Grey Power (New Zealand)

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Grey Power is a New Zealand based lobby group formed to promote the interests of people over the age of 50.

History[edit]

Grey Power is a New Zealand organization formed in February 1986[1] by a group of people over 50 years old called superannuitants in order to assert their rights by protesting against New Zealand Government's proposal to apply a surcharge on their pension. The group was originally based only in Auckland and were known as the Auckland Superannuitants Association. The media attention which their meetings gathered raised awareness of the group and similar organisations formed in other areas. This led to the creation of the Grey Power New Zealand Federation. The scope of the organisation has since changed and the group are now involved with any matter concerning those over 50, such as health care and subsidies.[2]

Policies[edit]

Grey Power lobbies for a tax-funded superannuation to be given to every New Zealander starting at the age of 65. Grey Power believe the payment should not be means tested but should include provisions for those living alone. This policy caused the group to oppose suggestions by the Retirement Commissioner to increase the superannuation age[3] and led National Party leader John Key to promise to "resign as Prime Minister" if he lowered the amount while elected.[4] Grey Power are also actively opposed to the sale of state owned enterprises and have vocally opposed any political party suggesting the idea.[5] They also lobby for better health care and a stronger but fairer justice system.[6]

Grey Power have also opposed other political matters not strictly related to their policies, such as child discipline. Before it was passed into law Grey power were concerned about the effect of the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 on parents and caregivers.[7]

Influence[edit]

Grey Power is becoming an important counter-balance in New Zealand with the constant increase of its members due to a high percentage of people who have more than 60 years old.[8] In addition, the voice of elderly is increasingly taken into account by the government due to around 76 associations throughout all the New Zealand districts.[9]That is why, they have been successful in their fight against pension surcharge, which subsequently resulted in a more general struggle encompassing the areas of health, electricity, human rights, advertising, social services, local agencies and law enforcement and justice.[10]

This successful fight should give ideas to others at a worldwide scale. In fact, Superannuation in Australia was also a fight lead by trade union in order to assert the rights of superannuitants. It has been resulted by the implementation of a new legislation called "Superannuation guarantee" which protect the right of superannuitants about their retire, in 1992.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History of Grey power". 
  2. ^ "Representing the over 50s". Grey Power. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  3. ^ "Increasing super age 'needs to be debated'". New Zealand Herald. 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  4. ^ "Key pledges not to cut super if he becomes PM". New Zealand Herald. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  5. ^ "Forget plan to sell assets, Grey Power tells National". New Zealand Herald. 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  6. ^ "Grey Power Policy Summary". Grey Power. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  7. ^ "Elderly Concerned About Bradford's Bill". Scoop. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  8. ^ "Grey Power won't bully us, says Brash". New Zealand Herald. 2005-07-15. Retrieved 2008-08-12. ... an intense interest in the elderly vote - which ... is becoming larger ... Close to 600,000 voters are 60 years and over. 
  9. ^ "Larger power". 
  10. ^ "New domains linked to Grey Power". 
  11. ^ "Superannuation in Australia". 

External links[edit]