Se­niors’ views on as­set sales

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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

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