A successful meeting between the new Minister for Senior Citizens, Hon Jo Goodhew, and Age Concern New Zealand was held today.
Age Concern New Zealand President Liz Baxendine and Chief Executive Ann Martin briefed Minister Goodhew on the issues that matter to older people including income, health, loneliness and safety.
The hidden, but serious, national issue of elder abuse was also discussed.
Age Concerns across New Zealand respond to at least two new cases of elder abuse each day. They also prevent abuse through education and public awareness.
Mrs Baxendine hails the meeting as a success and describes Minister Goodhew as a proactive minister with a genuine interest in older people.
"She has an important job to do, there are now close to 600,000 older New Zealanders who are an often-undervalued asset to this country."
According to Mrs Baxendine, Government relies heavily on Age Concern New Zealand.
"We are a politically neutral organisation and the information we provide to Government is crucial and comes from the grass roots. We alert Ministers to key issues for older New Zealanders, explain what Age Concern is doing to make a difference and encourage Ministers to support us in our work for older people."
Mrs Baxendine says if a policy change may affect older people, Age Concern makes submissions to the appropriate bodies, such as select committees for government consultations.
If proposed law changes may cause problems for older people, Age Concern New Zealand can engage the relevant Minister or agency to work toward a solution.
"We look forward to a positive working relationship with Minister Goodhew and wish her all the best in her role as Minister for Senior Citizens," she says.
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