Thursday 16 October 2008

Policy Watch

Action on poverty

The Art of Living (AOL) Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Millennium Campaign, is hosting a free public event in Wellington’s Civic Square to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Friday, October 17th). The event, ‘Mission Green Earth, Stand Up and Take Action’ − ‘Stand Up’, for short − is part of a global UN Millennium Campaign to mobilise 100 million people worldwide to ‘stand up’ and demand governments do more to eradicate poverty in the developing world. For more detail read their press release.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has commended the Maori Party for putting children at the forefront of their policies, and pledging to end child poverty by 2020.

Facts about Fuel Poverty

The Domestic Energy Users Network (DEUN) has produced a fact sheet showing how low income households are most affected by rising energy costs and also showing that it is the retail electricity customers who are facing the biggest price increases although they make up only around a third of total demand. Industrial and commercial electricity demand has been rising at a faster rate but their price increases have been minimal. The DEUN is calling for consumers who produce 46% of total electricity revenue to be represented on the Electricity Commission.
See more on the DEUN Position Statement and Factsheet on the CPAG website.

We Care, We Vote! Election Special Now Live

Carers NZ asked all political parties currently represented in Parliament the same questions, asking what they would do for family carers if they are part of the next government.

For those of you interested in following the election

Economic plan: A tax package for the times?

National’s Leader John Key has announced his party’s tax package, which details changes to personal income tax rates and thresholds, and the introduction of an Independent Earner Rebate. NZCCSS has commented on National's policy expressing our disappointment that it failed to recognise the vulnerability of the poorest families and their children who are dependent on a benefit. For full coverage of feedback from NZCCSS and others check out the summary on Scoop and read the NZEI response.

As mentioned in the last Policy Watch the Anglican Commission for Social Justice is promoting a give it up campaign urging New Zealanders to consider donating their tax cut to a charitable organisation. For an update visit the Commission's site.


NZCCSS has released its fourth set of information under the Let Us Look After Each Other Aroha tetahi ki tetahi call for more action. This puts the focus on the REAL affordable housing problem and follows the third set of information which addressed the theme of persistent poverty in Aotearoa New Zealand. The fifth and final tranche will focus on the call to support community-based organisations to grow the spirit of Aroha tetahi ki tetahi.

It was disappointing to hear the National Party announce this week that, if elected, they would scrap the one billion dollar fund that the Greens had negotiated for housing insulation and improved energy efficiency. This fund was dependent on income generated via the implementation of carbon tax credits. National's position suggests that the Kyoto agreement is starting to take a back seat as the credit crunch crisis continues. Without this fund many NZ homes will remain cold and damp - the health effects of which are well known, particularly on children and older people.

Social Housing investment a good response to world finance crisis

The Salvation Army, in a recent press release, is calling for investment in social housing as response to current finance crisis.

Consumers Price Index review shows INCREASE in $ spent on Housing and household utilities

In its latest CPI review Statistics New Zealand has published details of changes made to the basket of representative goods and services, the new CPI expenditure weights, details of how these weights were derived and an analysis of the main changes in the weights. Statistics NZ states that the weight for housing rentals increased from 6.87 percent to 7.85 percent, reflecting an increase in the proportion of households that rent.

For more on housing-related issues check out Community Housing Aotearoa's latest Snapshot e-newsletter.


District Health Boards NZ Super windfall is meant to benefit older people

Presbyterian Support Otago CEO Gillian Bremner, a former NZCCSS Vice President, has publicly challenged District Health Boards NZ Lead CEO for aged care issues Chris Fleming to explain whether District Health Boards will be passing on the extra money they are now receiving as a result of the 1st October increase in NZ Superannuation.

As pointed out in the September issue of the NZCCSS Services for Older People (SOP) newsletter, the NZ Super of the many thousands of superannuitants in residential aged care is applied towards the costs of their care. DHBs then “top up” the remainder of the costs, so the increased super is a windfall of millions of dollars for them. According to Chris Fleming, this money will be applied to the sector but exactly how has not yet been worked out. Read the ODT story on this. (Note: to request a copy of our September SOP newsletter send an email to

Mental Health and Addiction of Older People and Dementia Project

The Ministry of Health has commenced a project that will develop guidance for District Health Boards (DHBs) providing services for people with dementia and people aged over 65 who are affected by mental health and addiction problems. The guidance will also help DHBs provide services to meet the needs of people who age with disabilities and other conditions who develop symptoms of dementia or mental health or addiction problems. The guidance is expected to be completed by the end of June 2009.


The Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 has now been approved by the Minister, and will come into force on 2 October 2009. The Code provides some much needed practical protections for retirement village residents and is the final step in fully implementing the Retirement Villages Act.

The public consultation on the proposed Retirement Villages Code of Practice 2008 was held from June to August this year. Almost 300 submissions were received and considered by the Department on behalf of the Minister of Building and Construction, Hon Shane Jones.
The final Code, Summary of Submissions and a Question and Answer sheet are available online at the Department’s website (

For hard copies of the Code please phone Vic Books on 0800 370 370 for a hard copy (there will be a charge).


Eden in Oz
is a culture change training organisation that trains people in Aged Care throughout Australia and New Zealand in the Eden Alterative philosophy and model of care. The accredited Associate training gives you the practical tools to bring about culture change, improve relationships and give decision making power back to the residents or those closest to them. There are 2 courses now being offered as the first non-residential training for New Zealand. Each course spends 3 days exploring the ways that aged care can transform into a better place to be for all by providing a rich environment where everyone continues to grow. Courses offer a great support mechanism Australasian wide and commonsense ways of resolving barriers to care through action planning as well as a practical tool kit to support the implementation.

Training dates and times: Putaruru South Waikato 29 – 31 October; Levin 3 – 5 November. For further information on Eden in Oz and the training, check out the website To register for training

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