NZ Seniors Party

June 17, 2016

Tom O’ConnorTom O’Connor

I have received a number of questions in the past week about the possible involvement of Grey Power New Zealand Federation in the establishment of the new NZ Seniors political party which will contest next year’s general election. While there is a group of Grey Power members with a similar name we are NOT in any way connected with the new party.

Grey Power Federation is strictly non-aligned politically. We work with all parties on an equal basis to help them understand the needs of our members. I have offered to assist this new party on the same basis as all the others and I have spoken to one of their executive members on that point.

While we may have a few goals in common, we are very separate and different organisations. Pensioners and old people generally are too easily forgotten as they don’t wield the same political clout as other community sectors so it is not surprising that such a party has been established.

To be fair most political parties give us a fair hearing and we have good working relations with a few of them but we cannot rely on anyone else to remind all politicians what we need and expect from Government. That was one of the main reasons Grey Power was established. We push our own barrow.

That can involve is in some tough negotiations at times as I don’t think this government or several previous governments, have made sufficient provision for the long predicted increase in the population of people over 65. The so called “Baby Boomer” increase in New Zealand’s population since the end of World War II, which has been moving through the demographic charts for the past 70 odd years, has been subjected to more studies and predictions than almost any other group.

The nation has known for a long time that this would eventually bring an increase in the need for elective surgery and other medical procedures as well as affordable housing and age friendly communities. There are also predicted issue with security of national superannuation and the current rewrite of the Social Security legislation. None of these things should have come as a surprise to anyone.

If the NZ Seniors Party picks up on some of those issues so much the better but I have yet to hear what their policies are. I understand they are still being formulated but we will not be involved unless they ask for our advice.

Tom O'Connor
Former National President
Grey Power Federation

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