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E-newsletter - September 2015

As the new Minister for Seniors, I’ve enjoyed travelling around New Zealand talking to seniors groups and listening to their issues and concerns. I’ve become aware that there’s a need for more targeted and co-ordinated information specifically relevant to the over 65 year olds. The new website and newsletter will act as a ‘one stop shop’ portal for this information, which will be written with seniors in mind.

In this first SuperSeniors newsletter you’ll find some of the latest news about preventing falls, the new SuperSeniors website and how to access discounts when travelling in Australia.

As consumers our seniors are a growing group that businesses will ignore at their cost. The total amount of spending by older people was $14 billion in 2011 and this is expected to grow to $39 billion by 2031.

Since March this year 734 new businesses in New Zealand have joined the SuperGold programme offering a range of discounts for seniors. This brings the total number of businesses where seniors can use their card to over 8,000 with over 12,700 outlets across the country.

I hope you enjoy our new SuperSeniors newsletter and website.

Minister Maggie Barry Signature

Honourable Maggie Barry ONZM
Minister for Senior Citizens

Minister Maggie Barry

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New SuperSeniors website, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter

Discounts across the ditch

Fall prevention vital

Are you paying too much tax?

"On your trike"

Celebrating seniors

Take a positive step for dementia

Senior Chef – building new skills

ShakeOut 2015

Seniors flock to retirement villages seminars

New SuperGold businesses

SuperGold Card Special Offers

New SuperSeniors website, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter

SuperSeniors website screenshot

Prime Minister John Key launched the new SuperSeniors website at a seniors gathering at the Milford Bowling Club on the North Shore on Friday 18 September, along with the new Facebook and Twitter pages.

These new social networking sites bring together information on essential services for seniors and their entitlements. It also features topics of interest such as financial planning, how to make the most of technology, and inspiration to help you stay fit and healthy.

Around half of people over 65 are internet users – and that is growing at a rapid rate.

So if you’re a senior internet user have a look at our new social network sites and we would welcome your feedback.

You can find it at:

Discounts across the ditch

At this time of year, many kiwis travel to Australia for a spring holiday.

It’s now possible to make money go even further by using the New Zealand SuperGold Card to get lots of discounts from participating Australian Seniors Card businesses.

Each state or territory has a variety of different offers for Kiwi SuperGold Card holders.

Check what’s available in each state through the new SuperSeniors website.

When in Australia, look for the Seniors Cards Welcome stickers and ask if they accept our SuperGold Card.

Safe travels.

Use your SuperGold Card in Australia.

Fall prevention vital

ACC is rolling out a series of initiatives over the next 12 months aimed at preventing the number of falls amongst older people.

Falls cause around 40 per cent of ACC claims for people aged between 65 and 69, and around 60 per cent of claims for those aged over 85. The anticipated lifetime costs of these claims received in 2013 alone is $351 million.

The new initiatives were announced by ACC Minister Nikki Kaye and Senior Citizens Minister Maggie Barry.

Seniors exercising

“A fall can result in a serious injury such as a hip fracture, and this increases the likelihood that someone will require residential care,” Ms Barry says. “But even falls that don’t result in injury can affect an older person’s quality of life. It’s important we do more to prevent them from happening.” If you are over 65, you have a one-in-three chance of falling. This chance increases for people over 80 to one-in-two.

One of the initiatives is extending the successful Dunedin programme Steady as You Go to other parts of the country. So we visited a Steady as You Go Class in Dunedin to discover why the classes are so popular.

Read about Steady as You Go on the new SuperSeniors website.

Are you paying too much tax?

You've worked hard all your life. Now you're 65 and can enjoy NZ Super. However, you will need to make sure you've used the correct tax code. Otherwise you'll pay too much tax. If you've recently started getting your NZ Super, check you have the right tax code.

If NZ Super is your only source of income, you should be on the "M" tax code, but there are other tax codes that could apply to you.

See: Tax on your income when you retire

Which tax code are you using at the moment?

See New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension rates (1 April 2015)

Match your net fortnightly payment to an amount shown in the tables.

How can you change your tax code?

Print out a Tax code declaration (IR 330), fill it in and send it to us at:

Fill it in and send it to us at:

Senior Services
Ministry of Social Development
PO Box 5054
Wellington 6145

Have you paid too much tax?

You may be entitled to a tax refund.

$20 and $10 dollar note in hand.

"On your trike"

After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s - a SuperSenior from Whakatane found an enjoyable and safe way to keep fit and healthy.

Rosalind Vercoe, 74, shares the story of her three-year love affair with her Schwinn tricycle. It helps her keep up a good level of fitness - a must when you live with Parkinson’s. But she also loves how her unusual steed brings a smile to the faces of strangers.

"One of my favourite comments was from a little boy who looked about three. He was riding a pintsize bike in front of his grandfather. He looked round and called out, 'Look Koro, is that neat or what?'"

Read Rosalind’s SuperSenior story on our new SuperSenior website.

Photo courtesy of the Whakatane Beacon.

women on Trike

Celebrating seniors

The International Day of Older People, 1 October, is a United Nations initiative celebrated around the world. It's a time for everyone - families and organisations to acknowledge and say thank you for the huge contribution older people make to communities throughout New Zealand.

The International Day of Older People.

Mentoring, volunteering, looking out for the neighbourhood, caring for children, sharing wisdom and experience and of course, working and leading businesses are some of the many ways senior New Zealanders contribute.

This year is the 25th International Day of Older Persons, with a theme of 'Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment.'

You can

Take a positive step for dementia

Memory Walk

Join thousands of New Zealanders taking part in one of Alzheimer's New Zealand’s memory walks between 18 and 26 September. With two out of three New Zealanders touched by dementia, and numbers expected to increase in the future, Alzheimer's New Zealand is using World Alzheimer’s Month to raise awareness and to remember those affected.

Wellington woman Rosemary Guerin, whose husband Paul has dementia, shares her thoughts on the Memory Walk on our new SuperSeniors Website. “Being with others who are going through the same issues as you and your loved one is just so supportive,” she says.

Read Rosemary’s story here.

You can find out whether there's a Memory Walk in your town or city and register to take part at:

Research and clinical trials

Do you find yourself getting a bit more forgetful, or perhaps noticing others you care about being a bit more absent-minded than they used to be? The CGM Research Trust (a leading New Zealand charitable medical research trust), is looking at the area of memory and what can be done to help counter short term memory loss, including working to conduct clinical trials.

For more information on the clinical trials and to see whether you or someone you know may qualify to take part, visit:

Remember the Elephant

Senior Chef – building new skills

After years of cooking family meals it can be difficult to adjust to cooking for just one or two. But it is never too late to learn new cooking skills or even just meet some other keen cooks.

Since 2010, Senior Chef has been operating across New Zealand with more than 1,300 people graduating through the course.

We have some first-hand stories on the SuperSeniors website about the course as well as details about what’s available near you.

Men cooking in the kitchen.

New Zealand ShakeOut 2015

Everyone - everywhere should know the right action to take during an earthquake. New Zealand ShakeOut is a national earthquake drill taking place at 9:15am on 15 October 2015.

It’s a chance for everyone to practise the right action to take during an earthquake – Drop, Cover and Hold. It’s also a chance to learn more about what to do before and after an earthquake.

Signing up at will only take a couple of minutes. As well as being counted, you’ll be kept up to date with how to get ready.

New Zealand Shake Out

Seniors flock to retirement villages seminars

Thinking of living in a retirement village

If you are thinking about moving into a retirement village in the future, you may be interested in a series of free retirement villages seminars run by the Commission for Financial Capability.

Strong demand means the Commission has extended the programme to November and will also hold more events in 2016.

To find out if there's a seminar near you visit

or call 0800 268 269.

New SuperGold businesses

We’re focused on securing discounts on the things that matter to seniors and make a real difference. There are over 200 businesses in each of the hearing, dental and legal services categories that provide a SuperGold Card discount, joined by around 275 optometrists.

With our ageing population, seniors have major economic clout behind them, and it makes good business sense to join the SuperGold programme as a way of reaching out to their ever growing numbers.

We’re launching a new recruitment campaign for business in October, so watch this space for additional discounts.

Two ladies shopping with their SuperGold card.

SuperGold Card Special Offers

brought to you by participating businesses

Check out the latest special offers here.