBLE
rests with you and all people over 50 joining Nelson Grey Power.
Your membership makes the lobbying work of Grey Power possible.
I look forward to working with our committee, and YOU, the members over the coming year.