By Pauline Stewart.
Merle Edwards President and her Vice- President, Trish Cunningham in support, addressed the AGM of Grey Power last Thursday, 18 May at Mercury Bay Club.
Merle Edwards, President of GreyPower, Mercury Bay shared with the large gathering of about 80 people at the local AGM, her understanding of Grey Power.
She told the story of how the offer of cheap electricity in about 2014, encouraged many people to join Grey Power. This was a good thing but then Grey Power almost became a club you joined to get cheap electricity. “That has largely passed now,” said Merle, “But I still get calls when people are having problems with their electricity. I thought it was a good opportunity at our AGM to be able to inform our members of just what we are really about. It is not just electrical power.
“Grey power is an organisation that is about the wisdom of our years and the experience of those years. We have spent many years contributing to our community, working at professions and skills, raising families, preparing for our retirement and many still working well into our retirement years. That experience was not just about surviving but improving the quality of life and desiring to create something better for those coming after us. Our current task is to focus on the rights and needs of our seniors who need representation. We must not forget this.” Merle earned a hearty clap for her words and her leadership.
The Grey Power Federation meets soon in Wellington and Merle and Trish Cunningham (Vice President) will represent Mercury Bay. We list some of the issues that will be raised and continue to be presented to Government.
• SuperGold card as a national ID; • Lack of banking facilities for older people
• The sufficiency or not of national superannuation; • Lack of home care and support services, bed numbers in aged care facilities reducing dramatically – what will happen to the elderly?
•Query the cessation of NZ superannuation payments when a sup annuitant is out of the country for more than 6 months but the Govt continues to receive their UK pension during this time;• Request for an increase in the funeral grant; • Cost of the shingles vaccine; •Annual free health check and eye check which was in 2019 but was removed in 2020; • The 2019 budget announced from 1st December 2019 no one with a community services card would pay more and $18.50 for a doctor’s visit but this has been increasing by 50c a year. (Ministry of Health agreement with General Practitioners Association).
• People with disabilities – The new health system policy needs to be more precise about the groups that have poor outcomes and that seniors with disabilities be remembered.
• Age restrictions on access to tests and vaccines and equity of access in the new health system
• Palliative Care is under funded
• Shortages of medical staff/access to health services – why is the health
system in such disarray?
• Funding for dental care; • Booking times for older people living in rural areas for outpatient and
• Affordability and housing shortage – Councils to access income related rent
subsidies for their pensioner and social housing tenants
• That the low interest loans for councils to build social/senior housing be
Caption: Merle Edwards, President, with her Vice-President, Trish Cunningham, in support, addressed the AGM of Grey Power last Thursday, 18 May at Mercury Bay Club.