How Nelson Grey Power works:
Nelson Grey Power is a membership organisation.
The organisation is largely run on a volunteer basis there being at present only one paid employee,
our Office Administrator, Kim Harding.
The organisation is managed by the Nelson Grey Power Committee which is elected annually by members at the Annual General Meeting. The President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer are all elected positions and form part of the Committee.
Nelson Grey Power Association Inc. Constitution is the basis to management of the organisation.
The Nelson Grey Power Association Inc. Constitution is available for members use at the Nelson Grey Power Office.
Minutes of all Committee meetings, General Meetings, and Annual General Meetings are available for members to read at the Nelson Grey Power Office.
Committee member portfolios:
The Nelson Grey Power Committee work is undertaken on a voluntary basis by the organisation’s officers and committee members via a portfolio system. The member with portfolio responsibility reports on their portfolio to each Committee meeting.
Current members and their portfolios are:-
President – Sue Sara – Superannuation and Welfare Benefits, Over 50’s Employment, and supporting all committee members in their portfolios.
Vice President – Kevin Gardener – Energy, Civil Defence, Over 50’s Employment.
Zone 5 Director (GP Federation) – Kevin Gardener.
Treasurer – George Truman – Economy, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council, Retirement Villages, Energy, Civil Defence.
Committee Member – Linda O’Dea – Community Housing, Transport, Civil Defence, Positive Ageing Forum, Administration and Membership.
Committee Member – Pauline Daly – Nelson City Council, Community Housing, Superannuation and Welfare Benefits, Positive Ageing Forum and the Administrative Portfolio of the Front Office and Membership.
Committee Member – Pat Curry – Health Portfolio – NMDHB and NBPHO.
Secretary- Pam Coltman – Tasman District Council, ACC and Insurance, Law and Order.
Issues communicated to office volunteers are recorded in the Enquires Log and referred to the member with the relevant portfolio as required.
Nelson Grey Power Office:
Our office is located at 33 Putaitai Street, Stoke, Nelson (between Stoke Pharmacy/NZ Post Shop and the walkway to the Stoke Library).
The Office is staffed by our Office Administrator, assisted by a wonderful group of office volunteers. The office hours are Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm.
Nelson Grey Power members can drop in anytime during these hours to update their membership, seek information, or share any concerns they may have that affects their welfare or wellbeing.
Our office volunteers keep an Enquires Register of concerns and issues brought to their attention and the register is reviewed by the committee at each meeting to ensure that there is appropriate follow up or action where necessary.
Alternatively, members can contact us by mail: P.O. Box 2190, Stoke, 7041
or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grey Power Achievements
Here is a brief look at some of Grey Power’s successes.
- Removal of the Surtax
- Asset Testing Legislation being Phased Out
- Lower doctors’ Fees
- Lower Pharmacy Fees
- Removal Over 80’s Driving Tests
- Removal Simulated Driving Tests by Occupational Therapists
- Lower Tariff Electricity
- Superannuation Increased to 66% NATOTWW
- Rate Rebate Scheme re-vitalised
- Independent Superannuation & Income Centres
- Improved Regulations for Rest Homes
- Code of Practice for Rest Homes
- Abolition of Interest on Student Loans
- The National Superannuation Adjustment for the Tax Cuts in the 2008 Budget is a long awaited recognition by a major political party of the plight of the elderly reliant on NZ Superannuation
- Hearing aid subsidy increased
- Rates Rebate Scheme indexed to CPI. Amount now $580 (originally $500) and threshold now $23,240 (from 20,000 originally)
- Spot Audits for Rest Homes
- Retention of Graduating Doctors – (Student Loan)
- Lowering Electricity Increase for ETS
- Retention of SuperGold Card Off-Peak Travel
- Retention of SuperGold Card Waiheke Island Ferry Travel
Nelson Grey Power Affiliations
Nelson Grey Power is one of the seventy six Grey Power Associations affiliated to the New Zealand Grey Power Federation in that the Grey Power Associations are the members of the Federation. All member Associations pay capitation fees to the Federation based on their
Nelson Grey Power Association Inc. participates in the Zone structure of the Federation.
Zone five includes Nelson, Marlborough, Motueka, Golden Bay, Buller, Hokitika, and Greymouth Grey Power Associations and has a Zone Director who is the link in two way communications between the Associations in the Zone and the Federation Board.
As members of the Federation all Associations can participate and vote in the Annual Meeting of the Association, which also considers remits from individual Associations and Zone groups of Associations.
Nelson Grey Power has the discretion as to the relative importance it places on decisions made at Federation level in the context of the needs of older people in its local membership.
Nelson Grey Power sends delegates to Federation AGM with voting powers on behalf of the Nelson Grey Power Association and the delegates report back to the membership.
New Zealand Grey Power Federation key documents can be viewed on https://greypower.co.nz/
2018 Nelson Grey Power Remits to the national Federation AGM covered:
REMIT: OMBUDSMAN FOR OLDER PEOPLE
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to appoint an Ombudsman for Older People.
A survey of our Nelson Grey Power members shows that our membership supports the establishment of an Ombudsman specific for older people.
There are many elderly in our community being disadvantaged or discriminated against by policies of Government Departments, local body agencies, and business. There is evidence of a high level of elder abuse and neglect in New Zealand. Older people themselves are reluctant to complain directly to departments, agencies, businesses, and services because they fear repercussions.
Availability of an Ombudsman specifically to hear older people’s concerns would encourage older people to seek to address unfairness and injustice.
REMIT: PHARMACEUTICAL SUBSIDY FOR OLDER PEOPLE
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to provide a special subsidy to New Zealand Government Superannuitants and older beneficiaries for all pharmaceutical medication prescribed by their Doctor.
A recent survey of Nelson Grey Power members showed that 77% were on pharmaceutical drugs.
Of these 69% were on medication for blood pressure, and a further 35% were on statin drugs. 50% were on medication for gastric reflux or bowel conditions, and 32% were on medication for arthritis. 8.64% were on antidepressants.
Only 36% of the member who had prescribed medications were on one drug only.
64% were on two or more prescribed medications.
Treatment with these prescribed medications over time, some of which at present are not subsidized, can be a significant ongoing cost for older people, particularly those not meeting the criteria for a Community Services Card.
REMIT: CATARACT TREATMENT
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to ensure that all cataract treatment is provided free of charge on a timely basis to New Zealand Government Superannuitants and older beneficiaries.
Recent years has seen District Health Boards rationing cataract surgery, often only providing one surgery via the public health system and then directing the person requiring two surgeries to pay for one privately. Many older people cannot afford to pay for this second surgery and do not have health insurance cover. They remain at risk of falling and other accident with a remaining cataract on one eye.
REMIT: MACULAR DEGENERATION
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to provide all screening and treatment for macular degeneration free of charge those aged 50 years and over.
One in seven people over 50 will get Macular Degeneration.
The total cost of vision loss from AMD in New Zealand is estimated to be $391.1 million in 2016, or $19,727 per person with AMD. Of the total cost, the economic costs were $89.6 million ($4,521 per person), and the value of lost wellbeing was $301.5 million ($15,207 per person). Health system expenditure represented the largest component (63%) of economic costs.
Blindness from AMD was estimated to contribute $216.6 million, or $45,677 per person with blindness. This represented 55% of the total costs due to AMD in 2016, and was comprised of $28.2 million in economic costs as well as $188.4 million in loss of wellbeing.
REMIT: DENTAL TREATMENT
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to provide free dental care to New Zealand Government Superannuitants and older beneficiaries .
Research has clearly shown that gum disease is a major risk factor for heart disease.
People over 65 years of age are experiencing the ageing process and increased risk of heart disease from other factors such as high blood pressure. Good dental care would help reduce the added risk of gum disease and associated periodontal disease and reduce a major risk factor for heart disease.
REMIT: RESPITE CARE FOR THOSE LIVING ALONE
That Grey Power Federation lobby to extend the availability of respite care to those living at home alone.
Currently respite care is provided to some elderly living at home with a carer, however those living alone and just coping are not given the opportunity for respite care.
Rest homes report an increase in elderly just coping at home alone but no provision for them to have respite care in a rest home. Such respite care would give the opportunity for improving the person’s coping skills via information, education, therapy and introduction to helpful daily living aids.
REMIT: RATES REBATE ELIGIBILITY
That Grey Power Federation lobby Government to increase the income level and lower the rates level at which rates rebates can be granted.
Under the Rates Rebate Act 1973 central Government funds rates rebates throughout New Zealand, the administration of this being undertaken by local city or regional Councils.
Criteria of eligibility for rates rebate include that the property must be the ratepayer’s own home and they must be living in it and they must be listed as a ratepayer in the Council’s Rate Information Database (RID). The amount of rates rebated depends on the household income level and the amount of rates being paid.
The maximum rebate payable is $620 and does not reflect the high rates now the norm in New Zealand.
i.e for a rates level of $2500 maximum rebate is only 25%. For a low income earner i.e. around 20% of Nelson Grey Power members have income ONLY from NZ Superannuation – this is insufficient assistance to enable them to keep paying rates to remain in their home.
REMIT: RATES POSTPONEMENT
That Grey Power Federation lobby for all local rating authorities to introduce a Rates Postponement scheme.
Currently some local councils have such schemes while others do not.
Rates Postponement schemes provide another avenue for those on fixed income to be able to continue
to live in their own home and pay their rates.