Membership Satisfation Survey
Unfortunately due to several problems that have emerged since the magazine went to print, we are now unable to offer this on-line facility; as a consequence the survey can now only be completed on the supplied magazine form. We apologise for this situation.
Grey Power is a Lobby Organization promoting the welfare and well-being of all those citizens in the 50 plus age group. Our mission is to be the appropriate voice for all New Zealanders.
Grey Power's Aims and Objectives
- To advance, support and protect the welfare and well being of older people.
- To affirm and protect that statutory right of every New Zealand resident, to a sufficient New Zealand Superannuation entitlement.
- To strive for a provision of a quality Health Care to all New Zealand residents regardless of income and location.
- To oppose all discriminatory and disadvantageous legislation affecting rights, security and dignity.
- To be non aligned with any political party, and to present a strong united lobby to all Parliament and statutory Bodies on matters affecting New Zealanders.
- To promote and establish links with kindred organizations.
- To promote recognition of the wide-ranging services provided by senior citizens of New Zealand.
- To gain recognition as an appropriate voice for all older New Zealanders.
Grey Power Achievements
Brief Overview of some results that Grey Power have been effective in achieving.
- 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 Practise 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
Power Discounts for members
Together with NZUSA led the petition to get a referendum on the Sale of Assets (Keepourassets)
The Student Loan achievement was recognised in a letter from the Co-President of the NZ University Students Association, Connor Roberts, and also by the Prime Minister in an address to the Students Association in 2006.
We are also mindful of the fact that there are many gains still to be made and that our members can be assured of our continued efforts on their behalf.
In addition to the above, Grey Power has been successfully involved in many outside committees in Energy and Health in particular. Hard of Hearing, Disability committees, NZ Specifications for conditions in Rest Homes,Community Support Services Industry Training Organization (CSSITO) for conditions for Home Care and Rest Home Workers, Health of the Older Person, (HOOP) and Electricity Commission Committees to give a few examples.
Grey Power President
Keep Our Assets link
Visual Personality Of Organisation
- Strong and active but not militant
- Friendly and mature
- Acting with dignity and integrity
- Having the wisdom of age
- Adding to quality of life
- A positive organisation to be associated with
Grey Power History
GreyPower is a voluntary organization founded in February 1986, some 25 years ago, by a group of angry Superannuitants protesting against the imposition of the surcharge on New Zealand Superannuation.
It first started in Auckland (as the Auckland Superannuitants Association) and was formed at meetings where people were very vocal in their protest and anger. This attracted a media presence.
At that time there was a media campaign against the current Government, so the meetings were well publicized which meant the movement quickly spread and further Associations were formed in other centres. This was instrumental in forming the Grey Power New Zealand Federation which, through the Board, is the Grey Power controlling body of some 76 Associations throughout the country, with up to 90,000 financial members.
The Board consists of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, six Board members (all duly elected at the Grey Power Annual General Meeting) plus seven Zone Directors (elected by the associations in their Zone to represent their individual areas). New Zealand is geographically divided into seven Zones; the smallest Zone having five Associations and the largest twenty.
The Federation head office in Papakura, Auckland is staffed by 3 part-time employees. The main function of the office is to maintain a central database of members, provide contact points, attend to board administration matters, organize any necessary travel arrangements/board meetings, and to provide all necessary material to the Associations.
Although the original reason for forming the movement was the surcharge on New Zealand Superannuation, while this was being vigorously pursued, activity was also taking place in the areas of health, electricity, human rights, publicity, social services, local bodies and law, order and justice. These areas of importance are allotted to Board members as Portfolios. Their responsibility is to chair a sub-committee with the mission of progressing the aims and objectives of Grey Power. Details of the portfolio holders and the various associations can be accessed on this web site.
Membership enrolments are taken by the local Associations, many of which offer members a discount book for local purchases and have monthly meetings with guest speakers. Most Associations also have a three monthly newsletter outlining items of interest. Plus every three months the Federation provides to each Household, a 24/28 page tabloid type magazine.
Our funding is by capitation fee, paid by our Associations from members’ subscriptions.
Grey Power as a whole is an advocacy group, with various board members spending approximately a week every two months in Wellington talking to the people that have the power to make the changes.
One of our main concerns is the level of superannuation. For some, it is difficult to have a fulfilling life on the current level of payment.
Further concerns are with the health system and the ever-escalating cost of electricity. From a poll of our members, we determined that the cost of electricity was their major concern, as it is monthly and seems to be more expensive each time. With a fixed income such as New Zealand's Superannuation, when prices for energy (electricity and petrol) escalate, then something else has to be forgone; sometimes food, clothing or worst of all, adequate heating in the colder regions during winter.
In the area of health there are three problem areas that affect the elderly; Failing sight caused by cataracts; onset of diminution in hearing and the high cost of hearing aids; lack of mobility due to deterioration of hip, knee and ankle joints. Sight and mobility can be attended to by elective surgery but, sadly, this is just not available to most and certainly not within the much-vaunted six-month waiting list period.
Most elderly with these problems are in GP care. They spend their time on the phantom waiting list, shuffling between their GP and a specialist, until the condition deteriorates sufficiently to attain the necessary points to qualify for the waiting list. However, most do not attain this level as the point system continually changes. In other words, some just live in pain, never receiving treatment.
While we are active in all the other areas mentioned above, health and electricity are currently a main concern. Neither of the main parties are particularly concerned about the "end" of our gains. The restoration of the lower level of superannuation payment band has come from either Coalition arrangements or Supply and Confidence agreements, but we continue to meet with and lobby politicians who have the power to determine our future living standards.
GreyPower New Zealand Federation
GREY POWER CAMPAIGN: POWER PRICES MUST FALL
Power prices must fall! This campaign, agreed by the Grey Power Board, was launched on April 3, with Molly Melhuish as spokesperson. We reject the continuing statements that prices must rise so new power stations can be built.
Our rising prices paid for the biggest surplus of generating capacity that New Zealand has ever seen. This surplus is driving wholesale prices down.
Our consumers must now get the benefit of that surplus – our prices must also fall. We reject Government’s idea of further subsidising the smelter, so as to prevent an even bigger surplus. All Government wants is to get ever-increasing dividends from the electricity sector – and capitalise that benefit through asset sales.
Older people suffer the most from high electricity prices. Many or most are on fixed incomes, and any investments they’ve made are yielding lower and lower interest rates. Older people need warm dry houses – we know many who are going to bed to keep warm, and others who cut back on essentials such as healthy food or medical expenses, or who do not pick up prescriptions
Only a fifth of New Zealand houses have been insulated to date in the Warm Homes scheme. Many districts have no scheme all – these are typically low-income, or rural districts, often with cold climates. This adds to the problems of unaffordable power bills.
Grey Power will make a submission on the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights. New Zealand’s Review comes up every five years, and is now open for submissions, due on June 17.
We will say that so-called “market” pricing for residential electricity has breached the state’s responsibility to respect, protect, and provide the human right to health and an adequate standard of living.. We will call for New Zealand to report on trends in power prices and fuel poverty, and to be accountable for any adverse trends.
We are asking for Associations to contribute to the Grey Power submission, with stories from their own districts, of the hardship experienced by their own members from high and increasing power prices.
O o o o o o
RATIONALE: WHY POWER PRICES MUST FALL
Retail electricity prices are still rising. One Christchurch Grey Power member faces a rise of 18% - yet wholesale prices have fallen by almost a quarter.
Just before the campaign launch on April 3, Grey Power met the Electricity Authority to ask why. Incredibly, the Chief Executive of the Authority answered that there was no reason at all for the retail price to be linked to the wholesale price.
Industry commentators still say prices must rise or else new power stations won’t be built. Now the Authority blames new transmission lines for the price rises – yet transmission costs explain only part of the 5.5% price rise last year - even before this years announcement by companies. And there’s now a surplus of transmission capacity in most regions, so why should we pay for more?
Why should we go on paying for surplus capacity in electricity? In a real market, a surplus would drive prices down.
In fact consumers now understand why retail prices are rising, regardless of whether wholesale prices rise or fall. Electricity is no longer treated as an essential service. The Authority says electricity development should promote investment for economic growth.
A Treasury paper said in 1987 that electricity prices would have to rise to meet the cost of new power stations (prices were lower, then). Treasury said prices could rise along any year-by-year “path” chosen by the government’s regulators.
Well, the result is history! The path has proved to be a steady year-on-year rise of about 4% per year in real terms, with one or two brief “price pauses”. As the Authority confirms, in this so-called “market” there is no connection between wholesale and retail prices.
The price rises not only funded a massive investment programme in new power stations, it enabled Government to retire debt and even enjoy a fiscal surplus in the late 2000s.
Now that wholesale prices are falling, price rises are necessary to assure a stream of dividends from Mighty River Power, or any other partially privatised SOE.
Meanwhile Government proposes to stem the ever-increasing surplus, by further subsidising electricity to the smelter. This is wrong.
Residential consumers paid for the new power stations – residential consumers must benefit from reduced prices resulting from the surplus electricity.
Consumers will no longer tolerate Government’s price path. Power prices must fall, now.
Grey Power 0800 473 979