Virtual Hustings Meeting – Question 10
Older New Zealanders : How would you advocate for older New Zealanders?
Question : Senior people (those 50+) represent 53% of NZ voters, currently. As an active Labour supporter for some 40 odd years, I have been seeking from the Labour party the policy which will bring this group to strongly support Labour in 2014. Are any of the leadership candidates able to state what he is prepared to advocate for us, Seniors?
Submitted by : Dean Chandler-Mills, Birchville
Explanatory Note: From September 10th to 14th 2013 as part of the official selection process for a new leader the New Zealand Labour Party is holding a “Virtual Hustings Meeting” hosted by Red Alert and organised by Scoop Amplifier. Over 7 days questions were solicited from eligible voters in the election. The questions and answers are now being posted as a set of 14 posts at the Red Alert Labour Party Blog. This started Tuesday 10th September, and continues till Friday 13th September. At Red Alert all-comers are welcome to discuss the answers in the comment section of the blog. The candidates are expected to participate in these discussions at times over the five days till Saturday 14th September.
LABOUR LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES’ ANSWERS
Answer from Shane Jones
Senior people, myself included 54 years old, can expect from me affordability for doctors visits and prescriptions.
This is extremely important given the ageing profile of our society. Supporting the St Johns Ambulance service is vital to many senior people especially in the regions.
Personal security is a major priority. I am prepared to examine the feasibility of assisting seniors to keep there residences secure
Answer from Grant Robertson
Labour must ensure that older New Zealanders continue to be valued for the contribution they make to the community.
One important policy is to ensure that aged care is funded and delivered well. This means enabling people to stay in their homes as long as possible through good in-home support, and investing in aged care facilities so that they have the quantity and quality of staffing that is needed.
This will mean minimum staffing levels and improved pay and conditions for rest home workers. I believe older New Zealanders should have the opportunity to learn, re-train and pass on skills.
I would restore funding for Adult and Community Education, and reverse National’s changes to student loans that are both limiting the opportunities of older New Zealanders. In addition programmes like SuperGrans and MenzSheds need to be supported to give the chance for older New Zealanders to pass on their skills.
Answer from David Cunliffe
It has to be more than one policy.
We need to get it right from the start. We need a transformative economic agenda that creates a fairer, more prosperous New Zealand.
A better future with well-paid jobs, and where people are respected and valued. A future that is full of opportunities: a good public education; housing; free health care, and a secure retirement.
Our Party’s values recognise that older New Zealanders built this country and deserve respect and we value the skills, knowledge, and experience that older people contribute to their families and communities.
Labour will support older New Zealanders to be fit and able – not only to contribute to the workforce and communities but to enjoy their retirement in good health