Seniors’ views on asset sales
May is the month of our annual meeting, the date when, traditionally, members stay away lest they be invited to join the committee or something.
Pity! We always need new blood, of course.
Our age group tends to thin out by natural attrition and if no-one steps forward to take vacant places, our organisation, like so many other groups for the elderly, will simply fade out of existence. Do we really want that to happen?
I believe that Grey Power still has a very important part to play in our society.
To this end, I thought it might be a good idea to give you some idea of what Grey Power is supposed to be all about.
Here are some of the objectives of the Mana-tawa Association:
1. To advance, support and protect the welfare and wellbeing of the aged, both directly and in conjunction with other organisations or bodies with similar aims and purposes.
2. To affirm and protect the statutory entitlements of every aged New Zealander to a sufficient Government-provided pension.
3. To meet the special needs and interests of all aged New Zealanders by taking appropriate actions on their behalf. The association will oppose all discriminatory and disadvantageous legislation affecting the rights, security and dignity of aged citizens and will represent their interests and concerns to Government.
The special aim of this year’s annual meeting is to focus our minds on ways to fulfil the above objectives and others. For instance, the federation has recently put its name to a move to promote a citizens- initiated referendum on the partial sale of state assets.
We, the elderly, have seen such schemes brought into legislation before and had also seen the disastrous long-term effects of them.
It is interesting that the occasional letter to the Dominion Post has taken Grey Power to task for this involvement.
‘‘Stick to your knitting,’’ they tell us.
Take a look at the third objective above:
‘‘The association will oppose all discriminatory and disadvantageous legislation...’’
It is also interesting that it is well-nigh impossible to get anyone from the government ranks to tell us the rationale behind the proposed asset sales.
We had intended to have a couple of speakers on the subject last month, one for and one against but, although there are legions of people who are willing and able to tell us why the sales should not occur, we were unable to net anyone who favours the sales.
I would have thought that a large proportion of the elderly would be among the ‘‘ Mum and Dad’’ investors the government is courting.
But, no! A roadshow can go around the country running hui to help our Maori brethren to understand the proposals but the elderly and other ordinary citizens? Apparently not.
So, our annual meeting will be held next week. Let’s flex our muscles and make our voices heard.
Grey Power in general, and Mana-tawa in particular, has been relatively below the radar of the public for too long.
Come and help us get the wheels rolling again.
We look forward to seeing and hearing you there. Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Time: 1.30pm. Venue: The Porirua Club, Lodge Place, Porirua.
Contact: Helen Griffith Phone: 236 0112